Monday, February 5, 2018
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Long ago it was a TV show, and it was resurrected then again and became a TV show again. The idea maybe still had some life in it! It was called "To Tell the Truth." Maybe you saw it. Three contestants would all tell the panel their name and they all claim to be the same person. The host would read a little background on the person, and then it was up to the panel to try to figure out which one was the real one. The climactic moment came when the host said, "Will the real Joe Slobotnik please stand up?" They all shift in their chairs. Finally, one would stand up. The real one!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Will the Real You Please Stand Up?"
For many people, the struggle to identify which person is really them is a deeply personal one; one that rages inside of us. It's very important that you decide which of three identities is really you. In fact, the identity you choose will determine much of how you make your life choices and whether you feel significant or insignificant.
Identity number one - the victim. If you've been hurt, betrayed, abused, abandoned, or neglected, it's possible to live your whole life thinking of yourself as a victim. Which means you'll spend much of your life feeling worthless, depressed, distrusting, maybe negative, or self-pitying. And your relationships, your decisions, your goals will all be shaped by choosing "victim" as your identity.
OK, identity number two - the sinner. While the victim focuses on their pain, the sinner focuses on their failures. You're frequently reliving the things you've done that were wrong, maybe very wrong in some cases. If you decide that the "you" that is going to stand up is you, the sinner, you're also going to feel worthless much of the time, and ashamed and never good enough. You'll accept and you'll expect a little life because you think that's all you deserve. And your shame will cause you to feel, "What's the use?" and that will set you up for more and more mistakes.
But there is a third identity you can choose. It's spelled out in the Bible in 2 Corinthians 5:17, our word for today from the Word of God. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" There's an amazing transformation that takes place when a person gives themselves to Jesus Christ. From that moment on they have the right-they have the spiritual power-to live as a new person!
So if you belong to Jesus Christ, the real you is identity number three: new person in Jesus Christ! You don't have to be identified by your past pain. You don't have to be defined by your past sin. You are now defined by your relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. You're a child of God. You're a servant of Christ. You're a make-a-difference person because you are forgiven, you are clean, and you are free from the shackles and the shame of the past. You're about your future now, not your past! Don't forget who you really are! It's time for the real you to stand up!
And if you've never given yourself to the man who died so you could be forgiven and new; if you're ready to begin a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, you need to tell Him that right now. "Jesus, I've been running my life long enough. You drive from here on. I know that me driving my life is sin, and I know You had to die to pay for that sin. I turn from my sin to You and grab you with both hands to grab You as my Rescuer from my sin. Beginning here today, Jesus, I'm Yours."
I hope you make today the day that you begin this great life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ and become a new creation in Christ; start with a clean slate. If you want to do that, I want to encourage you to go to our website, which actually is called ANewStory.com. There's a lot of information there that will help you be sure you've begun this relationship and your new story can begin today.
From today on, your life can defined by your relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ the healer, the forgiver of the past, and the author of a new beginning!