I have been finding messages on painted stones around the community where I live. Someone leaves them on park benches, on bridge rails, and along the bike trails. Yesterday, I found the one pictured above and reflected how its message was synonymous with the post I had been working on, maybe you’ll agree.
This post was inspired by reviewing some old sermon notes (2009). As I unpack that sermon, I will share it with you. The original sermon was titled How to Overcome Stress. The title captured me because the past year has rendered numerous stresses to life. I know I’m not a loner in that feeling and it was good to remind myself of the truth presented in the message.
Jesus Remains at Peace
Let’s take a look at how Jesus remained at peace during stressful events and how we can too. Jesus was secure and confident in his identity. I found eighteen verses in the book of John where Jesus makes direct, “I am” statements. We often describe ourselves by what we do or our profession, i.e. I am a teacher, I am a doctor, I am a lawyer, I am a mother, I am an artist, etc. As a child of God, these are a part of describing who we are but they are not the essence of who we are.
The Innate Character of Jesus
Jesus’ I am statements are bold confident declarations of his intrinsic nature. I am: the bread; the light; the gate; the shepherd; the Son of God; the resurrection; the way, the truth, and the life; I am the vine.
Like Jesus, we can know and be assured of who we are. Jesus allowed no one but God to define him. When we lack confidence in who we are, others will attempt to define us. The evil one will try to manipulate us and may do it through pressure from peers, parents, siblings, teachers, coaches, etc. Insecurity generates a life of stress to perform and conform to others.
We know who we are, by understanding whose we are. There are only two options. We are either a child of God through our adoption or we are a child of the evil one to whom we were all naturally born. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, CSB).
There is a penalty for our sins. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23, CSB). This is a spiritual death— eternal separation from God.
The great news is anyone can be adopted into the family of God. According to the Bible, God the Father loves us so much, that Jesus Christ, his son, died for all to be saved from their sins. “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, CSB).
Confess your sins, repent—turn away from your sins, and believe in Jesus. “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23, CSB). All who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby become children of God. “But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name” (John 1:12, CSB).
The Holy Spirit will then dwell in you confirming you are a child of God. “For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:14-16, CSB).
Dear reader, do you have peace of knowing whose you are? If not, I pray you will consider choosing Jesus today. If you have further questions you can send me a message by using the contact form.
Father God, forgive me of my sins. Thank You for making it possible to be adopted into Your family. Each day, show me how to live as Your child in a way that brings honor and glory to Your name. Amen.
I am a follower of Jesus Christ, grandmother, great-grandmother, foster care parent, and trauma survivor. I enjoy sipping tea, writing devotionals, prayers, short stories, and unburdening my heart to the Lord. Check the About page if you want to read more of my story.
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