Links Daily Devotional

Who Are You?

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17, NASB)

Are you defined by what you do? Who you know? Your portfolio? How about being defined by your golf scores? I felt like my golf scores defined me for many years, and even now I could subtly succumb to performing for attention to determine my value. I still remember the categories for PGA Tour players to determine our pairings for the first two rounds. They were: players, money winners, consistent money winners, and tournament winners.

Even now, I think that others will value me more if I shot 68 instead of 80. Right? And maybe it will help me in ministry if I shoot better scores. Oh, I know, there is a value placed on someone who knows and can play this game and who is also involved in a golf ministry, but it can be taken to an extreme.

She said, ‘I am a child of God, and he loves me very much.’It is always instructive to look at the Father and see how he understood the question of identity. When Jesus, God’s Son and faithful carpenter for many years, started his public ministry at the age of 30, he submitted to baptism with John the Baptist. And God profoundly affirmed his identity, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” This was before he had performed any miracles. Before he had healed lepers and blind men or turned water into wine. Amazing truth here. God truly loves us, and our earthly performance does not determine who God knows we really are.

So, did Jesus just bask in the afterglow of this affirmation? Hardly. He was driven by the Spirit into the wilderness where he was tested and tempted. And Satan’s first words were anything but random: “The tempter came to him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God…’” The first attack was to question Christ’s identity that had been so recently confirmed by the Father.

Satan’s strategy continues today and our own identity is attacked: “If you really are a new creation… If you are really a follower of Jesus…” Don’t succumb to Satan’s trick. God has given each of us a new identity, and his love for us is constant and unimaginable.

A few years ago, my mom was confined to a dementia care facility and had lost all her memory. A young, tattooed and pierced caregiver loved my mom; she was such a help to our family. I asked her about her story and her life. This young lady had endured many challenges, from abandonment to drugs to physical and sexual abuse. She then completed a four-year program in a Christian girl’s home that tested her endurance. I asked if she was pleased that she finished this extreme test. Her response was so beautiful: “Oh yes, I found out who I am.” I then asked, “Who are you?” She said, “I am a child of God, and he loves me very much.”

You are a child of God, and he loves you very much, as much as his own Son. He wants a relationship, not a performance. A love like that is worthy of response.

Randy Wolff
May 2, 2017
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