Don’t Steal Your Identity

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood, misused, and misapplied passages in the Bible is Jesus’ declaration in Matthew 7:7-8 (“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.).

That promise from Jesus is not an open invitation to get whatever we want from God. In the context of what Jesus was explaining, He was talking about seeking God in prayer and receiving from God what He wills for our lives.

The more we seek the Lord and find our hope in Him, the more we desire what He desires for us. The more we know His Word, the better we understand His will (and thus know how to pray and what to pray for). Only when we know and follow Him according to His Word can we experience the life He has for us. Only then is our identity in Him.

If you are trying to live your life with some other purpose, it is like you are stealing the identity for which you were created. When you try to find hope and meaning outside of the Lord, you will only be disappointed (sooner and/or later).

On Sunday morning for our Resurrection Sunday worship celebration, Lord willing, I will be preaching through 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 on our “Resurrected Identity” when we live in the light of Jesus’ resurrection glory. To experience that resurrected identity and live with a purpose and satisfaction that endures, we have to know and follow Jesus Christ and continually depend on Him. To do anything else is to steal your God-given identity.

Even good things (family, career, hobbies, etc.) can be used for evil, and if we find our identity in those things (or anything besides Jesus), then we are committing a form of idolatry. We are settling for far less than God’s best for us. We are not “asking… searching… knocking” rightly (biblically) and will thus fail to find and receive what God has for us.

Are you finding your identity in Christ, or are you stealing your identity for your own purposes? Do not give in to the temptation to think any other identity will fulfill you. It will only fail you.

If you want to experience the identity for which you were created, please recognize that identity only comes in and through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn more.

Hope Based on History

If we are honest with ourselves and with one another, our mood is typically based on our current circumstances. Only when we have a perspective that looks beyond our circumstances does this reality change. When things are going well, we are more likely to be happy. When things are not going well, our happiness diminishes.

Of course, this is the normal result of human emotions. If someone frustrates me, I get angry. If someone hurts me, I get sad. If someone encourages me, I get happy. If someone scares me, I get frightened.


Today is Good Friday. Why do we call it “good,” though? No one except the enemies of Jesus who condemned Him to the cross would have called it good then. Of course, until we turn from our sins and place our faith in Jesus Christ, we too are His enemies. It is our sin that put Him on the cross, for He died in our place.

Looking back, though, we know why the day we remember as Jesus’ crucifixion is called “Good Friday.” He took our sins upon Himself and died on the cross, and on the third day – Sunday – He rose from the dead. If He had died and not risen, then today would not be Good Friday. Today and every day would be terrible. We would have no reason for hope.


Looking back at history, though, we do have a reason for hope. In fact, our hope is based on history – the historical fact that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and rose again. Now, all who turn from sin and place their faith in Jesus Christ will be forgiven and made right with God. What an incredible promise (Romans 10:9-13)!

So, as followers of Jesus, we can have hope, joy, and contentment that is based on something far greater than our circumstances. We have hope based on history because history has secured our future.


If I lost everything I had today, I am sure I would lose my joy. To say my day would be ruined would be a drastic understatement. What if I somehow knew the future, though, and knew that I would have it all back (and much more) tomorrow? Well, then my day would obviously not be ruined. I would actually have great joy and contentment, despite my present circumstances because I would be aware of what is to come.

And, that is how hope and satisfaction are for followers of Jesus. When we have the proper perspective (knowing of the eternal inheritance for all who follow Jesus), then we can be hopeful and satisfied even when things are not going well. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we can find joy and contentment. Even when faced with great loss in this life, we can find joy. That is the present and eternal reality of the gospel.


On Resurrection Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching from 1 Peter 1:1-9 on the great truth of our journey “From Death to Life,” sharing three realities for those who have new life in Christ. If you have yet to experience that new life, would you consider clicking the picture below to learn how? If you have experienced that new life, are you finding your hope and satisfaction in the gospel?

To learn the simple message of the gospel and how to have a right relationship with God, please click HERE.

Pandemic-Crushing Power

In the midst of COVID-19, when life as we knew it just a few weeks ago has come to a halt (or at least changed drastically), some things have not changed. The birds are still chirping. The sun is still shining. The grass is still growing. The wind is still blowing. Our dog is still happy and hyper.

Really, life has continued like aways, except for humanity. Life is different for us.

This ought to remind us, though, of our weakness and God’s strength. We are utterly helpless in the grand scheme of things. We need God.

There is a power far greater than pandemics. His name is Jesus. On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching (online) about “The Power of Jesus” (Matthew 27:62 – 28:20). The power of Jesus is matchless. He has power over the lies people tell; He has power over death; He has power over our lives. Have you surrendered to His power? Do you rely on His power?

If you have turned away from your sins and placed your faith in Jesus, then you have the hope (in the gospel) and the power (through His Holy Spirit) that are far greater than the hopelessness and infection rate of COVID-19. Do not lose sight of that reality.

If you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus, though, will you do so today? He does not promise to save you from pandemics physically, but He does promise to save you from sin and death – the curse that is far worse than COVID-19 – eternally, if you will simply call on His name. Click the picture below to learn more.

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no under name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus alone saves.

What’s more fresh than a haircut?

Oh, the joy!

Earlier this week, I gave all four of our boys haircuts, and Marsha gave me a haircut. Are haircuts not one of the simple, great pleasures in life that we take for granted? While I do not particularly enjoy giving my boys their haircuts, I certainly do love getting a haircut and enjoy the feeling of having a clean cut.

Does not everyone enjoy the feeling of a haircut (unless it is just a bad haircut)? Naturally, we like things that are fresh and new. We like, for the most part, cleanness and crispness. We like a revival, and a haircut is like a revival on your head.

Here’s why…

The reason we like revival and freshness and newness is because we were created that way by God. He put within us a desire to experience these things. Is it because, deep down, we all need these things?

When God made the heavens and the earth and all that exists, everything was not only fresh and new but also perfect. Even more perfect than your ideal haircut, God’s creation did not need freshness and newness and revival. But, sin entered the picture in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate fruit from the one tree from which they were forbidden to eat. From that point forward, we have always longed for revival and freshness and newness.

We long for what we can’t have.

Conceived, born and living in sin as fallen human beings, we long for the day, whether we realize it or not, when everything will be perfect. Because of sin, though, we are unable to obtain that perfection, but an answer, only One answer, exists. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we can begin to realize that newness now, and more importantly, experience the perfection for all of eternity. This is only possible, though, in and through a right relationship with Jesus Christ.

How can one know if he has that right relationship, though? Simply put, you must repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection for your salvation. When people ask me about the assurance of salvation, however, I encourage them to read 1 John.

Proof of Resurrection Life…

Easter morning, Lord willing, I will begin a new sermon series through 1-3 John called Prove It. A Christian’s life should be living proof of a right relationship with God, a right relationship that is only possible in and through Jesus. So, as we begin the series Sunday morning, I want to challenge you to consider if your life is living proof of resurrection life – a life that is fresh, new and everlasting.

Of all four boys, Micah is most like me when getting his hair cut. He loves it!

Serve like the Savior

Serve like the SaviorDuring our Maundy Thursday service last night, I preached from John 13 about what it means to “Serve like the Savior.” Also, in today’s edition of the Fulton Sun, I wrote a related devotional and thought I would share that here.

As we remember and celebrate Good Friday today, I would like to challenge and encourage you to serve like the Savior. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ – after living a perfect life – was preparing to die on the cross for the sins of the world. On the night before He was crucified, Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet – a task reserved for the lowest of slaves.

Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, washed the feet of those for whom He was about to die. If anyone deserved to have His feet washed and deserved to be served, it was Jesus. After all, He was about to give his life for you and for me – we who only deserve His wrath. Yet, He is the One who did the serving.

After washing their feet, Jesus said to His disciples, “I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:35). How often, though, do we walk through life wishing to be served, rather than looking to serve others? Let us seek not just today but always to serve like the Savior.

Indeed, today is a GOOD Friday. Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and rose from the grave on the third day. He lives and reigns forevermore! Do you believe in Him? Have you trusted in Him for the forgiveness of your sins and reconciliation with God? Eternal life is found only in Him. If you want more information about what it means to know God and follow His plan for your life, please read “the Story” below.

Who is Jesus?

Do you remember Jesus’ disciple, “doubting” Thomas? Here was his response to Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and appearance to the twelve and then Jesus’ subsequent response to Thomas:

 Thomas replied to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen Me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” -John 20:28-29

That is now our appropriate response to Jesus – “My LORD and my GOD!” Jesus Christ, because He is Lord and God, did not correct Thomas’ appropriate response. Rather, He said we who do not see Jesus’ hands and side and yet believe are blessed. Why are we blessed? We are blessed because we are believing in the Lord and God of the universe – the only One who can take away our sins and save us from eternal death. Praise God for the resurrection! We have no hope, no victory and no salvation apart from Him!

Happy resurrection day, everyone!