This past week, our family buried my wife’s father. It was a tough time for all of us. There was a ton of emotion, and things were all over the place for some of our family. There was sorting through my father-in-law’s belongings, life insurance settlement and Medicaid, family meals, passion, prayers, tears, and a lot of laughter––Thank you Jesus!
One thing that kept creeping into my heart as I managed my own grief and tried to stay strong for my wife and kids, was the thought that through all of this stuff, I am who God says “I am.” He defines me––nothing else. As I talked with a member of my family, that message just kept coming out time and time again. None of my father-in-law’s stuff will bring peace. None of the memories (good or bad) will bring peace. The only thing that will be peace is me being who God said I am!
Who did God say for me to be? For me, a devoted Christ-Follower, a loving Husband, a nurturing Father, a passionate Pastor, and a thorough Coach and Lover of people. But who did God say for us all to be?
- I am a child of God. (John 1:12).
- I am a branch of the true vine, and a conduit of Christ’s life. (John 15:1, 5).
- I am a friend of Jesus. (John 15:15).
- I have been justified and redeemed. (Romans 3:24).
- My old self was crucified with Christ, and I am no longer a slave to sin. (Romans 6:6).
- I will not be condemned by God. (Romans 8:1).
- I have been set free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2).
- As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17).
- I have been accepted by Christ. (Romans 15:7).
- I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17).
- I am a new creature in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17)!
- I have been made one with all who are in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28).
- I have been set free in Christ. (Galatians 5:1).
- I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God. (Ephesians 1:4).
- I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ. (Ephesians 1:7).
- I am God’s workmanship created to produce good works. (Ephesians 2:10).
- I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved. (Colossians 3:12).
- God loves me and has chosen me. (1 Thessalonians 1:4).