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Matthew 16:13-19 (GW)
13   When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They answered, “Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”
17 Jesus replied, “Simon, son of Jonah, you are blessed! No human revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven revealed it to you.
18 You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it.

Let’s think about the word IDENTITY. The definition of the word identity is “The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.” We could sum up our identity with so many attributes that make us who we are, but the fact of the matter is that our identity is found in who God says we are. Only He can define what we are, and the Bible says that He calls us His treasured possession. In fact, it says that He has chosen us to be His treasured possession that we may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.

Deuteronomy 14:2 (NIV)
For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Our identity is not in how much talent we have or how many Facebook likes we receive. Our identity is not how much fame or future we garner or how big an applause we get. Our identity is not defined by social media hype or buzz, nor is it defined by positive or negative tabloid reviews.

When Jesus asked his disciples what the social buzz was about who  he was, he was greeted with the most obvious answers, his identity was being compared with other famous people of the day.

Some  said he was John the Baptist, or Jeremiah, Elijah or one of the other prophets. They were relating to him what others said about Jesus based on what he was saying and doing. They were judging him based on his performances in the city square, and really had no idea who Jesus really was.

Jesus then asked his disciples personally who they though he was. Peter answered with Jesus’ true identity that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God.  Jesus praises Simon for comprehending who Jesus really was, a revelation he got directly from God himself. As a result Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter which means rock. And upon this rock of the revelation of who Jesus really was, upon this solid foundation of Jesus’ true identity, Christ was going to build his church. A  church based upon the knowledge of Jesus being the living God, the one and only true Messiah.

Many still see Jesus as nothing more than a good man, or a prophet of God, but not until they get the heavenly revelation of Jesus’ true identity will they really know Jesus for who he really was and why he came to earth.

Getting back to who do people say you are, we need to look at how we identify ourselves. How do we define who we are. How do we gauge our successes or failures?

How do you define yourself? Do you define who you are by what you do? Do you find your identity in who your family is? Do you decide who you are by what you own? Does your bank account determine your self-worth? Are you more concerned about what others say about you and as a result of attempting to please others you have lost sight of what really makes you happy? Who are you? What makes you tick? Why do you do what you do? What makes you who you are?

When we allow others to define who we are it is easy to get lost in the fantasy world they will then create for us to live in. Their approval, or applause will decide how we behave. When we are living for the approval of others, it is easy to lose sight of what really makes us function as a whole human being. Opinions of others matters more than our own opinions. Being forced to do for others to please them is a pretty sure path to losing yourself in the process.

When the applause stops our purpose for living ends as well. When others start to criticize and belittle us, we start to believe their bad press. By allowing others to define who we are, we fall into the trap of defining our self-worth based upon what others think we are worth.

This could very well explain entertainers who self-destruct through the abuse of drugs and alcohol because they have lost sight of who they are and what makes them happy. They have spent so much of their life pretending to be someone else to be liked by others that they despair for lack of a true identity.

One of the positive results of knowing Christ is He changes our identity and places within us a new improved identity, one that is incorruptible and life changing. God does not see us how the world sees us for that matter even how we see ourself. Simon became Peter once he knew who Christ really was. It was the life-changing revelation that allowed Peter to be bold in the face of personal attacks and character assassination attempts by those who wished to demean him and dismiss him as insignificant. Peter now knew who he was in Christ, his identity was no longer based on the shifting sand of popular opinion, his identity was now hid in Christ who saw him as ‘a rock.’ We need to note that all this took place before Peter denied he knew Christ three times.

Jesus knew who Peter was better than Peter knew who he was. Jesus was able to teach Peter what his true identity was and is. In Christ we find our true life, and our true identity. It is in Christ we find our purpose and our hope for living, apart from Him we actually can do nothing.

John 15:5,6 (AMP)
5  I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. 6  If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned.

By associating with Christ, and drawing from Him, and allowing Him to define us, our identities are changed from a fruitless vine into a fruitful one. We are no longer fit for the garbage heap but instead are considered a treasured possession. We have value, so much so that Jesus shed His blood and died for you. You have eternal value, do not allow your value  to be cheapened by allowing your identity to be stolen by the beggarly elements of society. Your of heavenly value, believe that and then live like you are a treasure, your life has great value and God knows it. Do you?

Don’t let others steal your identity secure it in Christ.


Now Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” – 1Kings 17:1

Elijah was a Tishbite. Most Jews and Christians are familiar with Elijah. When Elijah confronted wicked rulers he was a “nobody” from an obscure tribe. But that did not stop him from taking a stand for God. Elijah didn’t have a prophetic blog. He did not hold a degree in theological studies from a major Jewish school of the prophets. He did not boast a large resume nor have thousands of Facebook likes and Twitter followers. For the most part until he took a stand for the Lord he was a nobody. What gave him a place in the annals of biblical history is what he had to say, and for whom he was speaking.

Elijah was facing Ahab, who along with Jezebel was systematically attempting to remove all the spokesmen of God from the land. They were killing the prophets of God. They sought to SILENCE the voice of God from among the people. They wanted to be sure that there was no one to challenge their political position, or political decisions. They in effect wanted to be the final arbiter of all things.

God wasn’t having any of it and thus sent Elijah to confront Ahab about his wicked ways. Ahab had introduced Baal worship into the northern kingdom of Israel. Baal was considered the god of fertility and of rain, so the pronouncement of Elijah that it was not going to rain until Elijah said it would was a direct challenge to Ahab’s worship of the Baal god. Elijah was directly challenging Ahab’s reliance on idol worship. He was there to remind Ahab who really was in charge of the climate.

True to his word the heaven’s withheld rain and dew for three and a half years until God spoke to Elijah again to declare that it was going to rain. During that time a great famine hit the land.

Elijah’s confidence was in God’s character and faithfulness. He spoke with assurance because he knew the voice of the Lord and he knew that God could be counted on to do what He said He would do. Elijah even went as far as confronting all the prophets of Baal, those the government hired to stand before the people and instruct them on the ways of Baal worship. These were government employees whose job was to instruct the people on the religion of environmentalism, and they were given the authority to punish anyone who did not bow down to worship the god of the earth.

Elijah wasn’t having any of it.

1 Kings 18:16-39 (GW)
16 So Obadiah went to tell Ahab. Ahab went to meet Elijah.
17 When he saw Elijah, Ahab said, “Is that you, you troublemaker of Israel?”
18 Elijah answered, “I haven’t troubled Israel. You and your father’s family have done it by disobeying the LORD’S commands and following the various Baal gods.
19 Order all Israel to gather around me on Mount Carmel. And bring the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 Ahab sent word to all the Israelites and brought the prophets together on Mount Carmel.
21 Elijah stood up in front of all the people and asked them, “How long will you try to have it both ways? If the LORD is God, follow him; if Baal is God, follow him.” The people didn’t say a word.
22 So Elijah told the people, “I’m the only surviving prophet of the LORD, but there are 450 prophets of Baal.
23 Give us two bulls. Let the prophets of Baal choose one for themselves, cut it into pieces, lay it on the wood, but not set it on fire. I’ll do the same with the other bull.
24 “You call on the name of your gods, but I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire is the real God.” All the people answered, “That’s fine.”
25 Elijah told the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves. Prepare yours first, because there are more of you. Call on the name of your god, but don’t set the wood on fire.”
26 They took the bull he gave them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon. They said, “Baal, answer us!” But there wasn’t a sound or an answer. So they danced around the altar they had made.
27 At noon Elijah started to make fun of them. “Shout louder, since he is a god. Maybe he’s thinking, relieving himself, or traveling! Maybe he’s sleeping, and you have to wake him!”
28 So they shouted louder. They also cut themselves with swords and spears until their blood flowed. (This is what their ritual called for.)
29 In the afternoon they continued to rant and rave until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no sound, no answer, no attention given to them.
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come over here.” So all the people came to him. He rebuilt the LORD’S altar that had been torn down.
31 Elijah took 12 stones, one for each of the tribes named after Jacob’s sons. (The LORD had spoken his word to Jacob: “Your name will be Israel.”)
32 Elijah built an altar in the LORD’S name with those stones. He also made a trench that could hold 12 quarts of grain around the altar.
33 He arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and put it on the wood.
34 He said, “Fill four jars with water. Pour the water on the offering and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it again,” and they did it again. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time.
35 The water flowed around the altar, and even the trench was filled with water.
36 When it was time to offer the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward. He said, “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make known today that you are God in Israel and that I’m your servant and have done all these things by your instructions.
37 Answer me, LORD! Answer me! Then these people will know that you, LORD, are God and that you are winning back their hearts.”
38 So a fire from the LORD fell down and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dirt. The fire even dried up the water that was in the trench.
39 All the people saw it and immediately bowed down to the ground. “The LORD is God!” they said. “The LORD is God!”

Oh happy day! Someone darned to challenge the prophets of environmentalism and prove once and for all who is actually in charge of the environment. Elijah forced the king and the prophets for hire to prove that the god they worshipped was in charge. This proved to be a fatal error.

Elijah went to the top of Carmel and bowed down on the ground to pray. …Gradually, the sky grew darker with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy rain.   I Kings 18:42 &45

Elijah was not ashamed of his God and was willing to stand against king Ahab to declare his faith. I am afraid there are too many prophets of God hiding in caves from fear than are willing to boldly go and tell the good news of Christ to a lost and dying world. I am afraid that the worship of Baal has crippled too many of God’s people into believing the lies the Baals are selling and not the truth of God’s word. We need a few good men willing to stand up and proclaim to all the prophets of Baal the truth of God’s word.

Or we can start with just one lone voice crying in the wilderness. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Choose today whom you will serve. If Baal is god then serve him but if God is God then serve Him you really can not have it both ways.

And that is the way I see it. What say you?

 

Image.gifThis is a view from the nest. What say you?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

Image.jpg

 

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

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In the beginning God created heaven and earth.

And God saw everything that he had made and that it was very good.  Genesis 1:1&31

“This is how I see the church really being like Jesus,” the release quoted Kirk. “Not just talking, but making hard choices to live like Jesus—caring for the poor and all in God’s creation without a voice; not taking more than our share; and preserving the earth for future generations.”

via Youth Convince Presbytery to Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies – Around Town – Minnetonka, MN Patch.

fossil fuel>>> on the way out

The reason the youths gave was to “raise awareness of climate change” in their view they believe “This is how I see the church really being like Jesus.” “Not just talking, but making hard choices to live like Jesus—caring for the poor and all in God’s creation without a voice; not taking more than our share; and preserving the earth for future generations.”

Now I think it is wonderful that our young people are taking an interest in church matters but I do find this a little unsettling. Many who know me and have read my posts on Facebook and this blog know I am not a believer in man-made climate change nor do I ascribe to the notion that CO2 is a pollutant; it is after all plant food. It has been proven that data used to promote the whole concept of Global warming was phony. Therefore the whole thing is a big hoax with designs on parting you from your money and livelihoods.

Of course my perspective comes from a biblical viewpoint one were God made the heavens and the earth and created the plant life and animal life before he created human life. In fact the plants were created before animals.

Could it be that God knew that all life required plant life to exist? And since plants are necessary to our well-being an abundance of plant food would be a good thing right? Since plants absorb CO2 and expel oxygen one  could make the case that more CO2 helps plants to grow which in the end makes our lives better because of the abundance of oxygen in the air. It is more plausible to believe the plants were created first to absorb the CO2 from the atmosphere to prepare the earth for human habitation. So more plants would be great. Face it there is no plant life on any other planet and there is no life.

Here’s an idea for you, since we know plants love CO2 and can not get enough of it, and we know forests are loved by environmentalists and human habitations are despised, why not tear down all the cities around the world and replace them with parks with lots of flowers and trees? Imagine the huge carbon footprint cities leave behind with all those people milling around exhaling all that CO2 right into the atmosphere. How much lovelier a park would be with tall trees in place of those huge, ugly, tall buildings, not to mention the uptick in CO2 absorption rates.

Talking about creation and God’s provisions for life on this third rock from the sun, despising the Lord’s gifts and blessings is a big slap in the face to God don’t you think? I would like to remind you that oil, and “natural” gas are “NATURAL” and, were put here by God himself. He apparently thought they would be beneficial to life on earth since after he created everything he said it was all good! That means the earth and everything in it was good and created to sustain life on this planet. How is it then that something which God called good is now bad and is somehow harming the very creation which produced it in the first place? It is “natural” after all meaning it came from nature.

The students are concerned about the image and the statement being made by the church’s choices in investments. They felt that the church needed to walk the walk and not simply talk the talk. With that I agree! In large part the church is not living the life that God expects the church to lead. There is far too much creature in the church and not enough Creator. Now if the students were to speak out against that I would be standing arm and arm with them in their pursuit of holiness.

In the student’s statement they were concerned about “preserving the earth for future generations.” As far as leaving behind a better world for our children, I think the best way to do that would be to Preach the Gospel of His Kingdom and not some phony doctrine contrived by thieving, lying, power-hungry tyrants. Seeking to save the lost is what God expects the church to be doing. So I ask you, is divestiture in oil futures really that big a deal when the majority of the earth is going to hell in a hand basket?

We strain so hard at gnats and swallow huge camels in the process. Perhaps we ought to be focusing more on sin and not synthetics.

And that is the way I see it. What say you?

Image.gifThis is a view from the nest.

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

Along for the journey

Image.jpg

This has been A View from the Nest. The statements, comments, or opinions expressed are solely that of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of the host of this site or any affiliates thereof. Any questions or comments should be directed to myself and not to the host or hosts of this site.

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