Archive for the ‘Identity’ Tag

So Why Not Say You’re Gay, or…?

 

col-3-hidden-in-christ

…Black, White, Asian or Hispanic??? Or Republican, or Democrat? Or why not say you’re a Millennial, Boomer, or a Gen X’er??? (After all everyone else calls themselves by their age, too?) Why not call yourself ESFJ, or INTJ – for those familiar with the Myers Briggs personality inventory?

Because, simply put but complexly true, according to Jesus Christ and the God Revealed in Him, you are not any of those things! You certainly may exhibit some of those traits but…

 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

– Colossians 3:3-4 (The Msg)

According to Jesus, from the Father and through the Holy Spirit in the Apostle Paul, that’s why you shouldn’t identify as just any old “thing”, or even as your own thing! So if you’re struggling with your identity, it is probably because you’ve forgotten, or never knew the Truth God points out  through this scripture:

1.) Your identity is not in some thing (your sexual attraction, your skin color, your political party or age), it is in Someone outside yourself, namely, in Jesus Christ, in God. You’re going to have to look outside yourself in the first instance to discover your identity! You should receive and look to Jesus because your real life is hidden in him. Your true humanity is hidden in him. He is your life! (By the way, what largely remains hidden to you now is the glorified humanity Jesus has for you; the humanity that will never die and is incorruptible. What isn’t hidden is all of the other stuff revealed and witnessed to about Jesus in the bible!)

2.) If you’re going to receive who you really are, you’re going to have to follow Jesus and let him show and tell you. Because he is a Person and you are a person, that means discovering your identity is not static but dynamic, or relational and active. Identity is not a thing that can be discovered in isolation from others (as in “I’m a hermit”). Your identity is a discovery that comes in relationship with Jesus and the God Revealed in Him.

3.) One of the greatest and common places Jesus is pleased to meet you is in the scriptures! Perhaps you, personally, are having more clarity about your identity through the scripture just quoted. It wouldn’t surprise me! This Relational God – Father, Son and Spirit is the one who inspired and left us these books we call the bible through which he would encounter us and witness to himself! If you like reading books, he left you quite a few to catch up on! Lol! If you are getting clarity about your identity through the scripture notice that we went to a passage through which God has been pleased to witness to himself (though He’s NOT the bible!) Through that passage he was pleased to speak to you not only about who he is but also about who you really are!

4.) Notice also that this isn’t a scripture only about you, it’s about every one of us! Because of who we are speaking of, Jesus, the God/Man and One who created and sustains every single person, your fellow human beings also have their identity in Him! Jesus is literally the One Human for all! Pointedly, this means you should seek to see your neighbor also for who they are in Jesus who represents all humans in his humanity, namely, your brother or sister, or neighbor in Christ!

Imagine for one moment how transformed our world would be if we referred to all others as “brother” or “sister” or “neighbor” “in Christ” rather than the things I noted in my first few sentences? Can you see the difference that would make in our treatment of each other? Can you sense the other-centered love in humility that could thrive, and the self-centered pride that could die? Wow!!!

By the way, none of this means that you become Jesus or that he becomes you! No! He will still be Jesus and you will still be distinctly you. It does mean that Jesus intends to share with you his awesome and glorified human nature so you can relate with God and each other in a way that partakes of the divine nature, as one made in the image of his image in Jesus (2 Cor 4:4)! His life reveals what it really means to be human and those who trust him get to participate in that!

Here’s the link to a GREAT read through which I was encountered by God – Father, Son and Spirit and got stirred to write this article:  http://www.livingout.org/why-not-say-you-re-gay-

As author Jonathan Berry writes in his last paragraph:

“We’re often warned of the dangers of identity theft in an increasingly digital age. As a Christian I feel passionately that I don’t want to allow myself to be robbed of the enjoyment of these great blessings, by falsely embracing any other identity. In his letter to Christians in Rome, Paul urges his readers not to “conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). For me, a really important aspect of that mind-renewal process involves ditching any unbiblical labels and securing my true identity as being in Christ.” (underline emphasis mine!)

Amen!

– tjbrassell

*photo courtesy of rhemafromgod.blogspot.com

 

Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!

taste and see

In this Gospel Message, Pastor Richard Andrews of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the GOOD NEWS of The God Revealed in Jesus Christ with a  message entitled “Taste And See That The Lord Is Good!” and asks the question “Are we ready to take that exhortation we find in Psalms 34 and make it something we LIVE BY, LIVE THROUGH and LIVE WITH?”

In this message we learn what trials REALLY represent and hear that:

  1. Our foolishness does NOT determine God’s actions towards us! There is no circumstance we can go through that is too big or complicated that can change who God is!
  2. No matter the circumstance, God invites us to open up our mouths and have an experience with him. God invites us to experience HIS presence.
  3. Our trials help us to taste and see God’s goodness. They make God REAL. The more we TASTE, the more we SEE, the more we TRUST!

Listen and be comforted knowing that God loves us too much not to let us experience HIM, and because of that there WILL be points of pain and trials.

Photo Compliments lizsarno.wordpress.com

Men And Women TOGETHER – Imaging God FOREVER!

 

image of god

https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/15-04-26-men-and-women-together-imaging-god-forever-heb-1-gen-1-gal-3-eph-2-tah.mp3

 In this Gospel Message entitled “Men And Women TOGETHER – Imaging God FOREVER!”, Pastor Timothy Brassell of  New Life Fellowship of Baltimore, Proclaims the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ who has taken up our humanity in Himself, sharing with us HIS life of union and communion with His Father through the Holy Spirit. He shows through the scriptures that all barriers between men and women and the dividing wall of hostility between all humanity has been destroyed, and our humanity renewed and healed, in Jesus Christ!

Hear in this message:

  • That Jesus Christ is the first image of God of man and woman together and is not just an after-thought. As women and men, we were always meant to be conformed to Jesus Christ’s image and what He made of our humanity in Himself. We understand that HE is the Reality, and Adam and Eve (and us!) are only the shadow of Him in this first phase of our humanity!
  • That because Jesus is the Image of God, it is best to think of men and women, male and female, as created in the Image of The Image of God!
  • That ONLY FEMALE AND MALE TOGETHER show GOD toward creation and how ONLY TOGETHER do we show creation back to God in the fitting response Jesus shares with us. This doesn’t always mean marriage between men and women, but it always means gender partnership and complementing each other!
  • The Good News of what IS superior about being female and male, and what is not! Learn how we ARE equal and how we are not! Understand our participation and roles as Kings and Queens of creation!
  • About The Great Grace that has been lavished on us as male and female in the person of Jesus Christ , and the Great and Loving Judgment against our broken humanity that compels us to reconsider and take part with Jesus as Life actually is!

You are encouraged to Participate with Christ, and in His shared humility, learning to admit your faults and receiving the forgiveness that leads to ACTUAL & REAL reconciliation and peace between human persons, plus LOTS MORE GOSPEL INSIGHT!

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