If you knew who you were…It would change everything!

In 2012 I went to India for the first time and to make things more fun I decided to have one phrase I would memorize and use everywhere in the local language of Hindi- I usually do this when I’m in a new country.

So, my phrase for India in Hindi was: "I'm not who you think I am"

So, I got someone to teach me how to say it right and then- everywhere I went- I used my phrase: "I'm not who you think I am" and I might wink or smile as though this were a secret or a sudden realization or whisper like it was a secret.

It really made the week there way more fun! In the taxi, at the store, while standing at a streetlight- I used it literally every chance I got - just to be friendly and have fun- and the reactions were totally worth it!

I had so much fun that when I came back to the US, I had T-shirts made and this is one- and it's fun to wear and get reactions!

Here is my question for you this morning: "Do you know who you are?"

This month is Lent, and we are reflecting on Jesus in the wilderness and his temptations which I think PC and Akiko both mentioned and it’s interesting to see that, primarily, Satan was questioning who Jesus was- ifyou really are who you say you are...Jesus knew who he was and batted back each attempt to confuse him and was able to clarify things with scripture but his identity was what Satan attacked.

Do you know who you are?

As I have said many times before- in our counseling and work with various people- there are major patterns we see, and one is the issue of identity, lies and truth- knowing who you really are- knowing who God says you are and not letting the enemy mislead and confuse you.

In Romans 8:15 it says:

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to fear [of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons [the Spirit producing sonship] by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!”

We get to call the God of the universe …Dad!

The Message Bible says:

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.

Especially with kids one of the things we see so often is the tragic results of believing lies. Believing lies even after they have become a Christian! It is usually the main reason they are not seeing their lives change like they could or should- what they believe!

They are confused about who they are and believe lies others have said or usually what they have quietly thought and said about themselves instead of what God says about them.

The Bible tells us what the truth is - and this is what God says:

John 1:12 says You are a child of God

John 15:15 says Jesus now calls you a friend and not a servant

Kelly and I call this truth therapy- God’s truth is the real truth and is a transforming truth- if you knew who you were it would change everything- who are you?

God says:

in Galatians 4;5-7 You are no longer a slave but a son or daughter of God.

in Romans 8:17 You are a joint heir of God because you are a child of God

One of our foster daughters was told she was a mistake- the result of a one-night stand and never even met her father- I think this greatly affected her sense of value- for her to know who she was in Christ was like night and day and she needed continually reminding- we all do!

Just after I had decided- felt led actually in what I would share today - one of my biological daughters heard I would speak today and said- you should share how important it is to ask God directly "who am I to you?"

And Paul sent me an email which was the first I read that same day and said,” Really interested to hear more about identity. When you spoke about it last Sunday, what you said made sense, but it was too fast for me to fully absorb.”…I 'd be interested in hearing more.

So this message is from God and I’m just passing it on! I feel it!

So my daughter sent me her personal notes of her own experience of this question and her struggle to hear what God was saying to her and how it changed her which was moving to read.

She said she knew she was a sister and a friend and other things, but it was not enough, and she felt a little lost- she worried she was not a Christian like others- that she was not really a Christian and I felt bad to read about the pain of these thoughts- she was feeling lost and she got a little lost

Then she went to Costa Rica for a gap year and did a program with YWAM- Youth with a mission and one of their main things is to make you ask God a lot of questions directly - less teaching and more helping people talk with God directly. During that stay she started to hear God say things like:

You are unique and beautiful

You are talented and smart

You are forgiven

At one point she realized that Satan is called the father of lies for a reason and that even though no one may have actually had said these things to her she had believed them-

When she realized what the lies were and what the truth was - she started to realize who she really was and how that ...changed everything.

Finally let me say this- if a person were to ask me what the most important key points are in the whole Bible, I would say these two things stand out above all else:

1. Love- Love is #1

2. What you believe matters more than anything else. What you believe matters. If you want to please God...believe him. It's called faith or trust or believing- and NOT believing God on the other hand cost his people more than anything else!

What the people in the Bible believed was the most significant thing they could do- their most significant DOING was actually BELIEVING

A woman believed that touching Jesus’s clothes would heal her - and it did! Without Jesus even knowing till it had happened! In Jesus' hometown it says, “he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” In this case what they believed cost those people.

A non-Jewish /non-Christian occupation soldier is commended by Jesus just for what he believed-

This is a whole bunch of lessons and one of my favorite topics but here is the point:

Who are you? Who does God say you are?

IF you will believe what God says - it can change your life- I challenge you to not only take these passages which I will give you but literally read then aloud- I have rewritten them so you can read them as is OR read them personally such as:

I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 2:18 Good news translation " It is through Christ that all of us, Jews and Gentiles, are able to come in the one Spirit into the presence of the Father."

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:3

I am destined to do greater works than Jesus did!

John 14:12 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, anyone who believes in Me [as Savior] will also do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these [in extent and outreach], because I am going to the Father.

Okay- so here is your homework over spring break - students and parents and whoever is listening to this! Get this list- email me chuckgrafft at gmail or check the Kobe Union Church website on the top far right where it says “more”- I will make - actually Liew will make - a page- of "Who does God say I am?" get it, read it, believe it! Remember it! and become who God says you are! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind!

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