In Christ Alone

I am going to start this post off by asking you a question.  

How do you identify yourself?

Do you identify as being black or white? asian or hispanic? Are you thick, thin, somewhere in-between? Do you identify as lower class, upper class, average? Are you athletic or completely lacking of such abilities? And the question of the year, are you a republican, democrat, neutral, private party?  I could go on all day asking simple questions about how you identify yourself and why it's important to you. 

The reason I ask is because as I look around myself I see a nation and a culture going through an identity crisis, quickly dividing through a sense of wandering.  

Not for one second do I want you to read this and think that your background, ethnicity, eye shape, body shape, talents, or accomplishments are not special or important.  The things that make us different are the very things that make us beautiful and unique and it's so wonderful.  In fact sometimes I sit and think about God looking down on us and I imagine how very heartbroken he must be at our division.  He created diversity for it to be celebrated and we have tainted it by becoming so consumed by it.  We have become so self concerned and closed off to those who don't fit into our circle of identity.  So where do we find our common ground?

The thought of writing this post came to mind about a month ago but I knew I wasn't ready to write it yet so I prayed.  I prayed that God would give me a vision and give me the right words to say and I only hope that my words will bring Him glory.  In my time of prayer the phrase in Christ alone kept coming to my mind and I haven't been able to shake it for the entire month leading up to me writing this today.

Have we become so mixed up in creating our own identities that we have forgotten who we are in Christ?  I think that in our pursuit to "find ourselves" we put too much value in the very things that are fleeting.  Our weight, talents, skin color, finances, political affiliation, they are all fleeting and fleeting doesn't satisfy.  When a part of our identity comes up short and leaves us feeling empty and unsatisfied I believe that it leads to frustration and ultimately to division because it has become a false sense of security and its a part of us we feel like we have to defend.  Its so exhausting isn't it?  Searching and fighting and defending and more searching. Its a vicious and endless cycle.  

in Christ alone 

What a weight to be lifted off our shoulders when we remember who we are in Christ.  What a weight to be lifted when we realize that in the time of our searching we were already found.   When we recognize our identity in Christ we can drop everything.  every. little. thing. at his feet and be filled.  When trials come, when people question you, when hurtful things are said you stand firm because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  

When Christ died on the cross he paid the price of sin and death so that we could live in complete freedom and this, friends, is our commonality.  Our common ground is found through streams of crimson that were shed for our redemption.  On that day Christ humbly showered grace and deemed us worthy in his sight and no one can take that away from you or from me.  

So we celebrate the gift of diversity without letting it define us, for we are defined by something immeasurably greater. 

I encourage you to start recognizing your victory in Christ as well the victory that He has given to those around you.  I firmly believe that this recognition will make a difference.  It always begins with Christ.  

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