By: Tim Grunstra
“Do not be conformed to this world,
But be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
That by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
What is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Do you think being a follower of Christ is demanding? Do you find it difficult to know how to present yourself and what you believe to others? Do you even know what you believe? These are just a few of the various questions many of us struggle with in our day to day lives. Questions like these can make us feel isolated, even shunned, giving us feelings of shame, guilt and disappointment that we are just not enough. I have done all these things and I am guessing that most, if not all, of you have as well. However, there is good news. Yes! The Gospel! I have a few tips that I have found to be very straight forward, but have profoundly changed the way I see and perceive the people around me, because they change the way I see myself and my identity.
“I have been crucified with Christ.
It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who loved me and gave himself for me.”
When God looks at us He sees one of two things. He sees His Son, Jesus, or He sees a lost child who has not found his family. We have a choice freely given to us by God. Will I make Christ King of my heart? Every human was, is, and will be, created in God’s image. He knits us together in our mother’s womb. Not only does He know every hair on our heads, but every physical thing about you and everyone who has lived and will live in the future. He knows our thoughts and motives. And even after all that, Jesus chooses us and gave His life for us!
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has gone, the new has come.”
2 Cor. 5:17
How do you look at the people around you? How do you view yourself? Are you seeing the beloved, joint heir of Jesus? Because, if you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you are a new creation, you have been made new and now you are a “little Christ,” or Christian. If you are a “little Christ” you are also a “little king,” because Christ means king. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords, that means you are a “little king” and “little lord” right along with Jesus Christ. This has been accomplished through Him and this is your new identity!
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God
and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in His sufferings
in order that we may also share with His glory.”
If you are to share in Christ glory, you only have to believe. You are worth it! You have value! If the worth of a thing is what someone is willing to pay for it, then you are equal in worth to Jesus! Do you understand that God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth, sees Jesus in you? God the Father sees you as His Son, Jesus. Jesus lives in you and Jesus loves you and has paid for you. You need to understand that every time you see yourself as something less than Jesus, you are reducing the worth you have. You are stealing that which Jesus paid with His life… you! You are stealing yourself from Him. He alone had the ability, and therefore the right, to pay for your sins, and my sins, on the cross.
As we realize the depth of love Christ has for us, it will awaken our love for ourselves and live out of our identity as sons and daughters in the Kingdom. When we see how much He loves us we are then able to love others as He loves them. Then we no longer can treat ourselves, or others, negatively. He wants a relationship with us, but not at the cost of binding us to His will, but just as he freely gives us salvation we now have the chance to freely give Him our hearts and pursue a relationship. This is not a law we have to keep, but a passion we get to pursue!
If you want to learn more about how God see you, here are some short videos that are good resources by Graham Cooke: