Your New Name: Finding Identity in Christ

Your New Name: Finding Identity in Christ

Lana W

I’m Lana, a native Oklahoman. Married 17 years to the first boy I ever dated. Mama to two amazing, darling girls. I’m a coffee-drinking, book-reading, home-educating night owl! An accountant in my life B.C. (Before Children), my dream job would be getting paid to read all day.And if you’re into Meyers-Briggs personality tests, I’m an ISTJ. Most important of all, I’m a follower of Christ.
Lana W

What’s Your Name?

What are your children’s names?  Do you have a story or reason behind the name you chose?  Recently, a friend and I were talking about how the names we eventually gave our children were so much different than we originally planned.

I started thinking about all the names we receive when we become followers of Christ.  Isaiah 62:2 says, “You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.”  So after studying the Scriptures, I found these names given to us by the Father:

 

Members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)

Have you ever been a guest in someone else’s home? Even though we are welcomed into the person’s home, we often feel as though we must be on our best behavior during our stay. Sometimes we might even feel like an outsider, not knowing the host’s normal routine and expectations.  The good news is, God wants us to be permanent residents in his home…not just a temporary visitor.  When we are members of God’s household, we can be at ease, knowing that we are His no matter what!

Chosen to be Adopted (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Before God ever created the world, He formed a plan to adopt us into his kingdom.  It brings him great pleasure to make us part of his heavenly family!  Just like adopted children take the name of their new family, we receive the name of Christ that we can wear proudly.  This name signifies to others that we belong to him!

 

Children of God (John 1:12)

When we believe in Jesus and receive him into our lives, we are born of God and are given the right to be called his children.  What comfort we can take, knowing that we have a good and generous Father!  And more than that, we immediately gain a whole host of brothers and sisters in Christ.  I find such comfort in knowing that I have an extended family around the world.  It’s not the blood running in our veins which makes us family, it’s the blood of Christ joining us together eternally.

 

Heir to the kingdom and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)

Because we are member’s of God’s household and his children, we are also his heirs.  As Galatians 3:29 says, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  Remember, the promise to Abraham was that all nations on earth would be blessed through his offspring.  Since we belong to Christ, we are part of Abraham’s seed, though most of us are not Jews.  One thing that resonates with me is that an heir has a duty to properly handle the inheritance.  As heirs of the kingdom, we will “bless all nations” by telling them the good news of Jesus!

Citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)

I find it especially comforting to know that my citizenship is not of this world.  At a time when the whole world seems to be in political turmoil, I know that Jesus is my King.  He is sitting on his throne at this very moment, and no matter what happens on this earth, He is in control!

new name

 

Which name that you’ve received from God speaks most to your heart?

 

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Putting God First, Means Putting God First

Putting God First, Means Putting God First

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Melissa W

Melissa is an Okie with a Texas heart. She is a wife and a mother of four. After having taught in the classroom for 8 years, she now happily finds herself as a stay-at-home mom. In any spare time, she enjoys leisure reading and also enjoys writing on her blog (chroniclesofakeeper.com). Out of all the little adventures of life - her greatest joy is found in her relationship with God. Walking in His grace, living in His peace and resting in His redemption is something she is very passionate about sharing with others.
Melissa W
Follow Me

A hint of daylight is breaking through the window in my bedroom. The rooster is crowing.
The slightest rustles are being heard throughout the house as my kids begin to wake and
find their way into my bedroom. I stretch; I yawn. I reach over to my nightstand and grab
my phone.

I have heard it said that it takes 21 days to form a habit (although, I’m pretty sure research has proven that to be misleading). No matter, somewhere in the last few years I have formed quite the habit. I don’t know when I really started doing it or how long it took to become a habit. The moment my eyelids start to flutter and can barely hold themselves open…I reach for my phone and begin.

I scroll through – any missed text messages, new emails, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, my local news apps, and, of course, the weather app(s) on my phone. After I have had my “fix” – I dress for the day, I make my bed, get breakfast going, feed my kids and then, finally, take time to read my Bible and spend a little time with my Heavenly Father. Of course, as a mother of three little ones, this time is often interrupted.

So, later in the day, while the kids are napping (or having quiet reading time) and the house is silent, I try and delve further into God’s Word and have some serious one-on-one time with Him. This was my routine.

Then the Spirit moved.

I was convicted about my morning routine recently, during a ladies’ Bible study.  It was time to change. I became aware of the need to have my quiet time with Him in those first few moments of my day, while all was still. My children all wake up at different times, especially now in the summer months. My earliest riser is usually up by 7:30. So, I began to make sure I was out of bed, dressed, and in the Word between 6:30 and 6:45. I needed that time with just me and my Lord, no interruptions, before I began my day.

Yes – I will be honest – initially, it was very hard. I am NOT a morning person and giving up a perfectly good hour of sleep seemed…incredulous. However, the reward was more than I could hope for. He was my strength and joy when I truly did not have it.

Still, the Spirit moved.

One day, while listening to a favorite song of mine, my soul was yet again challenged. Again, He was further drawing me to a place of closeness with Him. I prayed and I sought Him. I began to evaluate my life to see if there was anything that I was placing in front of Him. I caught a small glimpse – a glimpse the size of an iPhone 6. It was in that moment when I understood that putting God first, meant putting God first. Up to that point, I had changed everything about my mornings except for my little phone routine.

I began to evaluate my life to see if there was anything that I was placing in front of Him. I caught a small glimpse – a glimpse the size of an iPhone 6.

I wake up every morning and still reach over to my nightstand, except now I keep my Bible
there so that it will be the first thing I reach for. I still want to mindlessly peruse through my phone first thing every morning, but I want to seek Him more. I wake up each morning at the hour I need to so I can have time with Him. I still crave more sleep, but I crave to know Him more. Every day, with His help, it gets easier. Every day, He proves to me that He is worth it. Every day, I want more and more to put Him first.

“My soul yearns for you in the night;

in the morning my spirit longs for you…”

Isaiah 26:9 (NIV)

“My soul yearns for you in the night;in the morning my spirit longs for you…”

I began to evaluate my life to see if there was anything that I was placing in front of Him. I caught a small glimpse – a glimpse the size of an iPhone 6. pinterest
Putting God First pinterst

 

I Can Throw My Hands Up Worries Down

I Can Throw My Hands Up Worries Down

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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“I’m Gonna throw my hands up worries down!” When I heard this line in The Love and Outcome’s song “The God I Know,” it struck a chord in my soul that has been echoing in my heart for days now.

This struck me hard for many reasons both past and present.

The chords of my past – “It’s more than a rescue…”

When I was baptized at the age of 14, I thought that Christ had completely freed me from my sin and forgiven me for everything, BUT I didn’t completely understand it.  So for years following, I lived in slavery to doing things right.  I lived in a works based system. From minute to minute, I was saved and then not because I messed up. (At least that’s how I thought about it.)  I would pray that I would be forgiven, get it right and live a perfect life.  It wasn’t until years later that I finally understood an amazing truth that scripture reveals but I didn’t understand:

Grace.  

Yes, by grace we are saved.  That I knew.  I understood it was Christ’s amazing love for us that brought Him from heaven to the cross, but I didn’t understand that grace carries me throughout life.  Grace does not stand there in condemnation from minute to minute.  Grace says you are not perfect and I forgive you anyway.  You never will be perfect.  Instead, God’s grace gives us the One as our counselor who is THE PERFECTER of our FAITH.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
-Paul, Ephesians 2:8-9

So now, I throw my hands up worries down…

I Can Throw My Hands Up
Worries Down
I Remember When He Showed Me How

To Break Up With My Doubt
Once I was lost but now I’m found
No Strings Attached When He Saved My Soul
I Want You To Know The God I Know
Oh, You Gotta Know
Oh, The God I Know
-from The Love & the Outcome’s song The God I Know

In every moment, I’m free and alive.  I don’t have to worry about my salvation because it is found in my faith in Christ Jesus!  He is the living Son of God, who died on the cross and rose from the dead taking Satan’s hold of death from us who believe.  We are free!  All of us who have given our life to Christ.  So, if you have found yourself living in the bonds of slavery to works in order to find salvation, study this deeper so you can allow Jesus to set you free in Him!

Yes, our faith will lead us to wonderful deeds that glorify Christ, but we have to understand it is not our deeds that save us.  It is the gift of grace through our faith in Christ Jesus that saves.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17

Our Prayer

Lord, we can’t even begin to thank you for your immense love for us.  For freely gifting us your grace, mercy and eternal forgiveness.  You have found the only way to reconcile us to you and you did it because you loved us so much.  Let our love for you be evident through our actions.  Help us to grow stronger spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally day by day so that we can combat the lies that Satan uses to keep us enslaved.  Only you have true freedom and your freedom is a gift that we cannot earn.  Thank you for this magnificent gift and help us to see it for what it truly is.  Let us appreciate it, praise you for it, and share the grace that you have so freely given us.  In the One who gifts grace to all who believe in Him – Amen!

If you haven’t listened to this song, The God I Know, now is the perfect chance.  How does it speak to your heart?  Don’t you just want to throw your hands up and your worries down and trust God with your entire being?

 

I Can Throw My Hands Up, Worries Down pinterest
What Makes You Beautiful – Piano Guys {Music Monday}

What Makes You Beautiful – Piano Guys {Music Monday}

Kristi F

I am an Oklahoman by birth, a Texan by current living situation, but claim the world as my playground.I love to travel and hope to someday soon take our family on adventures to far off lands, where we can share God with others and experience all the wonders He has created.

I am a mother of 5 crazy, homeschooling children ages 10 & under, wife to an amazing man, and daughter of the King of the Universe!I enjoy reading, making my kids laugh, cooking, all things natural, learning to play guitar and dusting off my piano skills.One day I hope to run again, but until then I’m learning patience.
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The Piano Guys take a piano and use it in a completely different fashion than most of us would expect a piano to be used.
Sometimes we need to take off our earthly filters and see that God can do so much more with what he has provided than what we can even imagine!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
Ephesians 3:20-21

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