Through the Word in 2020 #143 – Oct. 29 / Identity Crisis

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It’s pretty common today, even in Christianity for people to be stressed about getting a sense of their identity – or more popularly, a sense of their destiny. Growing out of the self-esteem movement which steam-rolled through the latter part of the 20th and on into the 21st century – everybody it seems, needs to find out how special they are. They need to have some sense of personal identity that is going to allow them to leave their mark on the World.

The truth is, out of the nearly 8 billion people on the planet today, most of us will only be known to and impact in any significant way – a pretty small number. That doesn’t make the impact we do make insignificant. Don’t get me wrong. God appoints it. Within His plan it is vital, even cosmically important. But in terms of human popularity and valuation – not so much.

So, do each of us really need some grandiose self-concept of destiny in order to be whole? In order to be important? In order to matter? John The Baptizer didn’t think so. And we’ll look at that today on Through the Word in 2020.

I’m Reid Ferguson.

Before us today are 1 John 1:5-10; Jeremiah 46-49:22; Psalm 128 and a fascinating text in John 1:19-28.

In the Biblical account, John the Baptizer was a pretty big deal. As Jesus’ cousin and forerunner, he plays a vastly important role. But from today’s text, we find out he didn’t think of himself that way. Nor did he need to in order to fulfill prophecy, be the first to recognize Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, baptize the Messiah and prepare God’s people for Jesus’ arrival.

His preaching had caused quite a stir and so the Jewish leadership sent men to find out just what this John was all about. And they asked him:

Are you the Christ? The Messiah, the anointed one? He said – no.

Banking off a prophecy intimating some sort of connection with Elijah and the Messiah from Malachi 4:5 they asked if he were Elijah?. But he said no again.

Then they asked if he were “the prophet” – mentioned in Deut.? Strike 3.

Now later, Jesus will connect John with the Elijah prophecy – but here’s the point – John didn’t. He didn’t have some grand idea either of his person or ministry. Instead he says: I am just a voice crying out in the wilderness – get ready for the Lord – the way Isaiah said. But note, he does not say THE voice. Just a voice.

The point is this Christian, just being willing to serve God as and who you are, where you are – is enough. You don’t need to fret about having some detailed concept of being called to this or that or the other thing, either to be useful – or to fulfill your destiny. You just need to be who and what God made you, surrendered to do His will. Right where you are. With whatever you have.

He, has made you one of His living stones. He is assembling you together with other Believers to be built up as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

He knows your name.

He placed you there.

Seek Him and live out the life of the Spirit right there in your living room. At your job. With your family. In your prayer closet. And the final day will declare the role you played. Whether you ever get a sense of it here or not.

He didn’t waste His blood saving you. Live freely in that.

The universe functions on the glory of the ordinary. Shooting stars, are eye-catching, but only noticeable on their way to extinction.

God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.

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