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DAY 1: God is Not Done With You
John 5:17; Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:17-24
You are not yet finished—not even close. The best is yet to come. God has more for you.
The Christian life begins with the forgiving and healing work of God in your life. You are declared righteous. You are “tight” with God, but not because of what you have done. No! It is due to the gracious and generous work of God for you. It is called GRACE.
But then God goes to work to do so much more, which is the work of transformation. It is the work of remaking you from the inside out—making you a new creation. This is more of the Truest Things About You. You are in Christ. You are graced. You are a place where God dwells. And you are being changed.
One of the big changes is the change in your thinking. Your mind is being renewed. The old false and distorted beliefs are being challenged. New ideas that are big, bold, better, and more beautiful are being planted in you.
It is all very exciting, very inspiring, and reassuring. But like everything else, when God is at work renewing your mind you need to cooperate with him. We were once kind of stupid. That’s what sin does to us. It makes us foolish. But Jesus makes us smart, wise, and thoughtful. So be open to what God wants to teach you. Read, think, study, reflect, listen, learn, and BECOME WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. Grow into your Truest Identity.
Reflect: What are the areas of growth God is setting before you? How are you responding to these invitations and opportunities?
Reflect: If there is one part of your personal identity where you want to grow where is it? And what are the next steps you can take to grow?
DAY 2: Come, Follow Me
Mark 1:14-19; 8:34-36
The word disciple is used 294 times in the New International Version of the Bible—26 times in the Book of Acts and all the other times in the gospels.
Disciple is a favorite word of Jesus. It is a word that has a lot packed into it. A disciple (in the Greek, mathetes) is a learner, a student, a follower of a teacher. When Jesus says, “Come, follow me” he invites you to a life of learning from Jesus. But you can only learn from Jesus as you walk with Jesus. That is why you must FOLLOW. You must be with Jesus, close to Jesus, connected to Jesus. If you are none of these things, then you cannot be a disciple.
Every disciple starts out with the basics. We all start at the beginning. From that point, depending on our capacity, receptiveness, and availability, the process intensifies, accelerates, and presses into the future. That future is wide open with potential and possibility.
For the rest of your life you will GROW—stronger, healthier, and more capable. You will GROW into maturity as a disciple/follower of Jesus.
You are a follower of Jesus. You are a friend of Jesus. You are a follower- friend of the Lord God. That is one of the Truest Things About You.
Reflect: Every day, in some way, pray and enjoy your identity as a follower-friend of Jesus.
Reflect: What does your friend Jesus want to say to you today? What does your friend Jesus want to do in your life today?
DAY 3: Becoming by Doing
Micah 6:8; Colossians 3:1-17
We commonly describe ourselves as human BEINGS. In the message I said that we are both human beings and human becomings. We are no longer what we are. We are not yet what we will be. We are in process.
In our culture, actions and deeds now seem to have a bad name. Where did that come from? Not from the Bible! We learn best by doing. We are always in motion, on the move, in action, doing, working, creating, and making our way through the world as we make the world around us.
This, too, is one of the Truest Things About You. God is a DOER. God does stuff. Good stuff. Beautiful stuff. He loves to ACT in the world he made. And he loves to act in your life. And as you put into practice what you are learning, the very act of doing becomes the way to change. God created you to be a DOER. So, BE, DO, GROW, and BECOME who you are meant to be.
Become a forgiving person by forgiving others.
Become a loving person by loving others.
Become a servant by serving others.
Doing is not bad. Doing is good. Doing is great. In the very act of doing God is at work, consecrating, blessing, and filling all your deeds. And as you work and act you BECOME WHO YOU ARE MEANT TO BECOME.
Reflect: What will you DO today? How will your identity be displayed and strengthened through what you do?
Reflect: The Bible uses the language of servant-service as a primary way of doing-being in the world. Will you DO service today? Who will you serve? Be highly intentional about your identity as a servant of God.
DAY 4: The Intersections of Life
God can use EVERY situation, every opportunity, every time in your life to shape you into the person you are meant to be. But certain times are more crucial, even more critical, than other times. The Bible calls these particular moments times of standing at a crossroads.
The Greeks had the sense of kairos time. This is not simple chronology—minutes, hours, days—this is a decisive time for you. Things are happening all around you and things are happening inside you. At these intersection times of life you need a few things.
You need the perspective of the past. You need to remember your core values, your vital lessons, your experiences of God.
You need to see a preferred future. You must see the possibilities and potential ahead. These are the dreams and hopes you have.
And you need to notice what is happening right now in the moment. It is always in the present moment that the past and future collide. It is in the present moment where God is at work. It is in the present moment that you are being formed by God. What you think, how you seek God, what you pray, and how you respond will set in motion new possibilities, for good or for bad. Identity is shaped by crossroads times.
Reflect: What have been the most formative crossroads experiencesof your life? How did they shape who you have become, who you are, and how you see yourself?
Reflect: Are you currently in a crossroads season? If you are, what shaping of identity is taking place? What do you sense God is doing? Where is this headed? Remember, God is always at work, even in the hardest times, to shape us into who he wants.
DAY 5: The Gift of Yourself
Romans 6:1-14; Galatians 3:26-4:1
These are deep passages. They talk about the sinful self and the new self God is creating. The new self is that of sons and daughters, free, powerful, and so much more. Read them carefully and prayerfully.
Be your “self.” Everyone else is taken. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. It’s true. Be your “self.” And become the best version of your “self.”
You can learn from others, and I hope you do. You can see in other people things worth emulating and using for your own journey. It’s called influence. Others influence you and you influence others. That is as true for identity as it is for anything else, but all of this only aids and assists as you discover who you are.
And you already know you are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13–16). You are God’s masterpiece work of art (see Ephesians 2:10).
The greatest gift God has ever given you is the gift of your “self.” The most important act of stewardship is to take care of that gift and develop that gift. You are not yet who you are meant to be. For you, the best is yet to come. As beautiful as the gift of your “self” already is, it is meant to become ever more beautiful and precious.
The message used the idea of being “relentlessly developmental” about your life. This is not a narcissistic self-preoccupation. This is simply faithful, responsible, wise, and accountable stewardship as you do the best you can with the “self” God has given you.
So grow. Grow as far as you can. Grow as much as you can. Grow as widely as you can. Grow as deeply as you can. Grow as close to God as you can. Become the best version of your “self.” Become fully human and fully alive. It’s who you are. It’s what you are made for. Don’t just seize the day to do something good. Seize your “self” and become what God has planned for you.
Reflect: You are a child of God. You are no longer a slave to sin. How will you live in this wonderful identity today?
Resource: For a very wise and encouraging (and short) book on this, read David Benner’s, The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery.
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