Spiritual Formation

By Any Other Name

“The mind feasts on what it focuses on. What consumes my thinking will be the making or the breaking of my identity.” — Lysa TerKeurst by Captain Stephanie Pavlakis

Every day, we go by a variety of names. Mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband. We are defined by our families, what we do, what we like and who we are. With so many different names, each with their own set of expectations, it’s no wonder that we suffer from identity confusion. Can we truly be so many things at once? At any moment in a day, I might find myself entirely wrapped up in one of my many names, but then things change. Children grow up, job roles shift, family dynamics change, people move on, and I’m left wondering where that leaves me. When we place our identity solely on the labels and the many expectations that come with them, we can find ourselves in danger of losing sense of our real identity.

As believers, our identity is first and foremost that of a child of God. We have been adopted into His family and declared to be His heirs. Whether we fail or succeed, our standing is not based on our achievements, but on His unending love for us. As a child of God, we can live from a place of knowing that who we are is not dependent on whether we meet the expectations of these other roles. Before we even had another name to go by, we were called “beloved.” God loved us before we even knew what love was. He loved us so much, He sent Jesus. Let this be your identity today, “Beloved Child of God.”

Holiness in the Mess:

  • What names do you go by in the course of a day?
  • Which one do you identify with the most?
  • What would it look like if your primary identity was as a child of God?

The Bible states that God loves you and cares for you as a person (John 3:16). Humankind has been separated from God by sin (Romans 3:23). God sent His Son as a provision for our salvation through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead (Romans 5:8). Doing good deeds is not enough (Ephesians 2:8-9), but receiving the free gift of salvation is (John 1:12).

Steps to Salvation:

You can invite Jesus Christ into your life right now by praying something like the following:

Dear God, I know I am a sinner. I need Your forgiveness and grace. I believe that Christ paid the penalty for my sin, and He died in my place, and He rose from the dead. I invite Jesus Christ to come into my life as Savior. Thank You for saving me from my sin and making me Your child. Help me to grow and learn how to serve You.Amen.

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