Challenge, Encouragement, Identity, Insecurity, Issues of the Day

Is Your Identity for Sale?

A Thirty Day Devotional adapted from the NEW book: Identity: The Distinctiveness of You – Day 26

I am seated with Christ in heavenly realms. Ephesians 2:6

I am loved with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

I am qualified to share in the inheritance of the kingdom of light. Colossians 1:12

Imagine that you lived 2000 years ago and you just recently heard of this One named Jesus and most of what you have heard has been negative.  In some strange way, this man and the controversy that surrounds Him intrigues you.  You would love to meet Him and you think about traveling to His town.  

The thought leaves you until one day you hear that He is coming to your region and your town is in an absolute uproar. There are so many questions, so many reports circulating; why is He coming; will you see Him; will He see you?  You determine to get to the Main Street to get a closer look; you see the crowds making their way toward you and here He comes.  A strange anxiety and nervousness intensify within you as you anticipate His closeness. 

Suddenly, He’s right there in front of you and He looks your way.  You want to look down, but don’t know why.  In reality you can’t look anywhere but straight at Him.  Surprised, He’s looking straight at you—eye-to-eye.  You don’t know how to describe the feeling: His eyes, are warm, inviting, questioning.  You can’t look away; you’re undone, you’re lost in His presence and your heart is pounding.  He opens His mouth to say something, but to you it’s all in slow motion as you hear the words, “Come follow me.”  You want to say, “Who me?” but you can’t utter a word.  Without thinking, you find one foot going in front of the other and you are, in fact, following Him.

His latest teaching is strange, like He’s going somewhere that you cannot come.  You feel almost rejected, pushed out of the nest.  Being thrust into the future without Him is incomprehensible and unimaginable.  For you there’s no going back, no return.  You have caught something from Him and there is now no other way to live life.  It’s even stranger how He prays these days.  His prayer focus has shifted to something about returning to the Father and sending another to be with you and your eleven friends.  You don’t desire another; you desire only Him.  

You remember that first glance on Main Street and how His eyes met yours.  You remember feeling unclean but accepted, all at the same time.  You reflect on so many things now, things that you took for granted over the past three years.  “Go away, Jesus?  Where would you be going and why would you be going away from us?  We gave everything to follow you.  We gave up our businesses and our families.  We gave up our homes and our belongings.  We gave these things up to follow You and now You leave us and promise another?”  You scream inside, “I don’t want another. I want You.”  You go off to pray and He goes off to pray. 

Where did Jesus end and His disciples begin?  Where did His disciples end and He begin?  The relationships are so interwoven in this story and yet there is such clarity of who you are and whose you are.  Even though Jesus walked with these men for over three years, He did not request of the Father to bring them with Him or to stay a while longer with them.  Jesus knew who He was and He knew whose His disciples were.  He was not comparing Himself with the Father or in competition for the relationships.  He was not jealous or possessive of His disciples’ relationships with His Father and neither did He try to manipulate His Father’s plan.   Jesus did what He came to do and now He was leaving earth without His disciples.  (See John 17.)

Even though the Father had given these relationships to the Son, the Son respected the boundaries given Him and handed them back to the Father.  (See John 17:10 – “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine.”)

Walk with Him today. He does see you and you can see Him. You are His and He is yours.

Question for reflection:

What were you feeling as you read today’s devotional and placed yourself in the midst of the story?

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