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One of the beautiful things about life here in Orlando FL has been the small group I have been a part of. Though I am sometimes (frequently) the only person who is not married at our weekly Bible Study, I love getting to dive into the Word with these new friends and be challenged by what God has to say to me, especially since I am going through a pretty dry spell of finding time in God's Word.
This week we covered John 13, when Jesus washes the disciples feet at the Last Supper. The part that stuck out to me was "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper." I guess I had never realized it before but it says that the part that preceded Jesus washing their feet was that he knew "the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going back to God." He knew his identity and that enabled him to serve, to take the lowest of low positions, and wash his disciples feet.
Isn't it interesting how knowing our identity has this effect? As Christians, we have an identity as children of the King of Kings, adopted into His family and made heirs in Christ. Yet how often do we live out of that identity? How often I sit back and place my identity in other things, maybe even good things, but not the ultimate thing. I put my identity in the fact that I write for Relevant, or perhaps in how many people actually read what I write for Relevant (confession: I am a compulsive stat checker). Or there are times that I put my identity in my relationship with my girlfriend and when we have conflict, my whole day is thrown out of wack. Whatever it is, you probably do it too. A job, status, what church you go to, what music you listen to, what clothes you wear... I used to think all that talk about "idols" in life was great but not applicable to me. Sadly I have found myself wrong.
Our identity, our HOPE is secure. Yet we squander it when we place it in things that are passing away, not ever guaranteed for a single day, we are not resting in the peace that Jesus offers. I am currently searching for a job and am not sure what's next. If my identity is in Christ, I know that God's promises are true and he is in control. If it is placed in what job I get, I am constantly stressed out and worried about how it will all turn out because my identity is tied into how it turns out. But in Christ, it becomes more than empty words that I repeat on a Sunday because it is WHO I am. Not these false, insecure identities that I build like sand castles to be washed away at the first wave.
When we find our identity where it should be rooted, we are freed to serve others. Like Jesus, we can humble ourselves because it isn't their opinion that matters. We can lower ourselves because we know that what the World sees does not matter, it is the fact that we are a child of the King. We are secure. Try actually believing that. Don't let it just be empty words... too often I do that, I let words wash over me without truly sinking in. But I don't want to live for others opinions, I don't want to live for a stable and financially secure job, I don't want to see people as means to an end but as people that I can serve. The more I do that, the more I will truly live in what I am created to do.