What Determines Who You Are?

As usual, I am finding there is so much I want to do and yet so little time to do it all! For example, I am scanning the new Entrusted Bible Study and reading both a Christian Non-fiction book on Daniel, another on prayer (with a friend) and a fiction book on prayer based on several non-fiction characters (with my husband). Yes, I am a little crazy that way!

Now for the cool part! They all converge on the topic of identity. That’s right! Who we are, our identity!  So who are we really? Do our actions dictate our identity? Our heritage? Does the world we live in dictate our identity?
Paul found his true identity in his conversion on the road to Damascus when he met Jesus! His life dramatically changed from one who persecuted followers of Christ to one who reached out, taught and mentored people into followers of Christ! With boldness, he proclaimed, “Follow me as I follow Christ!”

Daniel and his young friends were taken captive into the custody of foreigners. These devout young men did not let their captures change their identity. Staying firm to their God-given identity was a priority in their new environment even when it threatened their very lives, they remained faithful.

One quote from Living Among Lions today was “Our actions spring from our identity, not our profession; from who we are, not what we do. If it is true that our actions are directed by who we are, our identity or how we see ourselves; then what do our actions reveal about us?

Are our actions consistent with who we think we are

or are they in contradiction?


Are our actions more aligned with what we do or feel

than with who we truly are?


 If so, is it possible that we may a bit confused still about our identity or

even under the influence of an identity thief?


So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason, the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” John 10:7-18 (NASB)


These are just a few of the characteristics of our identity in Christ. God’s Word is full of much more, but let’s just look at these powerful few:

Forgiven –     “I am writing you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven      because of Jesus name. ” 1 John 2:10

Cleansed –    “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with on another and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” 1John 1:7 (ESV)

Redeemed –  “In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Ephesians 1:7 (NASB)

Called –         “He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.”  2 Timothy 1:9 (HCSB)

Chosen/appointed -“You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of theFather in My Name He may give to you.” John 15:16

Complete –   “and in Him, you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule an authority.” Colossians 2:10 (NASB)

Children of God – “Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it didn’t know Him. Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is.  And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 (HCSB)

A Royal Priesthood – “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)

Peaceful –       “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27 (ESV)

Victorious –   “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!  1 Corinthians 15:57 (HCSB)

“In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.” 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16 (MSG)

Wow! Just based on these verses alone, what will our life be like if we find our identity in these promises? How would life change? If we begin to look at God’s description of our life based only on who He says we are and daily gaze upon that reflection; what would our lives look like in a week? A month? Or in a year? Would we see the likeness of Christ forming in our lives?

      How would life change if we were focused on who we are and whose we are instead of what we do? Can you imagine meeting someone for the first time and rather than asking them what do you do; asking who are you? What are you passionate about? It just might make for some highly unusual first impressions!

Heavenly Father, please teach us to look to You for our identity. Help us find our true value and worth not in the things of this world or in what others have to say, whether good or bad; but to find it in who You say we are. Give us wisdom and understanding as we walk through life to see beyond others opinions and superficial comparisons to walk in the fullness of who You created us to be. Grace and peace to you, In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ!

Courage to Accept Who I Am

Who am I? For that matter, who are you? I must have asked myself “who am I really?” at least a couple of dozen times during my life. Who would I be if… fill in the blank… had never happened? If only, you fill in the blank, then I would be: happier; kinder; less stressed; more generous; friendlier; more loving; more trusting; less fearful; and the list could go on and on.  We live in a culture which is all about self-improvement and self-help and if we are brutally honest we are encouraged to be all about self by much of the media and advertising. If we do not fit the acceptable social, economic, physical, intellectual type; many of us begin to question our value. Many would say we live in a narcissistic society and perhaps there are varying degrees of truth to that statement. That determination belongs to the only One who is qualified to judge and it is certainly not mine to speculate about!

There is one place we can go to begin to find out who we really are, though many consider it irrelevant and outdated. It is a place where we can see the true nature of the human condition from the absolute worst to the best humans have to offer. Many see it as a limiting rule book about an angry God just waiting to catch us doing something He doesn’t like; others see it as a historic book, not relevant to our day. There are those who just take it in sections; holding on to that with which they agree and tossing the rest. Lastly, there are those that see it as the greatest love story of all time; a love letter from God to His children. Yes, I am talking about the Bible. Sadly, many opinions about its contents are formed with little or no exposure to its actual contents or because without full understanding of its context as a whole; it appears confusing and in the eyes of some contradicting. Just as anything in life, when we don’t have the big picture or see the whole of a situation; some things can appear convoluted and confusing.

Ok, I am betting you are asking what does this have to do with Courage to Accept Who I Am! I would be.  If you truly believe that we were created by God, and I know some may not; His Word is the best place to find out who God says we are. This is especially true if you are a believer in Jesus Christ!  Can we glance at just a few examples?

  • We are created in the image of God – Gen. 1:26 “Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness.
  • We were known to Him even before our conception  ‘For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.‘ (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭13-16‬ HCSB)  (I don’t know about you but this one slays me! Before I was born all my days were known, written in His book. Even though He knew beforehand everything I would ever do and the choices (even the stupid ones) I would make, He chose to bring forth my life. He placed me here for a purpose and found value in who I would be.)
  • God provided a way for us to be righteous despite our failures through Christ – “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭21‬ HCSB) Jesus suffered brutally and was crucified despite His innocence to bring peace between God and mankind with NO guarantee that we would accept the gift by accepting Him. He found us to be worth His suffering even if we remained in unbelief.
  • He chose us; adopted us into His family – “Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens. For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.” (‭Ephesians‬ ‭1‬:‭3-6‬ HCSB)
  • We are His beloved Creation – “For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.” (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬ HCSB)
  • We are secure in Christ – “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (‭Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭6‬ MSG)
  • We are chosen; not rejected – “I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said to you: You are My servant; I have chosen you and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭41‬:‭9-10‬ HCSB)   “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭9‬ HCSB)
  • We are valued – “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s consent. But even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So don’t be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭10‬:‭29-31‬ HCSB)

This is just a small sampling of the scriptures that tell of our Father’s tremendous love for us even before we ever knew or accepted His gift of unspeakable grace through Jesus Christ. There are hundreds more examples available to us in His Word by searching Who You are in Christ. It is astonishing to see yourself as He sees you! So I challenge you if you have concerns about who you are or you struggle with insecurity, your value and worth, lack of confidence, or even fear; check out who the Creator of the Universe says you are. It will change your perspective and your life. Knowing Christ and who you are In Christ brings a healthy view of oneself. It helps bring wholeness to our lives without narcissism, big egos, and puffed up pride because our standing is not of our own doing, nor is it based on performance; but is totally based of the Grace of God and the accepting Gift of Jesus in our lives. The more we understand the wonderful gift of grace; the more grateful we become. The more grateful we become; the easier it is to show grace to those in our lives who struggle with insecurity, their value or worth, lack of confidence and fear. Afterall, we all struggle at times. We all fall short of others expectations; especially God’s. He said the greatest commandment was for us to love Him completely, whole-heartedly and to love others as we love ourselves. That is not an easy task at times; yet He is faithful to forgive us when we confess our failures to Him and ask forgiveness. (1John 1:9)  Even if we are faithless, He is faithful to is precepts and His Word (2Timothy 2:13), which is a great reason to get to know it better and begin to walk in line with who He says we are!!

May His Grace and Peace Abound to you!