Sunday, September 23, 2012

By What Are You Defined?

What defines you?

Is it your hair?

Perhaps it is the way you laugh or maybe your smile. Your perfect teeth?

Maybe you are known as a reader, someone who curls up in a corner with a book and disappears from this world for hours at a time.

Are you defined by your causes, the things you constantly champion? There are so many good things in this world to hold up. So many things that people need to defend. So many needs.

You might be defined by your family, if it is a strong or strange family.

There are lots of things that can define us if we allow them to. There are many different faces we can present. There are many different ways that we can shape how we are known. Or, we can allow other people to do it for us.

Sometimes things we have no control over are used by people to define who they see us to be. Born to a single parent. Born to a poor family. Raised in a dysfunctional neighbourhood. Do we get to choose our height or gender or skin colour? But these are used by some to define us.

We cannot do much about how some people choose to define us but we can do a lot about how we define ourself. In fact, we should know that we don't define ourselves. We are defined by our Father.

A couple of things we need to understand starts with the fact that our Father had a choice with us. He could have just left us to our own destruction. Sin defined us, as did hatred and rebellion. But our Father's love for us was too great. While we were his enemies he did what had to be done so that he could adopt us. He had to sacrifice his only Son so that a way would be made possible for us to become his children.

People don't understand that Jesus sacrificed himself for eternity. Jesus gave up what he was to become the first born. He became something new. He became what we will become on resurrection day, the day we will be called to him. In a blink of an eye everything will change. But for now, at this time, in this place we are covered his grace. Our Father is covering us, calling us holy and blameless, declaring it so that it is.

You see, we are defined by our Father, by the grace he has poured over us. He has called us holy and blameless. He has called us his children. He has called us sinless and perfect in his sight.

In his sight!

It doesn't matter how anyone else defines you. Doesn't matter how you define yourself. Doesn't even matter how Satan defines you. All that matters is how the Father defines you.

And he says you are beautiful!

But don't just sit there admiring yourself. There are a lot of other people lost in the ugliness of their sin who also need to hear this good news. They need to hear that God has redefined them, that they are not stuck, that there is hope, light and a future for them. You need to tell them, because of Jesus, our Father only sees perfection in them.

Go on! Tell them.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

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