One of the great questions that people often struggle with is that of identity. It is one of the three that people frequently ask: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?
How important is the question of identity? The lack of finding significance, is one of the huge causes for the suicide rate that is growing by the day. People are dissatisfied with the answers that are coming from the great halls of learning, answers from society itself and those that come from the religion of humanism.
It is interesting to look at the advertisements major companies that, they hope, attract consumers and make lots of money. Tag lines like, “YOU deserve a break today,” “Have it YOUR way.” You and I are led to believe that if we buy a certain car or house, or even a chocolate bar, we will have reached the top of the mountain. Drugs, alcohol or any other stimulants are consumed with the goal of forgetting who were are because we are depressed with the truth. Unfortunately, they can only give you very temporary “high”. When it is over, you will still have that nagging emptiness in your heart.
Here is the truth of the matter: Your sense of significance can NEVER be found through created things or through other people. It can only be found in the One who created you. In the Old Testament, the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “I have loved you with an everlasting love;” (31:3). This verse was directed to the people of God who were wondering about their own identity and destiny, God wanted them to know that they belonged to Him. They were significant because of their relationship to God!
When we turn to the New Testament, this truth is everywhere you look. Read through the Gospel of John and you will discover that Jesus, the Son of God, came to fulfill His purpose in you. You are his creation, and through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He has redeemed you from sin and all those things that attempts to give you a false sense of security.
We often battle with this sense of identity and purpose, even those who already know Jesus. We are deceived by the Evil One into thinking that our significance is in what we do, or how much we have. Somehow, we think that we earn God’s love. We have God’s love because of what Jesus has done for us, period! We can never deserve it or earn it.
Jesus often talked about issues of the heart. His rivals, the Pharisees were the most religious people of His day, thought that they had God’s favor because of what they did and did not do. They would pray out loud in the streets to be heard by others, they would show others their great sacrifice in how much they gave. Jesus rebuked them saying “But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:17-18)
God loves you, yes you! He values your life. Revel in that truth, renew your heart in HIs love for you. He could not love you than He does right now! You are significant because He created you and loved you so much that Jesus Christ gave His life for you!
How significant is that? Tremendously! So much so that He valued you so much that He endured the penalty of sin (read this slowly…) FOR YOU!
For His Glory,
Pastor Bill Finch