A Brand New You!

Today’s Truth
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)h

Friend to Friend
There’s a game that I’ve played many times at conferences and retreats as an icebreaker activity.  Each person has the name of a famous or infamous person taped to her back.  The women in the room walk around giving each other clues about who they “are.”  “You always put off worrying until tomorrow.”  “You had so many children you didn’t know what to do.”  “You were the queen of soul.”  The point of the game is to figure out your identity. Once you guess correctly, you take a seat.

 As I watched the women play that game, I was struck with its similarity to real life. Many times we determine our identity, by what others tell us about ourselves. You are so smart. You are a loser. You are so pretty.  You could do anything you set your mind to.  You are so uglyYou are so fat. After a while, those messages determine how we see ourselves, whether true or false.  It is only a mature person who realizes that just because a person perceives you a certain way, doesn’t make that perception true.

 One of the greatest blessings of becoming a Christian is receiving a new identity. In the Bible, when God touched and changed a person’s life, many times He changed his or her name.  He said, “You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow” (Isaiah 62:2). Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham.  Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter.

  Likewise, when we accept Christ, God gives us a new identity and a new name. If we want to know our true identity, we need only look in the mirror of God’s Word to discover it. It may be different from what you’ve heard others say about you, but which do you think is more accurate?  Who do you think has a better perception of who you are, your Creator, or other creatures just like yourself?  If you are a Christian today, the following verses describe your new identity. 

My Identity in Christ 
I am the salt of the earth.Matthew 5:13        
 I am the light of the world.  Matthew 5:14  I am a child of God.John 1:12   
 I am part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of  Christ’s life.John 15:1,5 
I am Christ’s friend. John 15:15 
I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit. John 15:16  
I am a joint-heir with Christ, sharing  His  inheritance with Him. Romans 8:17      
I am a temple of God.  His Spirit dwells in me. I Corinthians 3:16  
I am a member (part) of Christ’s body.  I Corinthians 12:27 2  
I am a new creation.  C orinthians 5:17 
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.2 Corinthians 5:18,19   
I am a saint. Ephesians 1:1 
I am blessed with every spiritualblessing in heavenly places.Ephesians 1:3        
I am sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit who has been given as a pledge of my inheritance.Ephesians 1:11  
 I am God’s workmanship created in Christ to do His work that He  planned beforehand that I should do.Ephesians 2:10          

That is a lot to put on a nametag, but that is your new identity.  Neil Anderson, in his book Victory over the Darkness notes, “The reason so many Christians are not enjoying the maturity and freedom which is their inheritance in Christ is because they hold wrong self-perceptions.  They don’t see themselves as they really are in Christ.  They don’t understand the dramatic change which occurred in them the moment they trusted in Him.  They don’t see themselves the way God sees them, and to that degree they suffer from a poor self-image.  They don’t grasp their true identity.” 

 In that paragraph, Dr. Anderson described me perfectly.  For the first twenty years of my Christian walk, I had no idea who I was, what I had, or where I was in Christ.  As God opened my eyes to the truth, I realized that how I saw me and how God saw me were in stark contrast to one another.  I came to a crisis of belief…who was I going to believe?  And that, dear friend, is the same question you need to ask yourself.

 

 Let’s Pray  
Dear God, I thank You that I am a new creation in Christ.  I admit that sometimes I feel just like the old me and act like the old me, but I believe by faith that I am brand new.  Thank You that my identity is based on my position in Christ rather than my performance on earth.
In Jesus’ Name,  Amen

 

  Now It’s Your Turn
Do have any labels from your past that are in conflict with what the Bible tells you about who you are as a child of God? Look at the above verses.  Do have a difficult time believing the truth about who you are? 

Now here’s the big question. Are you going to believe what others have told you in the past or are you going to believe God? 

Now, go back up to the list of verses again and read them to yourself aloud.

21 Responses to A Brand New You!

  1. Teresa January 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    You’ve hit the nail on the head for so many of us, Sharon. We don’t want God (or others) expecting anything “big” from us because we don’t think we can fill those shoes. We don’t look at what He has made us to be and what He can do through us. We don’t want to be the Moses or the Gideon because it means believing Him and changing how we view ourselves. Thanks for addressing these issues.

  2. Sandy January 13, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    Thank you so much for reminding me (us) of how God really looks at us and that is all that matters. My old feelings of inability to live up to other’s standards will still raise their ugly head and it is hard to put them down. I know that God sees me in a different way and He did say that I am a new creation and old things are put away. Recent crises have allowed those old labels to resurface, so I have to say thank you for the scripture message today.

  3. Alej January 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    I just had “A Brand New You” forwarded to me and I was so encouraged by it. I have been walking with the Lord for about 15 yrs and on and off have had this struggle of insecurity wondering how exactly I am supposed to be, thinking the worst of myself and really feeling like everyone else did too, because of the past, weather it was my own doing or another…then beating myself up for losing focus of the Truth. So when I am looking in the ‘mirror of God’s Word’, that is when I have that peace, that is when I have focus enough not to worry so much what others think, as long as I remember I am His, and He loves me, washed me clean, made me new…and ‘being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you(me) will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ”
    Thank you!

  4. Regie January 14, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Sharon, I have been reading devotions from Girlfriends in God for 2 1/2 years. I have always enjoyed your contributions to the ministry and I have purchaced several of you books, which have also helped me.

    I have always struggled with identifying my view of self verses God’s view of me. I asked Him the day before yesterday to help me realize who I am and help me see myself as He sees me. I believe that as the stresses of life and the attacks of the enemy bombard us we allow ourselves to get distracted so we will be less effective as a christian woman. Thank you so much for your help and insight. I will print the devotion and read it often.

  5. Julie January 14, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    I became a Christian when I was a senior in highschool. My whole life I struggled to “fit in” to be like everyone else. I wished I were anyone but who I was. When I asked Christ into my life and the Holy Spirit came into me, that was one of the first things that changed. It was dramatic. It seemed that all of a sudden I didn’t care what anyone else thought about me, God made me, and loved me for who I was and that was enough for me. I had more confidence than ever before. Now, I still struggle with self image at times, but no where near the extreme I did growing up. I do have to remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for today’s message. It’s nice to be refocused.

  6. Bridgett January 14, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    God knew what I needed to hear these things this morning. Sharon, I am so thankful you allow yourself to help others through God’s word. This is a very hard and frustrating time in our life. We constantly struggle with the perseception of ourselves from our small community and our very dominating school district. (109 kids pre-K thru 12th!)We have high needs children from the foster-adopt system, who our community, school and others do not understand. Even though we are not the parents who caused the trauma in their young lives–we are the parents they call the doctors and social services and complain about. We have even been told to “get better kids–not these with problems”. Backs are turned on us at school functions and I’m forever telling myself it doesn’t matter. But it does, because we’re human–only God can comfort at times. Thank you, I was up a lot in the night angry over things said behind our back again to child’s doctors. It is not in human nature to be kind to one another………..I needed God’s word this morning.

  7. Michelle January 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm #

    Thank you for providing that message of reassurance today, which comes at a good time. I recently attended a women’s bible study where someone continued (she has done this in the past) to talk about “Catholics” and basically put the religion down. Just because I attend a Catholic church on Sundays does not make me less of a Christian. I pray every day, I read my bible (and Girlfriends in God) and I know that I am secure in my relationship with the Lord. So, as you said, while the world may see me as someone who “memorizes prayers”, I know how special I am in the eyes of God.

    Today’s message provided me with some reassurance that I am exactly where God wants me to be right now. Thank you.

  8. Liza January 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    Thank you so much! As a pastor, often times the difficulties of our flock and the difficulties of life as the leader of the church bring heavy burdens. I was reminded by your devotion for today that I am “new in Christ Jesus” and that all that I do is a reflection of His love for me and my love for Him. God is still faithful and still in control. May God bless you today – as God has blessed me!

  9. Cassie January 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

    Thank you for your wise words of encouragement today. I have been struggling with “me.” The scriptures you posted have indeed placed me in a better position to understand who I truly am.

    It was just yesterday that someone said they saw me in a particular view. I honestly do not feel comfortable about being in that position and so while I take the Word of God and apply it today, I will sit comfortable in the perfect image of God’s required identity.

    Thank you Sharon! You have been helping to making it easier for me to live.

  10. Monique January 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    What a blessing to receive this email this morning. It was a timely reminder of who I am in Christ as I have been struggling with meeting others perceptions of who I am or should be doing: I am His & He is mine-it’s all that matters. Thank you for sharing these wonderful truths!

  11. Nichole January 14, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I just started receiving Girlfriends in God two days ago, and I love it! Especially today’s message! I really needed that. I have been struggling so much this past year after having had my second baby with my “body image”..when I look in the mirror all I keep thinking to myself is how “fat” or “ugly” I am…I am going to write some of those verses on a notecard(s) and keep them in the bathroom,, whenever I find myself thinking that I am fat or ugly, I am going to pick one up and read it out loud to myself!

  12. T January 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Thank you so much Lord for sending this word.

  13. Sharon D January 14, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Thank You for a wonderful devotional. I have made a written declaration of my tru idenity and intend to place it on my bedroom wall and read every morning. I struggle with my old self daily, yet God is faithfull ti remind me, as he did this day, that I am His and He is mine.

  14. Premila January 14, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Thank You for the message. It is very hard to remind myself about “My Identity in Christ” when I walk through trails and when people and dear ones put me down. I need to have these verse engraved in my heart with diamond. I am going to use one verse a day as a status in my facebook for the next 3 months. I should have my daughter memorise these verse sequence. What a great reminder! Thank you for being God’s instrument in publishing his voice.

  15. Debbie Hartness January 14, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    Wow, this devotional could not have come at a better time in my life. I struggle so much with who I am —— being single — no children, and 52 years old, this area is a constant area of attack. I plan to take each of these scriptures to memory, finding peace, comfort and strength to live for Him.

  16. Apryl January 15, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    I struggled with this so much and I had no idea of my Identity In Christ for many years. I would always feel as though I was not measuring up and was inadequate in many areas of my life. I knew the worlds view and believed it to be so.(I now refer to this as stinkin’ thinkin’) This struggle was huge and negatively affected my entire being bringing me very near to the breaking point. I learned that I needed to deal with an issue of PRIDE. Feeling and believing I did not measure up and was not good enough,was basically saying to God that he didn’t do a very good job when he created me! I had never thought of that…I insulted God my creator each time I thought and spoke aloud something negative about myself… and that lead to repentance. My humbled heart was then able to learn about and believe in my identity in Christ and begin speaking truth to myself. Thank you God that you walk beside us, love us through our mistakes and never make any creation which is not perfect in your sight. Thanks for a fresh reminder of the truth which we all need.

  17. Cindy January 15, 2010 at 11:14 am #

    Thank you for this, and other great devotions. Very encouraging.

  18. Lee Ann Ryerson January 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Dearest Sharon, I did not read this until this morning and God had me wait for a reason, I am a victim of verbal abuse-constantly for the past 26yrs. I can not do it anymore, I have no self, no self-esteem. When I was reading the bible verses I kept saying to myself-nope, not that, nope not that either. I have been a Christian for a very long time, I am a Sunday School teacher, practice what you preach is hard when you don’t think you are doing it right. Thank you, thank you for all your time and prayer that you put into these devotions. You are doing God’s work & your devotions are helping. This was a true – as said previously – hit the nail on the head. Please continue your prayers and your love for all of us girlfriends, you are the one God has chosen for us to go to and learn from.

  19. Ellen January 16, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Who am I going to believe—myself or God? I battle a lot with doubt—of my salvation. Though I know the truth of God’s Word (that assurance is possible), and though I’ve prayed trusting Christ, arrows of doubt are shot at me over and over. Yet it’s not about me. It’s all about the Lord; I must continually put down roots in His Word and His revealed character to remind myself that yes indeed, salvation is mine because of Who He is and what He’s done. His truth trumps my feelings. May we all live that out as we walk in the truth of who He is and who we are in Him.

  20. Martinez January 18, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    This was something i really needed.. i know am still gonna have to work on it and remind my self that i am Gods child. and He loves me just as i am.. right now i been going through a lot of changes, mentally and physical. The cause of it i think it started when my relationship wit my boyfriend ended.. i got really confused and lost track of who i was. And right now as i was exercising before reading this i was telling my self that i need to come back to who i was, because i do not like this me right now.. but now i can see how even God loves me just as i am right now.. is hard to understand still, because am not use to it. i really did forget about me. i didnt take care about my body at all anymore. i was hurt. so for me is as if i was in a really bad dream. but is reality, i am really confused right now about alot but i know God will come through as i need it. I know He loves me and understands all am going through..and as always He has done in my life, He will shine on just like He knows how to in the perfect time and make everything better.. i believe!

    thank you so much.. i pray God Bless you more, to be a more blessing to others.

  21. Aurora January 18, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    Thank you so much because I also battle with this I believe in GOD and in His word so He remolded me and made me into a new identity so I am a new creation . AND I thank my GOD….

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