Bible

In what is your identity?  

1Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; “

Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Ask yourself this question, “In what is your identity?”
Is it in an experience, a tragedy, an upbringing, a culture, the color of your skin or the community you are in? Is it in your achievements or your failures, your name or in your looks? Is your identity in a sports team or your school, a club or the car you drive? Is your identity in your hobby, your work, your friendships? Is your identity attached to your clothing or music style or if you are liked and accepted? Maybe it is one of these or many of these. 
I ask the question because God wants us to see ourselves as he does and identify ourselves as he does. All these earthly identities will vanish when the Lord returns for us or if we were to die before that. When you and I stand before the lord in his glorious presence we will not be dressed in that identifying clothing we wear so proudly nor be attached any more to that group or club or team. We will not enter boasting of our earthly accomplishments or achievements nor our failures and weaknesses we once were labeled as by others. 
No, none of these will be seen on us because none of them are who we are as believers and followers and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. So why are they so seriously held to while on the earth since they are as temporal as a passing cloud and hold no real value to life?  
Through Peter God has communicated that those who come to him (1Pet 2 vs. 4), are royal, holy, and special. Not because of us but because of him. 
Royal - as in kingly or regal because we have become the the adopted children of God 
Holy - as in set apart as he, our holy God, is from all things and not attached to Him. 
Special - here the Greek refers to that which is possessed or owned. Consider that which you own and how those things are special to you. We are God’s possessions therefore being special to Him. 
These all speak of a new identity attached to Him who saved us. They speak of transformation that is intended by God for us to see and live out. But the verse also communicates purpose and direction. We are royal, holy and his special possession so to proclaim Him and that he has delivered us from darkness, a life absent of his presence, to light, a life eternal with Him. 

So now ask the question again. What is your identity? 

Blessings 
pBob

Iron Sharpens Iron - Sparks that are Good

Photo credited to Charlie Kellog https://www.flickr.com/photos/papa_charliegeorge/

Photo credited to Charlie Kellog https://www.flickr.com/photos/papa_charliegeorge/

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.

When hearing this proverb what may be envisioned are two swords clashing with sparks flying.  But the author likely was imagining the local farmer sharpening his tools.  It didn't cause sparks as that would heat the metal to much but there would be friction as the sharpening wheel turns and the tool is methodically and purposefully held against the sharpening wheel.

Why the need to be sharpened?  The tool has become dull, the edge is uneven or worse damaged.  This hinders the tool's ability to do its job well.  So the sharpening is favorable and for the benefit of the tool.  It is a slow caring process meant to improve the tool to be its best.  The final result is a tool ready for service and to fulfill its purpose.

So how does this pertain to you and I as believers, as members of the Body of Christ, as disciples of Christ?  When we engage with one another, get close to one another, joining arms in service with one another, it is inevitable that we will have opportunity and circumstances that will cause friction between one another.  Sound uncomfortable?  of course.  Is this a bad thing?  Not at all.  It is an needed thing?  Yes it is.  But is it for the better?  You bet ya.  For end result is a stronger character, a spiritual maturing, an improved servant and a more perfected tool for the Lord.

The sad thing I find is that many are afraid of experiencing sharpening. It's actually seen as a negative, something to avoid, even an offense. The love of the friend is somehow forgotten and an adverse response follows.  The result?  No strengthening of character, no growth in maturity and the servant goes no further in his service for the Lord.  There may occur a ending of the friendship.  Maybe even a resentment and turning from the faith.  I believe you can not strengthen, mature or better what isn't there in the first place. Just like the tool being flawed beyond repair or sharpening because the metal wasn't well made in the first place. So it is that the person who's life does not rest on the Lord, or his truth, or his spirit, will not respond well to the sharpening.

I have come to appreciate those who have been instruments of the Lord to sharpen me.  Those dear friends that have shown me grace like an ocean breeze but  have also played the sharpening wheel in my life to produce a better me.  Because I know their love an commitment to the Lord and to me I assured they intend good and not evil and know they are God's instrument.  May we receive the sharpening wheel of the Lord as easily and openly  as we receive his generous blessings and kind touch.  May we see its benefits and respond with anticipation of being better than we were and ready for service.

Blessings

pBob