• Lori Somerville

Ephesians 2:10 - 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Identity is defined as:

1. the state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions

2. the condition of being oneself

3. Condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is; the qualities, beliefs, etc., that distinguish or identify a person or thing:

So why identity? I really believe that God wants to release us as men and women into the fullness that he has for each one of us and in order to do that we are going to have to wrestle our way through that super-annoying question – Who Am I?

If you are like me, your answer to that question likely changes depending on where you are: Work, Home, Church, Out with friends, At the grocery store. I am not saying we are different people at all those places but just look at all the different hats that we : employee, employer, wife, husband, father, mother, caregiver, partner, friend, mentor, mentee, member of God’s family and I’m sure you can think of a ton that I missed.

Why does it matter?

Since plunging into the subject of identity God has been pressing upon me just how important Identity is and what a heart-issue it is. God wants to get to the heart of the matter with each one of us & give us His words which convey His heart to describe ourselves. He wants to set us free from the lies that have kept us tethered to false ideas of who we are or who we should be.

What are the words he wants to give you to describe you? Do you know? Or are you longing to hear them?

God still seeks those whose heart is completely His.

Scripture tells us, 'The eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His” (2 Chron. 16:9, NASB).

He’s already in your corner and no matter how scary this search for identity might seem he’s already in it.

Here are a few reasons why Identity matters:

1. We can’t or won’t step into the fullness of all that God has for us if we are not confident in our identity.

2. We will miss opportunities to be used by God and to impact the world around us.

3. He has designed a race that only you can run. If we don't get to the bottom of our identity issues we will never get on the track to walk out our destiny – the one that God planned for us.

4. HE WANTS TO USE YOU. There are lives HE wants to touch only through YOU. Imagine that for a minute. What faces are flashing in front of you?

5. God’s power is in us but if we don’t wrestle through our identity issues it’s like a half-charged battery – adequate but it could do so much more.

6. A life of regret. I don’t know about you but when I get to go home and see Jesus face to face I don’t want to be carrying any regret of the things I could have done, or of being the person I could have been.

Let's get serious about the business of setting ourselves free to become the man or woman of God that he planned for us to be.

What is stopping you?

  • Lori Somerville

In Matthew 8 there is a story about Jesus that struck me the other day. Jesus enters Peter's house and finds Peter's mother-in-law in bed with a fever. Jesus touches her hand and the fever leaves and she gets up and begins to serve Him. (See Matthew 8:14-17). The entire story is only 3 lines long but doesn't this paint a rather amazing picture of what our Christian walk should look like? Jesus touches us and we rise from our "sick beds" and begin to serve him.

The word service gets a bad rap in today's "me first" world. Yet even Jesus made it clear that his purpose in coming to earth was to serve others. Jesus modeled service for us. The Bible tells us that everywhere that Jesus went he served the people around him: he taught them, he fed them, he healed them, he cast out their demons, he encouraged them towards freedom. And then he carried out the greatest act of service of all – when he placed himself on the cross for my sins and yours.

Service is nothing more than love in work clothes.

The Bible from Genesis to Revelation is the greatest love story ever told. It’s the story of a God who created the world with us in mind. Who created a way out when sin entered the world causing us to be separated from him. Who has a plan to reunite us with him. Why? Because he loves us. He chose us. He longs for a relationship with us. Think about that. The God of the universe created the world with us in mind. The God of the universe sent his son to die for our sins. What greater service is there?

In a world that at times feels like it is commitment - phobic there has never been a better opportunity to let our service reflect our love for our families, our churches and our communities. The world we live in today is saturated with words...….everyone has an opinion and feels obligated to share it...….which is why the world needs us as Christians to become a people of less talk and more walk.

We don't need to shout our opinions louder than the next guy …. what the world needs is a demonstration of the love that God has for each person we encounter today...…..through our acts of service.

Matthew 20:25: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

We are called to become great servants. To let the love that God has poured out on us pour out of us into the people around us through our service.

Who are you called to serve today?

  • Lori Somerville

I scrolling through my Facebook Feed the other day and post after post was of a bible verse or some cute little statement pulled from the Bible and given a modern slant (some completely taken out of context but that's a whole other post :) ). It made me wonder are we really helping to share the gospel by doing this or are we giving Christianity a bad rap?

I will absolutely be the first to admit I do it. All the time. And sometimes people reach out to me and tell me that the words I posted helped them through their day. So it's not a bad thing. Unless our bumper sticker verses on social media are the only exposure people have to Christians and to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our Christian faith is not defined by knowing a few Bible verses or a certain prayer but having a living, breathing, vibrant relationship with Jesus. And let's be honest, more and more people every day are falling victim to the lie that what happens on our social media pages are real. I've had adult friends be totally devastated by someone "unfriending" them on Facebook. So let me start by simply stating this: "The reason Facebook and other social media applications are so popular is because they allow us to escape our reality". On social media you can be anything you want to be. It's every little girl and boy's dream - you can put yourself out there as a superhero or a princess and even get your ego stroked in the process.

But the reality is that none of it is real. And when we are walking through a season of grief or loss or hurt or when we are facing off with some of those deeply broken places inside of ourselves a bumper sticker version of a verse from the Bible isn't going to cut it. We need relationship. We need community. We need to know that even when we fall there are people around us who will pick us back up. Even if we walk away there are people who will stand watching and waiting for our return so that they can welcome us back with open arms. We were created for community.

And the reality is that when all we give a person is a couple of words pulled from the Bible we are robbing that person from receiving the raw beauty and power of the Bible. When I first began reading the Bible none of it really made sense to me. I didn't get what a lot of it had to do with me. Until I did. And then my whole world changed. My time of reading the Bible went from something I did because I was supposed to to something I did because it releases power and strength into me to face my day, my week, my month, my year.

The world needs Jesus. That has never been more true. But what the world really need is us. A group of people bold enough to present them with the real gospel. To introduce them to the real Jesus. To the strength and power and joy that our faith provides. They don't need more words...….they need a people willing to disciple those around us right into the Kingdom of Heaven. They need people willing to wade right into their brokenness and walk through it all with them.

Will you be the one?