We all had a starting point in life. I was born into a Christian home with a pastor for a father. My parents have been married about four decades. My family ate dinner around the table almost every night, did Bible devotions and went to church every Sunday. This was my beginning. We all have one, and it’s easy to get where we started all mixed up with our identity.
Being raised in a Christian home doesn’t make me a Christian, and beyond that, being raised in a Christian home doesn’t define who I am. It helped shape me, train me, and I am absolutely privileged to have grown up in the home I did. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that my beginning was rare, almost movie like. That many of my friends came from homes where they were quite the opposite.
The crazy thing is…our identity is the same.
NO MATTER WHAT OUR BEGINNING WAS, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US WAS MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD.
God says so in His Word at the very start, so we wouldn’t wonder. Genesis 1:27 says, “He made mankind in His image, making them male and female.” Further in His Word it says, “While we were still sinners, [before we called ourselves His] Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8). What do we make of this? I see two things to make a big deal about: 1) God made us and 2) He died for us! This means, you guys, that He loved us, EVEN before we chose to follow Him!
THIS IS WHERE OUR IDENTITY IS! IT’S NOT IN HOW WE WERE RAISED; IT’S IN WHO WE ARE! AND WE ARE GOD’S!
This is where our identity is! It's not in how we were raised; it's in who we are! And we are God's!
Yes, my name is Shannon. I am married. I have two kids and a dog. I lead worship, and I burp a lot (don’t be jealous). But none of these things make me who I am.
WHO AM I? I AM MADE BY GOD. I AM LOVED, CHERISHED AND TREASURED.
I was bought at the highest price that could ever be paid. I have made many mistakes in my life, yet Jesus will still look down on me, pick me out of a crowd and say, “Yep, that one is mine, and isn’t she lovely?!” And He does the same for you! Yes, YOU! I don’t need to know who you are to know you are loved extravagantly by God! You are a human aren’t you? (If not, I’m not sure how to proceed, hmmm). Our identity is in Christ, and no bad beginning, bad ending or horrible stuff in between can change that! You were created by God, in the image of God, and He looks at you with nothing but love in His eyes! Even if you haven’t taken notice of Him yet and realized that He has an abundant life planned out for you, know this: There is no identity thief that can steal a life that is hidden in Christ! No person, no hardship, no demons, no sickness, no broken relationship, no mistake, not even death can take away God’s love for you! (Romans 8:38-39 the Shannon version).