Walking at my favorite hiking trail, I spied a large bird atop a great pine tree. Four times smaller in size was a pesky bluejay, which held its ground in the presence of the hawk. A pecking fight ensued regarding the jay’s nest of tiny eggs, and instinct dictated a need for mother to protect her helpless unborn. Without questioning or wavering, she attempted to irritate the red-tail into flying away. After some time the blue jay chased the hawk away. It dawned on me — that small creature never doubted her identity as a mom.
Pastor Bob Brown wrote a booklet, “Don’t Forget Who you Are.”
What a sobering possibility that men have — we can forget who we are.
Are you kidding me? I can forget who I am? Yes, a bird never does, but I often do. In fact, I may have never ever realized who I am or whose I am, and I may have never been told. A tragedy for a Child of God.
To illustrate this identity issue, I found this at “gospel reformation net:”
During my freshman year of college, I made a friend who informed me that he was adopted during his elementary years. It was an overall great experience for him, and he and his family shared a deep love for one another. During our second semester, his adopted dad passed away. You could see the tears building up in his eyes as he spoke about his father’s sudden massive heart attack.
My friend attended his dad’s funeral and returned to college a week later. As he returned, we sat and talked about our faith and his dad’s death. Then he began talking about the shock he felt to be listed as a son in the obituary. Even more, he begins to tell me how his dad left him money in a trust for the future. He was shocked to learn that he received the exact same amount as his two brothers and sister. Being the only adopted child, he admitted that he assumed that he would receive less. He kept saying repeatedly, “I didn’t realize that my dad loved me like them.
I was struck by his words. As he spoke to his mother about his feelings, he admitted that he never would have imagined that his dad considered him as a true son. To this his mom replied, “Son, on the day you were adopted, everything changed.” Everything changed. He was a son. A true son!
As was the case with this young man, to think of ourselves as an after-thought or second-rated can happen to us. The young man in the story didn’t realize that his dad loved him the same as the flesh and blood siblings. Now realizing his true status, he nevertheless missed it for many years — he had identified as an adopted, (not real) child.
In another story, Pastor Brown relates to us when God called Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt. His immediate reply to God was, “Who am I?” Exodus 3:11 Identifying with his upbringing in Egypt, Moses had no idea of his identity as a chosen of God. He was 80 years old.
In the story of the prodigal son, the elder brother had an identity in what he did. Since the prodigal forsook the “honorable” life, the elder dispised him. But the love of the brothers was equal in Father’s heart.
Peter was sifted, and Jesus prayed for him, for his faith to not fail. He denied that he even knew the Christ. After the resurrection, Jesus told Peter, “feed my lambs,” “feed my sheep.” His identity, as seen in the eyes of Jesus, never changed, but for the first time Peter realized it. He was loved by God, unconditionally.
Friends, we must see the unconditional love, the unchanging status of our relationship, that we were bought with a price, adopted into the family as equals. We receive the same inheritance, the same benefits. If others do more or do better, or we fail or even struggle; our identity is not assessed in these things. Only through the atoning sacrifice of Christ are we seen by God
We are members in particular, in in the words of Pastor Brown, “you are indispensable ” love ya