Your New Identity In Christ

Your new identity in Christ.

                      If you have baggage. Troubled past and overwhelming emotions or damage. It can mean a new life and a new start. In these dangerous times, God is an ever-present source of inner strength and a help in trouble. See my post on what real physical effects prayer and meditation can have on the body.
But more than that, God knows everything that is going on. He knows the best course of action. He knows what trouble lays ahead. If adventure and survival is your game, He is an indispensable tool for your belt. A perfect travel companion. He knows the trail ahead before you even get to the bend.
He is faithful and will never abandon you. We all have fears sometimes of the unknown. God is a security blanket that is always with us. Always For us. When Egypt faced a famine, He warned them ahead of time through Joseph and gave him the plan to deal with it so no one would starve. He even reconciled him with his brothers and restored their family. God can prepare you for difficult times ahead and take care of your family and your personal problems too. He wants what is best for you, and when God wants something done, what man can stop him?
So why would you not want God? God doesn’t seek to control you. Maybe he asks for a standard of living. Don’t hurt other people (except in self-defense). Don’t spread lies about others, don’t treat your parents badly. basically don’t be an asshole. Is that really a bad price. I’ve read the Bible, i don’t see anywhere in  it that says you can’t go after a promotion or get that raise. No where does it say you can’t get that new car or job you really want. God cares about the things you want too. It does say not to make these things high priorities over caring for your family or making them all-consuming. I guess that is where people get discouraged by Christianity. It does require self-control. It is all right to want money, but to make it the highest priority in your life is the sin. It is all right to want nice things, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone to get them. You are supposed to put God first, so that everything else fall into perspective and your priorities are in order.
Is that really a bad thing. Is that new car more important than your wife or child? Don’t have a wife or child? Then if you have the money get the new car. The Bible doesn’t’ say you can’t have things, just keep your priorities in check.
Imagine you wake up and you have lost everything. You have managed to survive, but you have nothing left. Who are you? What are you? We identify ourselves with what we have and what we accomplish. Our homes, jobs, possessions and when we lose them we loose ourselves. Deep down at the core of who we are and our identity it should be that we are the adopted son or daughter of God.  In choosing God he takes us into his family and we become his child and nothing can take that from us. The world can’t take it away, the devil can’t take it away, we can not give it up or throw it away. Once we are his it is a permanent thing. We are his forever. He will always love us.
Your Heritage
Being a new creature in Christ means that the old you is no more. You have a new identity as an adopted child of God. This is something for you to hold on to always. You can not lose it. At the core of who you are this is the foundation to build upon. You can not lose it, the devil can not take it away, you can not give it up. That is right. Once you have taken this step you are His always. You may choose at times to walk away, but he will not walk away from you. He has excepted you and he will not abandon you, ever. He is Abba (Father).
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Now on to the exercise. Build you family tree. Heritage was always important to the early Jews. They kept long family histories. Just reading the Bible you can see that. You may not be able to track your families history back that far, but you can start with your parents and work your way back at least a few generations to some idea of your place in history. It may seem like the Bible was just this historical record thing that happened a long time ago, but it is still going on. It may not be being recorded as cannon right now, but God is still working in the world and you are a part of it. By becoming his you are baptized into his family and he is using you in his will same as he was using believers before you. The world may have changed, but he hasn’t and he still works in the world today.
                          When God lead Abraham from his home to the promised land he would give him, this is part of your history as well. When God lead his people out of Egypt and through the wilderness, this is part of your history as well. You are part of his people. This was part of his plan for you. In making you he began forming you from the beginning of time. You can read the account of Abraham in Genesis and Moses in Exodus. Or if you only have your pocket  New Testament Stephen lays it out pretty well in Acts Chapter 7. This is part of your history and the history of Christianity.
Further study:
The Bible Series (tv show) and the sequel The Bible Series AD.
Print this bracket and place yourself in the middle and your parents on either side. Then trace your families backwards from there. This is your genealogy. This is what it took to bring you into existence. Consider that. If any of these couple had never met, you wouldn’t be here.
                               Okay, so start at the beginning then. God created the universe. The Bible says 6 days (on the 7th he rested so not a day of creation)  There are scientists who have been studying universal background radiation that was present at the big bang and have been able to divide it down into 6 phases they believe symbolize the 6 days God mentions, but that is still speculation. The important thing to understand is God made it all. Another important thing to know is YOU DON’T HAVE TO UNDERSTAND IT ALL AT ONCE. It takes time. Most people are still learning themselves.
                          Get yourself a good Bible. The most favored are the King James Version (kjv) and the New International Version (niv) which has modern language and many find easier to read. I would suggest getting a one year Bible. It has the whole thing divided up into what you need to read each day to read it in one year. My mom and I have a One year chronological Bible that rearranges the books and verses into a chronological order. That is the order in which things happened. At the very least you should get a copy of the New Testament. If you really want to understand it better get a Life Application Bible. It has footnotes and explanations to what is going on and why. Also a little history information.
                          Not much of a craft I know. Just have to print out the picture. It has little check boxes for each book of the Bible. As you work your way through it in the Heritage section of this book. Reading the Bible can seem overwhelming, You just have to remember one fact. You don’t have to do it all at once. It is something you can tackle a little at a time. If you are like me with a poor memory you do well just to remember the highlights and have no real hope of quoting scripture. I know the stuff that goes on and all the important things, but I can’t quote a verse and tell you book and chapter where it is. Many people can do this, but you don’t have to. It is all about a relationship with God. Not about being memory-man.
                           So God made Adam and Eve. The serpent that represents evil (devil or Lucifer) tricks eve into believing God has lied. She wants to be wise like God so she eats. It is not a sin to desire to be like God for God is perfect. But she disobeyed God’s command and believed God lied to her. She ate and sin entered the world. Adam followed too. It is not all eve’s fault as some male supremacists will claim. Men are just as guilty. God said that the hour they ate it they would surely die. This was a spiritual death. Not a physical one. That is they died to God. They were separated from him and it is also interesting to know that it follows the same pattern with own growth cycle. Children grow and are innocent until puberty and then it is like the person they were die and they become someone else. Full of anger and hormones and lose their innocence.  But that is just from my own mind and not taught anywhere. But that is the big and short of it with sin. Since the eating of the fruit all mankind has a sin nature. This is what leads us to doing it and separates us from God and being filled with a spirit of goodness. We can’t be good without him leading us. The world after the fall of mankind proves it. Starting with Cain who killed Abel to the fest of the world becoming so vile God killed them all with the flood. And now look at the world we live in today. Thanks to God’s leading we kept the world from going completely bad again, but it is still heading in that direction. Just taking longer. Giving God’s followers time to save those they can before he passes judgment.
So all are sinners. Me, you, everyone. That is where Jesus comes in, but not yet.
Abraham is called for God to set up his own special people. He creates the Jews to set up a priesthood for himself to bless and lead the world, but they fail to be righteous enough. But God still manages to set up  a priesthood and give them the ten commandments. This is God’s standards. We of course can’t live up to them completely, but God is the standard and he can’t change to suit us. It may seem like he is strict that is because he is perfect.  He is Just, he is righteous. He is unchanging. He is also love and mercy and peace.  He wants to be in a relationship with us. He loves us. But we are sinners and the two don’t mix. We can’t enter his presence without is righteousness killing us. Think like this. The tabernacle they built in the desert to take with them was to be God’s dwelling place among them. Only the high priest could enter there and only after a ceremony to cleans himself. He wants us, but we aren’t holy enough by ourselves. We are unclean to God.
God sets the standard for holy. He sets up the priesthood to allow us to be cleansed and draw near to him. There is a problem though with it. Namely the priests. They are not perfect and the animals they sacrifice are not perfect. Before the priests can offer atonement for the people they must first offer atonement for themselves. And this must be repeated because the people are not perfect enough to stay clean after it is done. The system has a flaw. It is important to note that animal sacrificing does not please God. For the price of sin blood had to be paid. This was a requirement. It doesn’t please God to kill. But the price of sin is death. Payment had to be made. But you have to remember that dead to us does not always mean dead to God. I believe animals have souls and when will kill them for whatever reason they return to God.
                              So skip ahead and Jesus is born to Mary. He is born without sin. He is perfect in God’s eyes. Just as the priests had to sacrifice a lamb without blemish Jesus is the lamb of God without blemish (sin) There is theories that the stable he was born in was the same one that is used to house the lambs that were raised for sacrificing. It was near Bethlehem where Jesus was born. He gave his life to be the perfect sacrifice for us.
               So we could repent of sin and draw closer to God the way he wanted us to.
God said he created the light and formed the darkness.  Notice he said formed the darkness. That is not to say that he didn’t make the darkness, but that he formed it. Like the light casts a shadow. Darkness is formed  when light shines. This is a good analogy for good and evil. God is good. He is the standard of good. He did not create evil, He can not do any evil act. He did form evil in that He sets the standard for good so that anything that does not measure up to that standard is evil.
A man fell in a hole. If you stop and pull him out that is good. It is a good act, therefore if you see him and ignore him and leave him there in the hole without trying to help him. That is evil. It is an evil act.
Further Study: (films)
Bible series and bible series AD
Genesis Code
What does it mean to be a Follower of Christ
                       So, how do you be a follower of Jesus. A lot of people talk about how important it is to be one, but few actually tell you much about the how to. I think that has to do with what it means and how so many misunderstand it.
To start off you must surrender your will to Jesus. So right there is where so many fall away. They look at that statement and think it means “I can’t have the things i want or i can’t do the things that make me happy.” It is a simple and common misunderstanding. It has more to do with attitude than physical things. The way you look at the world. Now that being said there is something to do with how you live your life, in the way you relate to people. You have to surrender your attitude. Change your views. We build up a wall as a defensive measure to keep people out of our intimate part of our selves where we feel vulnerable. Jesus wants into that part of us and to bring those walls down. We don’t like that, but it in necessary for strength. True strength. What we hide makes us weak. Jesus forgave us. What other people think doesn’t matter. All that matter’s is what God thinks. He knows and accepts us so those things don’t matter anymore. Once we accept that it is over. The pain and shame of what was done in the past is over. Only from here on out matters. The walls come down and we are leaning on God’s strength not our own. We don’t need that attitude any more.
Now in surrendering our will we must change the way we live our lives. Yes we don’t like that usually at first either. Yes we need to consider what we do and evaluate whether it is something Jesus would approve. things like addictions. anything we put before God’s will. Drugs are out. Obviously, smoking is not forbidden as long as we use moderation. Moderation is key in most things. As long as they don’t become center of our lives. Don’t drink in excess. If you drink so much you can’t stand up it may be time to pull back on the reigns.
How we treat other people. Do you look down on others, Be honest it may be hard to see ourselves in a clear light. Are you withholding forgiveness. God forgave us we must forgive others. Doesn’t mean you have to forget. If someone wrongs you, you need to forgive them as God forgave you and treat them as an individual. Don’t snub them or rub their face over anything. You don’t have to trust them in the future, just don’t go out of your way to be rude or judgmental. Look at them in your mind and remind yourself they are human just as you are. They aren’t in the right place in their heart and if you hold onto that hatred you wont be either.  Just let it go. They will get theirs eventually. God is a just God and vengeance is his. He is faithful.
Now as to what we do in our lives. 1 Corinthians 6: 12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”–but I will not be mastered by anything.
We have the right to do anything, but not everything is good for us to do in life. We can’t allow other things to take over our lives. Recreational things are fine, but don’t make them life consuming.
Luke 9: 23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
                We must deny ourselves meaning surrendering our will and take up our cross daily the struggle we have in our lives to pursue righteousness and purse Jesus.  Others will look at us a Christians and persecute us and call us names. They may even hate us, but that is our cross.  To pursue Jesus daily we must seek out to do the things we know will please him. Like helping others and doing what we know is the right thing and when you aren’t sure what the right thing is you seek God’s wisdom to figure it out.
Okay, so you are getting ready for church on Sunday even thought you got a million things to do today, the collection plate comes around and you are putting your money in even though you are short on money this week. You had a long day and you are pulling out your bible to read your daily passages even though you are really tired and want to go to bed. Does this describe you at any time. If you skipped church once in a while it would not be the end of the world, if you didn’t give everything you had to the church it would be okay, if you skipped reading one time who would really know. All of time is God’s, he is eternal, all things are God’s he doesn’t need your money, He doesn’t need your worship, The rocks and trees will cry out to him. He is God, he doesn’t need us he wants us. The things we do are outward indicators of an inward relationship. We do it to show him we love and want him more than those things. The inward relationship is what is more important than the outward indicators. Take a look inside yourself. Where are you in your relationship with God. He wants you to want him more than anything else. Put God first and all things will follow.
We all want miracles in our lives. God will perform miracles if you are devoted to him. You get the kind of relationship you put into it. When Jesus went to his hometown he could do very little there because they didn’t really believe in him and didn’t follow him. If you want God to work in your life you have to put in the effort. It is a hard truth to accept. We live in a broken world that holds to different values. Stress and pain everywhere. God is greater. He will help you with those things if you place your heart in his hands.
Further study:  (Book)
Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman