IDENTITY           “WORTH CONSIDERING”       6/29/22

Identity is an interesting and continually changing factor in our lives.   Who are you?   When I was born on a cold September 22  midnight on a hillbilly farm in Kentucky in 32.   My first identity was -0- as all thought I was dead.   Deep forceps creases in my head, but then I started breathing and crying so they bundled me up and went back to saving my mother.  She could no longer have children after me and they gave me my dad’s name, Norman Kenneth Smith and just added a Jr.  So as he was Norman, I became a Kenneth….and started growing up into that identity as Kenny.  Then at about 19 month old they thought I needed a little help from God in my life and took me to church to get baptized.  I vividly remember the experience, I thought they was going to cook me after washing me over a big stone bowl of water, So I let out a big scream, they let me go, ran out of the church and threw rocks at the minister when he came out the front door.  My first God experience which somehow, did not work, just got wet.  Over the next 20 years, tried out many identities, none of them really seem to fit.  But when working in Long Beach I ran into a guy who truly had an identity in Christ Jesus as a Christian.  First time I had ever seen one of those kind of people before?  So followed Floyd  around for about 6 month and got caught.   Floyd and Dick took me into the Bible into 1 Cor.3:11-15 & John 3,   and for the first time it made sense and that change my identity has to be in Christ Jesus and to really become alive, but had yet to learn not to throw rocks.

The process has now been going for some 67 years.  Not easy to get ride of the identity of Adam in his pride and rebellion and put on the humility and obedience of Christ Jesus.  Lots of rooms in my house that needed cleaning out so as to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God.

Looking back over my life now at getting close to 90 and it is amazing as to how many rabbit trails I have taken out of the “WAY” of God in trying to allow the Holy Spirit to fill my heart with the presence of God.  There is such a bunch of seduction of counterfeit identities that are available.  There are so very many ways now to dress pride & disobedience up to look humble and obedient, especially in religious traditional circles.

When I was finally baptized as a Christian in 1955 and told that I needed to identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus.  That was nice…   Now some 67 years I am just starting to realize the explosive impact of that simple statement.   In my life now, it has become very simple, does it lift up Jesus or me.   Is the conversation to help the Kingdom of God or to make myself look good in lifting up myself.    Are my thoughts self centered or Jesus Centered?  Who is in control, The nature of Adam or the Spirit of God.

Often I share a meal with friends and family and most of the time the youthful energy takes over the conversation and it is only about this world and the things of this world.  In fact it seems almost impossible to bring the conversation around to anything spiritual.  Most of the time the conversation is taken over by some strong personality to elevate themselves with their version of there past conquests and events.   And I listen to their Adamic nature trying to stay alive when from God’s point of view the Adamic self centered, what about me, nature has to die in order for the Holy Spirit to really fill us and make us alive in Christ Jesus as LORD.    Otherwise as the children of Adam, we will remain as the Walking Dead , John 3.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   So what do we look for to know that we are really saved?
When we start to pick up the identity of being in Christ Jesus we will begin to rest in the LORD about ourselves.  Our interest will begin to be concerned about others.   We will become concerned about their salvation and pray to know how to reach them.   As we put on the mind of Christ Jesus and are really in HIM as Lord then the things that He was interested in will become the things that we are interested in. We will experience our salvation in the changes of where we place our time in life.  Is it for me or is it for Jesus.

Faith come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.   We will find ourselves spending more time in searching the Scriptures for the Truth of God and in seeking the wisdom of the God about things than just trying to prove how much we think we know about the world..  John very clearly tells us:    “Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever. “    1 John 2:15-17.

We are encouraged to put on Christ Jesus,   “ Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value]. 3 For you died [to this world], and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, [a] appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  5 So put to death and deprive of power the evil longings of your earthly body [with its sensual, self-centered instincts] immorality, impurity, sinful passion, evil desire, and greed, which is [a kind of] idolatry [because it replaces your devotion to God]. 6 Because of these [sinful] things the [divine] wrath of God is coming [b] in the sons of disobedience [those who fail to listen and who routinely and obstinately disregard God’s precepts], 7 and in these [sinful things] you also once walked, when you were habitually living in them [without the knowledge of Christ]. 8 But now rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, malice, slander, and obscene (abusive, filthy, vulgar) language from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old self with its evil practices, 10 and have put on the new [spiritual] self who is being continually renewed in true knowledge in the image of Him who created the new self—   11 a renewal in which there is no [distinction between] Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [nor between nations whether] [c] barbarian or [d] Scythian, [nor in status whether] slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all [so believers are equal in Christ, without distinction].  Colossians 3:1-11.
In prayer this morning I ask the Holy Spirit what I could write to be helpful.   I Pray that it works and helps you to have faith to put more of your life into HIS Kingdom rather than wasted on the stuff of this very temporary life and world.
Yours, in HIS great Love and wonderful grace & mercy,   Ken<><   www.OhanaChurch.Life  
                       There is but one CHURCH of Christ Jesus as LORD.   
               All who Love, Honor & Obey HIM are eternal members 

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