ODJ: mistaken identity

November 1, 2014 

READ: Psalm 115:1-18 

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness (v.1).more›

Although we’re 5 years apart, people often confuse me with my older sister. From the staff at my favourite coffee shop to my sister’s nursing students, we have many stories of people who try to ask me a medical question or who talk to her about writing. The mix-up seems humorous to us, because we don’t see the similarities that others view so clearly.

But with God, there is no mistaken identity. “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” (John 1:12-13). From the time we enter this world, however, we’re surrounded by experiences, people and powers of darkness that seek to destroy our understanding of who we truly are.

In places of uncertainty—or even rejection—we’re tempted to create an identity of our own making. Desiring to be accepted by others or trying to fit the world’s image of success, we construct a sense of self that is based in the temporary. God’s Word, though, reminds us of what we end up worshipping: an empty identity that’s much like a god who cannot answer at all, much less respond to the deep questions we have about who we are (Psalm 115:5-7).

True security comes when we tear down the idols of self and choose Jesus (vv.9-11). The cross brings us into fellowship with Him—our sin for His purity. In this transfusion of life, our identity is restored to its God-given potential and meaning (139:13-16). We’re no longer defined by our abilities, our relationships or our achievements. Everything centres on who God is and the reality that we’ve been united with His Son (115:1,9; Ephesians 2:13). —Regina Franklin

365-day plan› Acts 16:1-15

Read Colossians 3:1-11 and consider how you can practically live out this passage and the new nature you’ve received in Jesus. 
What situations in life (activities, relationships, etc.) are most important to you? In what ways can you be tempted to find your identity in those things? What defines your true identity in Jesus?