Pastor Neil Olcott shared this remarkable true story about the necessity of knowing a true identity.
“The Mystery of the Missing Owner” read the headline on an unusual section of the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, February 6, 2005. The supplement was actually a legal notice published by the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office seeking to give money away to rightful owners – the contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes, forgotten bank accounts, security deposit checks, uncashed paychecks, and dividend checks.
More than a billion dollars is owed to nearly five million people and businesses that the Treasurer’s Office could not trace. The front page of the supplement listed the names and last known addresses of 10 individuals or couples each owed over $100,000. And what followed were 116 pages packed tightly with names from A to Z (Lucilee Aakeberg to Leonard E. Zyzda) – 113,000 names of people all owed more than $100 in cash and/or stock!
It (is) such a shame that people could be unaware of their rightful treasures. Yet that is precisely the condition of many Christians who live without taking advantage of God’s promises of peace, strength, comfort, wisdom, love and many other spiritual treasures to which all heirs of God are entitled. What treasures might God be holding in trust for you to claim?
By discovering our spiritual identity (who we are in Jesus Christ), we can discover unclaimed treasures. Do you want to receive more spiritual riches? Then step into who you are in Christ!
Many people find their identity in what they do. When we meet someone, after learning their name, what is the first question we often ask? “What do you do?” But we cannot live with an identity that we receive from a job or a relationship or an accomplishment. That will never be enough! We must find our identity in Jesus.
Kenneth Boa, author with Gail Burnett of the book, “Wisdom at Work”, explains it this way: “As Christians, our identity in Christ far transcends our identity in our work. We are children of the living God, fearfully and wonderfully made and deeply loved by the Father.”
Sadly, too many people have experienced Identity theft. I am not referring to the physical and digital identity theft that most people think of. As Wikipedia describes it: “Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifying information, like their name, identifying number, or credit card number, without their permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.”
Instead, I am referring to spiritual identity theft, which is much more dangerous. Instead of living as a redeemed child of God, we listen to what the enemy has to say about us. “You are a loser! You are a disappointment! You are a failure! You are an accident of nature!”
Listen to what Jesus has to say about you: “You are precious! You are Mine! You are loved with an everlasting love! You are an ambassador of reconciliation, a declarer of the Kingdom, a minister of the Gospel.” As the Apostle Peter, who went from failure to redemption, declared (1 Peter 2:9-10): “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” Learn who you are in Jesus Christ and live in that identity!
This Sunday, May 29, we will continue our new teaching series, “AND”, by focusing on the Holy Spirit AND Water Baptism from the account of Jesus’ baptism (John 1:19-34). Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broad-cast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream to both locations every Sunday morning. (So sorry about the sound problem last Sunday!)
This week’s emphasis in the Sunday 9:30am Adult Bible Class is on discovering spiritual gifts (Romans 12:1-3).
Coming Up: If you are interested in being baptized in water, please let me know. It is coming up soon.
Aloha ke Akua!