Christmas Holiday Break

The weekday devotions will be back starting January 2, 2018.

In the meantime, here’s a devotion from Stories for Faith – In My Father’s Footsteps, Volume 1.

Who Am I? Part I

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
1 John 3:1-2

Photo by Riccardo Bresciani from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/rear-view-of-man-sitting-on-rock-by-sea-307008/

Saint John was a fisherman. He probably was a younger fisherman when a seemingly itinerant preacher came by the shore one day and said “follow me.” It’s not so much that Jesus changed St. John’s future as it is that Jesus defined it.

If St. John was anything like me, he had dreams and ideas about how his future would turn out. As a younger man, he probably thought about what he would be in the future. Towards the end of his life, he wrote in a letter that even then what he would be was still not really known but that he didn’t worry about it. Whatever it was, it was going to be defined in Jesus Christ.

I’ve had very different dreams throughout my younger life. I wanted to be a robotic engineer, major league baseball player, radio announcer and the president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

As I have reached middle age, what I will be still is not known. But I don’t worry about it anymore (at least not too much). What I am is defined in Jesus Christ.

The temptation for me is to define myself by the things around me. A husband. A father. A pastor. But what if I was no longer a husband? A father? A pastor? Then the definition of who I am would be taken away as well.

I was talking with a person this last week about this. He had lost his job and was really battling as he was coming to grips with it. He defined himself by what he did for a career. And it was a good career. It was honest work and he was being compensated honestly. He shared his compensation with the Church through his stewardship. But as he sat across the desk from me, I could see a man who didn’t know who he was. How he saw himself – and his future – was taken away from him when he lost his job.

St. John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gives us our true and lasting definition of who we are: “Children of God.”

What that truly means we haven’t seen yet. But we are assured that it is defined in Jesus Christ. We will be like him and we will see him as he is!

How is Jesus? Eternal. Yes, he died. His death means our life. His suffering on the cross forgives our sin. He died. But he rose again. His resurrection means that we also will live forever, just like him! St. John was given a glimpse of what that will look like when he witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:2).

I am a husband. I am a father. I am a pastor. But these things don’t define me. I am a child of God. These other things are ways that I live being a child of God.

You are a nurse. Or you are a lawyer. Or you are a stay-at-home mom. But this is not the definition of who you are. Because these things will not last. They will come to an end. Who you are will not come to an end. You are a child of God and while what you will be is not yet known, you can be assured that, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, you will be like him.

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