I’d like you answer our title question right now. Who are you and what are you about?
There’s one catch, though: You can’t mention what you do. No mention of jobs, hobbies, volunteer work—any kind of accomplishment or activity. Go!
So, how’d you do?
How does telling people what you do help them understand who you really are? How doesn’t it?Let’s have a re-do: If you wanted people to know just one thing about you right now—with no restrictions on what you could say—what would it be?
We’re going to spend much of the next several Mondays discovering how God’s made each of us, and what He’s made each of us for. That’s right; we’re gonna get into the spiritual-gifts thang. Before we go there, however, we’re going to spend some time realizing who we already are in Jesus. As we come to understand who we are in Jesus more and more, His life can flow more easily from us into everything else we do—even when we’re not consciously trying to serve Him.
So let’s discover more about who we really are in Jesus. And let’s start with what the Bible says about us. Note what the following passages say about who you are in Jesus. Then reflect on the questions that follow:
• John 15:15-16
• Romans 8:14-17
• Romans 8:31-39
• 2 Corinthians 5:16–6:2
• Ephesians 1:5-14
• Ephesians 2:4-10
• 1 Peter 2:9-10
• 2 Peter 1:3-4
• What encourages you about these verses?
• Truthfully: What things that God is telling you here do you still have a hard time believing? Why?
• How does—or could—knowing who you are in Jesus affect every other part of your life? Try to come up with some practical examples.
If you haven’t seen the movie Chariots of Fire, you’ve at least heard the Vangelis theme song (and/or the scene to the right) parodied endless number of times. Eric Liddell was a celebrated Scottish runner and missionary. In this clip, he’s trying to decide whether he should participate in the 1928 Olympics or go back into the missions field in China (where he would ultimately die in an internment camp near the end of World War II). Watch it up to the 1:37 mark, then think about this:
• Do you normally look at “God’s work” Jennie’s way or Eric’s? How so?
• Be honest: How much do you “feel [God’s] pleasure” in your everyday life? Why do think that is (or isn’t)?
You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you (Psalm 139, NIV).
• How would believing that God really is everywhere you are help you live out your faith?
• What—or who—could help you to remember who you are in Jesus, and help you stretch your circle of influence wider?
“If there’s anything in life that we should be passionate about, it’s the gospel… passionate in thinking about it, dwelling about it, rejoicing in it, allowing it to color the way we look at the world,” C.J. Mahaney says in the The Cross Centered Life. May that become our passion as well.