Church Redefined Pt 8 – Who Am I?
Oct 30, 2013 1523
By Tony Elshof, Wollongong Vineyard Church Plant
This message is to empower and equip you to live a better Kingdom life.
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the Lord; exult before him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” Psalms 68:4-5
I was driving with a work colleague and the conversation turned to my parentage. Lesley asked me what nationally I was. I explained that I had been adopted as a baby, that I didn’t know my paternal history, and my birth certificate even said, “Father Unknown.”
I shared my story of being raised by a loving Christian family of Dutch heritage. A discussion took place around how I developed my identity, made all the more difficult when I didn’t know my origins, and had to deal with my birth mother giving me away. Lesley was interested to know how I had been able to successfully grow with the emotional, physical and spiritual issues of my past.
Matthew 6:8-13 records the words of Jesus as He tells His disciples how to pray. The ‘Lords Prayer’ opens with these amazing words, “Our Father in heaven.” We may have recited this prayer hundreds of times, but have we missed the significance of the first two words, ‘Our Father! With this simple introduction Jesus was saying to His disciples, “I have come to bring you into an intimate relationship with My Father, and I want you to get to know Him in a way that you can call Him your father too”
Paul goes into more depth in Galatians 4:4-7, when he said that through the fullness of the Triune God, each person who has received Jesus, has received the full rights of children of God. And that God has empowered us to be able to communicate with Abba Father through the Holy Spirit.
1 John 3:1 continues this theme with, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” God pours His grace and love on us because we are His children.
In my conversation with Lesley I was able to share that my identity did not come from my unknown heritage, my adopted family, my academic qualifications, my career, my achievements or even my own family. First and foremost, my identity came through knowing God, accepting Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit. To quote my good friend and teacher Des, “Our identity does not come from who I am, but Whose I am!
I want you to know that you are far more valuable to God than you realise. Jesus gave up His divinity to destroy the cause and effects of sin, so that you could be restored into a right relationship with God. As followers of Jesus Christ, as His Church, we must be absolutely secure in the knowledge that we are literally sons and daughters of God.
While some of us didn’t have earthly fathers, or had ones who could have been more and done more, know that you have a Heavenly Father who loves and accepts you unconditionally, and through Jesus, welcomes you as a heir in His eternal Kingdom. Thank you Jesus for bringing us into your family. Blessings Tony.