Last night, my wife Brandee & I got to go out on a date. There is no one on earth I’d rather be with. I feel so honored, so proud, to spend time with her, to be seen with that beautiful woman. She’s way out of my league. Seriously, lucky me.
Anyway…we decided to go to a movie, after debating between “Up in the Air” and “Avatar,” we chose “Did You Hear About The Morgans,” with Hugh Grant & Sarah Jessica Parker.
After witnessing a murder, the lead characters, Paul & Meryl are forced into the witness protection program and must give up their cell phones, PDA’s, wallets, laptops, passports etc… anything that bore any witness to their fast-paced lives in New York City. The couple is then transported to a small town in Wyoming, for their own safety, while the police track down the killer. While in near seclusion, they are forced to slow down, turn their attention off of their work, and look to each other, talk with each other.
For the promise of protection, they had to give up something important: their identity. It was this point that triggered me to think of our identity as Christians, as followers of Jesus.
As we read through the Word, there are many statements and promises made about what is to come, about who we are as followers of Christ, about our identity. We are called children of God, friends of God, righteous, sanctified, redeemed, blessed, chosen and so much more. It is said that we are heirs with Christ, temples of the Holy Spirit, near to God and citizens of heaven!
Many times as we read about who God has called us to be, we read and become encouraged by the promises, but manage to skim over the conditions.
Like Paul & Meryl, whose promise of protection came with a price, so do many things in the Kingdom of God. While I believe that God’s love for us is unconditional, and that He desires all to be saved, I don’t believe that salvation comes without cost. While Jesus paid the ultimate price, there is a price to be paid by each of us to become who He has called us to be.
And so the question is raised: What will it cost to become who He’s called me to be? The answer? Check the price tag.
In John 1, it is written that we have been given the right to be called children of God. The price? We must receive Him and believe in his name. Later on in John, Jesus talks of himself as the true vine, and of us as his branches able to bear much fruit! The price? We must remain in Him, if we do, He will remain in us.
In Romans 3, it is written that we are justified, and that we are redeemed; all we have to do is have faith in Jesus. Romans 6 outlines our freedom from slavery in sin, all we have to do is die…to self, and live in Christ. In Romans 8 we are promised life and peace. The investment required for promise of such a great return? We must set our minds on what the Spirit desires. We are called children of God, and heirs to His glory later on in Romans 8, if we kill the sinful desires of our bodies and become led by the Spirit.
I choose to live as one raised from the dead, for I have killed the sinful man I am and have been raised into a new life in Jesus. I desire to live according to His will, as without Him I have already perished. I have given up my own identity, died to myself, a small price to pay to find my true identity, and life, in Him.