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Beyond the Walls is a weekly email to help Christ followers move beyond the walls of their church buildings, homes, comfort zones, and culture to engage people where we live, work and play with the Gospel.

 

Who are you?  Have you ever noticed that most of our conversations rarely begin with that question?  When we first meet a person, the most common question we ask is “What do you do?”  While there is nothing inherently wrong with that question, it does give us insight into a mindset we have embraced in the Western world – “What we do defines who we are”.

But is that true?  Not at all!  But how many of us live our lives believing that lie?  This is the reason many of us become performance-driven.  We believe that how we perform, how we succeed, what we do is the determining factor in defining who we are.

I see this played out in the church all the time.  A person comes to know Christ as their Savior and the first thing we do is begin telling them what they need to do to be a good follower of Christ – read their Bible, pray, witness, go to church, etc.  Whether intentional or unintentional, we have communicated to them that their identity as a Christian is defined by what they do.  As a result, the Christian life becomes all about checking off the boxes leading to a religious life marked by guilt and legalism.

When God created man and woman in His image in Genesis 1, He blessed them and declared that everything He had made was very good (Genesis 1:31).  God declared man was very good before He had given them one thing to do.  Their identity was a man and woman made in His image.  And since they were made in the image of the One who was Creator and Sovereign, He blessed them and called them to live a life reflecting who they were as image-bearers of God:

“And God blessed them.  And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:28 ESV

You are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Your identity is based on who you are in Christ, not on what you do for Christ.  Our calling is to live out of our identity which comes out of who God is and what He is doing.

As we go beyond the walls to make disciples, we do so as image-bearers of God.  Thus, we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14) because God is light (1 John 1:5).  Because Jesus (the One in whom we abide) is the light of the world (John 8:12). 

We walk in confidence as we go beyond the walls to dispel the darkness with the light of the Gospel because Christ, the light of the world, has overcome the darkness (John 1:1-5). 

You are the light of the world!  That is your identity!  Walk in that identity this week as you speak “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4) into people’s lives. 

For the Fame of His Name!

John Whaley
The Rooftop US

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