In the second half of my life the quality of being ‘authentic’ has become one of the most important things to me. Hopefully I do not use that an excuse to be rude, obnoxious, or selfish. But, I don’t play a lot of the games that people play in our world. I do not ‘dress for success,’ for example. What I wear is functional, not fashionable, because I really am not concerned about whether I am in step with the designers. My words are (I hope and pray) an honest reflection of my heart. The people who see me, know me authentically.
Why is this important? Because it is impossible to know God intimately while playing games in life!
When I found my identity as God’s child the need to gain approval from others slipped down the list of my priorities a long, long way. Yesterday my sermon text was taken from Colossians 3 where we read a description of who a Christian is. Paul’s letter to those believers in the city of Colosse aimed to correct the teachings that insisted that acceptance of the Father was found in observing a set of religious rules, in rigorous conformity to some set of adopted social norms, or in gaining some secret insider information. Over and over he reminds them that they are ‘’in Christ” and that from Him, they receive forgiveness, salvation, and are transformed into the character of Christ Jesus.
In chapter 3, he tells them the kind of life that should be past tense and then encourages a list of traits that will come into evidence as the Spirit’s life grows. Prefacing that list, he writes this – You are “God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…” (Colossians 3:12, NIV) Basic to living an authentic Christian life is knowing – mindfully and heart deep – who you are because of Christ. When the Spirit makes that real to you, you will change – from the inside out.
Do you know your identity as a child of God?
I want to point you to the part of my message where I speak of this. If you have 10 minutes, listen to the clip outlined at this link. https://www.facebook.com/FaithDiscoveryChurch/videos/1629253460449747/ Go 33 minutes into the service, to find the opening of my message and listen for 10 minutes. If you cannot access that link try this one- http://jerscott.sermon.net/main/main/20980116.
In Christ, we are God’s chosen! Yes, made right with Him – not because of performance or pedigree, but because of faith’s response to His invitation. We are His HOLY people, not pious, not incapable of sin, but belonging uniquely to Him, finding our highest purpose in His plans. And we are DEARLY LOVED. So many times we begin to feel as if God has to love us or that He merely tolerates us. The Bible reveals that He is crazy about us. Yes, He set Himself to spend a great cost to bring us back to Him, to pay our debt of sin, and to prepare a place for us to share His home forever!
This Monday morning, say those words from the Bible to yourself – Chosen, Holy, and Dearly Loved. Pray for the information to become revelation, taking root and growing a rich harvest of joy in the Lord along with the beautiful character of Christ.
Here is a word from the Word. “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, The Message) “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. ” (Colossians 3:12-14, The Message)
Father, help us to see, to know, to receive the new life You have for us in Christ.
When the tempter accuses, may Your truth drown his lies.
Fill us with the joy of the Lord this week, heart felt, authentic.
For Jesus’ sake and His Name, I pray. Amen
(CoffeeBreak will be back in a few days.
I am taking a couple of days away for rest and renewal)