“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as if I were dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.” – Revelation 1:17-18.
The book of Revelation opens with the apostle John exiled to the island of Patmos. “It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast.” As he turned to see who had spoken, he beheld the Lord and was terrified and fell toward the Lord’s feet. Christ sought to comfort him in verses 17-18. Focus on one statement in that passage: “the first and the last.”
Jesus emphasized the reality of His eternal being again and again. He is, was, and always will be God the Son. All things begin with Him, all things end with Him, He is all and in all, He is timeless, He is from everlasting to everlasting, from eternity to eternity.
We are Christians first and last which is a clear statement about our identity. The identity is stated clearly. It does not say that I am a father first, or a businesswoman first. In Christ, we find our identity. We are no longer defined by our past mistakes, our failures, or our insecurities. Instead, we are defined by His love for us. We are His beloved children, and He has a perfect plan for our lives.
When you see yourself as Christ sees you, others may begin to see you that way too. If you are steady and secure in your identity in Him, your actions, speech, and life will express God’s love. You may find more opportunities to love others and Christ will be all the more glorified.
How can you do that? You just remember how God has loved you in all your imperfect, rebellious, stubborn, and challenging ways. God pursued you and put His love upon you despite those things. The Lord would call you to pursue others, set your love upon them, and forgive them when they sin against you and hurt you. When you practice these things, you will know what it means to live in harmony with God and people.
Having an understanding of our identity in Christ means you will never have to work to fit in or be someone you’re not. Jesus has rescued you, redeemed you, and brought you into His family forever. God has the answer to our identity issues. It is all about who He is and what He can accomplish in our lives if we let Him. In all things, at all times, He is with us. Every problem, every feeling of inadequacy, every painful circumstance- He is there with abundant resources to offer us. His love for us is truly unconditional, for once we have our identity in Christ, we become who we really are: Children of God.
Jesus called us to identify with Him. Follow Him. Serve Him. Belong to Him. In doing so, we are choosing to find our identity in Him and in no other.
- The only way we grow in our identity in Christ is by seeking the Lord because He is the one who restores and transforms us. Agree or disagree and why?
- Our fingerprints identify us as unique individuals with specific identities. According to Ephesians 1:4, what truth should be fully realized in order to find identity in Christ?