When I survey the wondrous cross on which the prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. As well as being deeply interested in the details of historic Christianity hence the normal purpose of this blog. I am also an evangelist (someone who tells people about the good news of Jesus) and a youth worker. At this time of year I notice in the media and through Facebook many young people stressing regarding their exam results and UCAS applications. I offer this as a plea to all young people who may be going through this that they allow these words to deeply challenge them because if you accept them I promise you it will change your life. Listen up, here it is: Your identity is not supposed to be in 3 letters on a piece of paper you are not AAA or ABB or whatever, you are not conditional to unconditional firmly accepted. On the other hand you are not a total failure, you are not a person waiting to go through clearing, and this is not the fullness of your identity.
A few months ago I was talking to someone who was awaiting her mock GCSE results and she was stressing and worrying and thinking of herself in terms of being a failure and I said to her listen Racheal I don’t care how good or bad your exams go I don’t care whether you get a full house of A*s what I most care about is you finding your identity in God and that’s what I want to share with you on this blog today.
Here are four truths that will lead you on the way to finding your true identity.
- God loves you: He does! He really does love you why could that matter? Because God loved you before you got your results and loved you afterwards. Perhaps you’re not very good at maths, that’s fine with God he made you and he knows what you are good at and he has a plan for your life.
- You and I have sinned: Perhaps this is not as easy for you to hear as the first one but the bible says that everyone has sinned and as fallen short of the glory of God. This means that our relationship with God is damaged because he is perfect and we in our sinful nature don’t want anything to do with his perfection. So we try and fill the space where God should be in our lives with things like: Exam success, good jobs, money, family and relationships. All those things are not necessarily bad but when they start to go in the place of God that is where the problem lays the bible says the wages of sin is death. It’s like putting petrol in a diesel car you might get so far but it won’t be long before everything stops working.
- Jesus died for you: God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life. Yes there is bad news if you have sinned even once in your life God who is perfectly just will punish you when you die forever. But here is the unbelievably good news there is one God who is three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ who is God looked on you and I in our sinful ways and said I want those people in my family so God the father sent him to earth to live a perfect life and die on the cross in our place taking on all our sins on himself so that we can be perfect before God and live a life with him forever in perfect love. I began with the words of an old him which talks about looking at the cross. It also mentions counting your richest gain as loss. Whatever you have done in your life, whatever you are most proud of will count as nothing when you know Jesus Christ as your saviour, friend and treasure.
- We need to decide: I cannot do any more than tell you that God loves you, that you have sinned and that Jesus died for you. The last one is over to you. Here is your opportunity to find your identity in God. It is between you and him. Here are 2 things to remember if you decide to choose God, God chose you long before you ever made your decision. Secondly, your life will never be the same again.
I leave you with some suggestions of how to do this but there is ‘no right way’ or ‘magic words’ or actions you may like to go somewhere quiet and listen to these songs and think about the words at the end you may like to pray this prayer:
You are the greatest being in the entire universe,
I ask now if it is your will,
That you would save me from the bad things I do,
That you would make me a child in your family,
That you would give me an identity and purpose,
I am sorry,
I run to the cross of your son Jesus,
Help me to never run away from you again,
 Name changed to protect identity.