All He Says I Am| By Jasmine Beard

Who are you?

I recently had the opportunity to share with some high school students, and we chatted about identity.

There are two questions that people young and old ask themselves at sometime in their life.

1.) Who am I?

And

2.) Why am I here?

When I asked the students the first question…

One student  cheerfully and confidentially responded, “I’m a football player.”

I responded, “Well, what if you get injured really badly, and you’re never able to play football again? Then who are you?”

I didn’t say that to stump him or to belittle his answer, but to simply get him thinking.

We are not what we do.

As people, we like to identify ourselves with everything except God, whether it be in what we do for a living, in our past, what has happened to us, or in what others have to say about us!

 “But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.” 1 Peter 2:9 (TPT)

What lies are you believing about who you are today?!

“Worthless.”

“Ugly.”

“Won’t amount to anything.”

“Trash.”

“Rejected.”

“Abandoned.”

“Forgotten.”

“Not special.”

It would be impossible to walk throughout life without having someone say something hurtful to you!

Sometimes things can be said so often to us that instead of rejecting those words we accept them and begin to wear them as our identity.

As we accept those words as our identity, we go throughout life trying to prove those words wrong or by self-medicating to numb the pain, overcompensating with makeup, numbing with alcohol, or hopping from relationship to relationship.

But all these things are only a cover up – a cover up to a truly broken and hurting heart!

Today, I want you to break-up with those word curses and refuse to speak them to yourself or agree with them again!

YOU ARE NOT WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU!

You are a daughter or son of the most High God!

And He calls you:

“Beautiful.”

“Worthy.”

“Forgiven.”

“Free.”

“Bold.”

“New.”

Think on these things instead because what God says about you is TRUE!

The Bible tells us that we are made in the very image of God. Meaning our looks, characteristics, and personality all derive from Him!

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NLT)

So today, if you are questioning “who you are?” and “why you are here?”, look no further than to the One who created you in His likeness.

Once we know Whose we are, we will have a better understanding of who we are and what we were created to do.

When our identity is solidified in The One who is identity we no longer have to waiver or fret in the question of who we are because we find out who we are only in Him. 

Walk With Purpose| By Chelsea Verdin

It was day two at my new job, and frankly, I was feeling overwhelmed by all of the information my brain was trying to absorb and process at the same time. 

I could remember thinking to myself, “You were not created for this extreme amount of multi-tasking. You are going to hurt yourself with information overload.”

I was feeling a little pressured by the amount of expectation that had already been placed on me with this new title.

Then, like a gentle reminder from heaven, my new boss said to me, “I like the way you walk. You walk with purpose.”

I stopped for a moment and turned to thank him with a smile. I imagined God’s voice whispering these words to me and felt my anxious spirit soften. I had only heard this phrase said one other time when my Pastor told a story a few weeks earlier. I had in no way imagined hearing it here, in my new work space. However, I needed to hear those words more than anything. I needed the refreshing reminder that my life is not mine. It is not working or living for the simple act of happiness. I am alive because God created great purpose within me. It was not earned, gained, or learned, but wired inside of my DNA.  

Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows the plans He has for us-to prosper us and give us hope and a future.

John 10:10 says that the enemies purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy, but that Jesus’ purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says that there is a season for everything under heaven.

When I read these verses, I hear the word PURPOSE. God has created a purpose for us. Jesus’s purpose was to give us life. Everything under heaven has a purpose. You, me, the animals, the plants, the galaxies, we all have a purpose in life. 

I used to believe that we only had one purpose. Each person was granted one purpose that they had to fulfill. However, I do not know how correct that is anymore. If we are in one season of our life, there is a particular kind of purpose that goes with that season. And as we change seasons, so do our purposes. Of course, we all have a giant purpose that is exactly the same – the great commission from Jesus to make disciples. 

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” -Matthew 28:19 (NLT)

However, I believe we each are destined to fulfill temporary purposes as we achieve the great big one. I believe they intertwine and connect us to the greater one. Whether we are studying for our future professions, working full time, taking care of sweet babies, or creating a home, somehow, someway our “smaller” purposes will set us up for the bigger one. 

We are not walking just to get to study hall, just to finish our shift, just to pick up the crying baby, and just to make sure the house is clean. We are walking because there is a purpose to our lives. There is a purpose in our steps, and each one of us is walking into the bigger picture of God’s glory, something that we could never get closer to by sitting still. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” 

A lot of us are walking to fulfill an unsatisfied happiness that could never be accomplished because happiness is based on feelings. I believe that if we walk because we know there is great purpose in where we are going, who we are around and what we are doing, then great joy will begin to flow from our lives. Not happiness that is fleeting, but great joy because we are fulfilling that which has been wired inside of us. 

Maybe your boots were made for walking, but you, you were made for something bigger than you could ever imagine. And each step, each act, each encounter sets you up to fulfill that. Keep walking, friends. You are getting there.