Monday, February 23, 2015

Genesis 17:1-16 Changing Destiny by Changing Self-Identity

KEY VERSE: Gen 17:5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.

God’s covenant with Abram and Sarai involves a change of self-identity: from Abram (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of a multitude”) and from Sarai to Sarah (both meaning “princess” or “queen”). The covenantal sign was circumcision, which corresponds to baptism (Col. 2:11-12).

At baptism, we experience a similar change in our self-identity: we are no longer children of wrath but children of God. We have a new self-identity as God affirms us at baptism as “my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased.” Our life and work should flow out of this self-consciousness that we are children of God, imbued with divine power and authority to serve the King of kings. My self-identity should not be derived from my work titles but from my spiritual identity. And my main calling as children of God is to become fruitful. As "Abraham" means “father of multitudes”, so we are called to be father of many spiritual children born through the Gospel.

Even as I serve God in my work and ministry environment among believers and non-believers, I should remember who I am and also whose I am. I don't belong to the company or church I work for. I serve the King. Only as I live out this self-identity that was confirmed in my baptism that I can arise and call the devil’s bluff whose aim is to confuse and condemn God's people.

Father, I thank You that I am a son of God, that You have called me to fruitfulness with authority. Amen.


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