WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 8, 2021
TOPIC: KNOW YOUR TRUE IDENTITY
BY T. O. BANSO
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3 New King James Version).
In Matthew 16:13, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” (New King James Version). They responded that some said He was John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Jesus then asked His disciples who they said He was.
Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16 New King James Version). Jesus didn’t ask the question because He didn’t know who He was. I believe He asked for the sake of His disciples. He wanted to be sure they knew who they were following. The account is also recorded in Mark 8:27-30 and Luke 9:18-20.
Even before Jesus came to the earth, started His ministry, or did any miracle at all, He already knew who He was. At His baptism, a voice from heaven announced, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 New King James Version). At the time God said this, Jesus had no performed any miracle. Yet, God said He was His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased.
That announcement wasn’t for the sake of Jesus but for those present. A similar thing happened at the Mount of Transfiguration. A voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (Matthew 17:5 New King James Version).
John the Baptist also knew who he was. You’ll find the full story in John 1:19-28. The Jews sent the priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him who he was. John wasn’t confused about His identity. John confessed to them that he wasn’t the Christ – the Messiah. Then they questioned him to confirm if he was Elijah but when he said no, they asked if he was “the Prophet,” and he again said no.
Pressed further on who he was, John replied, “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD’” (John 1:23 King James Version). John could have claimed to be the Messiah because the Jews were eagerly waiting for the Messiah, and John the Baptist was already an outstanding man. He was the first prophet to appear on the scene after four hundred years of silence – there was no word from the LORD since the Book of Malachi.
If he had claimed to be the Messiah, he would have gotten a large following. In fact, he had a large crowd that was already trooping to him in the wilderness. But John knew who he was. Before those questioning him mentioned any name at all, he announced to them that he wasn’t the Messiah.
Questioned further, he told them he wasn’t either “Elijah” or “the prophet”. He was, simply, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the LORD.” He knew who he was, and didn’t allow people, situations, or circumstances to answer a wrong name. Do you know who you are?
Everybody has an identity that is a product of his past, including his upbringing, education, and life experiences. Some people’s identity is based on what others have rightly or wrongly said to them, the names they have given them, or the way they have treated or maltreated them. Many others have accepted the wrong identity they’ve been given while many are also trying to find their identity but in the wrong places.
Those who have given their lives to Christ are not immune to the challenge of dealing with the wrong identity of themselves they have based on their past. This will impact, negatively, on their walk as Christians unless they know and accept their true identity, which can only be found in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ died for the world and whether you’re born again or not, everybody’s true identity can only be found in Him. It cannot be found in any life’s pursuit, accomplishment, ambition, and so on.
Every Christian should know who he/she is in Christ. This is different from your achievements. Unless you know this, you may see yourself as a failure just because you have not achieved some things in life that others have achieved. Your standing before God is not determined by your earthly achievements or possessions. Your net worth should not determine your self-worth.
Derive your self-worth from your identity in God based on His love for you. God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for you and others in the world (John 3:16). He gave His best to redeem you, which underscores your value. You are of immense value to God having first created you in His image and saved you by the precious blood of His Son.
1 Peter 1:18-19 says. “For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (New Living Translation).
If you’re born again, know that you are the redeemed of the Lord. You are a child of the Most High God. Don’t accept any name that is based on carnal consideration. Avoid looking down on yourself or seeking people’s acceptance or validation. Have high self-esteem and godly self-worth.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (New King James Version).
If you’re a leader in the kingdom of God, know that you are, first, a child of God before whatever assignment God may have given you. A leader must derive his identity and self-worth from God. It is not a leader’s work or ministry that should give him identity and self-worth but who he is in God.
With this perspective, even when he has not yet achieved the expected results or gotten a breakthrough, he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a sense of failure. He knows that he is accepted in the Beloved i.e. Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6), not based on performance or achievement, the size of church or ministry, the popularity or acceptance by people, the number of services held on Sunday, or the budget of ministry or church, etc.
1 John 3:2-3 says, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (New King James Version).
When a leader knows who he is and has high-level self-worth, he doesn’t go about looking for people’s approval or get worried by people’s disapproval or low estimation of him. We see this example in the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry.
In John 5:41-43, Jesus said, “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you representing my Father, and you refuse to welcome me, even though you readily accept others who represent only themselves” (New Living Translation).
Some people think they can earn God’s love and, therefore, do everything they can to make God love them. The truth is that we cannot do anything that will be enough to make God love us or love us more. It is too late already! God made up His mind to love us from eternity past. You cannot do anything to make God love you or not to love you, or love you more or less.
Romans 8:35-39 talks about the everlasting love of God. The apostle Paul asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (Verse 35 New King James Version).
Here is his answer: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (verses 37-39 New King James Version). Derive your identity from God’s unconditional love for you.
In a time of danger when a tempestuous headwind was blowing against the ship taking Paul to Rome, he didn’t forget who he was. He told everyone on the ship, that an angel of the God to whom he belonged and whom he served stood by him that night and assured him that he must be brought before Caesar and God had granted him all those who sailed with him (Acts 27:23-24). Their lives were saved because of Paul. Together with Paul, there were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. Know to whom you belong.
Know your true identity in Christ.
1.You are a child of God (John 1:12).
2. You are the redeemed of the Lord (1 Peter 1:18-19; Galatians 3:13).
3. You have been made right with God – you’re God’s righteousness in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).
4. You are an overcomer (1 John 4:4; 2:13; 5:4).
5. You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37).
6. You are blessed (Ephesians 1:3; Genesis 12:3).
7. You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:5)
8. You are the friend of Jesus (John 15:14-15; Luke 6:46-48).
9. You are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:17).
10. You belong to Christ (1 Corinthians 3:23).
11. You are complete in Him (Colossians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 12:9).
It is futile to try to find your true identity in any other thing or person except in Christ. You can only find your true identity in Christ. Feed on the Word of God to know what He has said concerning you and be open to the Holy Spirit.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for Your everlasting love. I am grateful to You that nothing and no one can separate me from the love of Christ. Thank You, Father, for my identity in Christ. Thank You for who I am in Christ. I reject any wrong identity that is not mine in Christ. Holy Spirit, help me to live out my true identity in Christ.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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