It's Not What You Do...

i.den.ti.ty: the fact of being who or what a person or thing is

A while ago, I talked about my journey in finding my identity in Jesus. I'm so thankful that the Lord is still teaching me about who I am in Christ. I've been studying 1 Peter for the past month, a book that my pastor back home in Kansas City called "Instructions for Joyful Exiles." It's certainly a double meaning for us, as we are both strangers and exiles living here on earth in a spiritual sense, and in Cambodia in a physical sense as well.

One verse has stood out to me - a call to remember where to put my hope.

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; 
set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13 

For me, it is so easy to put my hope in anything but Jesus - in finding a job, moving to a new city or country, going back home, having a good reputation. I love the picture that the phrase "set your hope fully..." puts into my mind - that of throwing yourself on a rope that is your only way out of a raging ocean; or knowing that the only rescue you have is the appearance of a Savior. It's recognizing that what I do doesn't make me right with God, and it won't save me in the end. Only knowing who I am in Christ and setting my hope completely on him will save me.

So I made a reminder to put on my computer desktop. Honestly, I have no idea where this saying came from; I may have made it up myself. It just came to my head one day, but it probably was said by someone else! 

I now look at this picture through a web of cracked glass, as the screen on our laptop was broken when it slid off a table and landed on our hotel room floor last week. Miraculously, the laptop works fine, although from my freak-out reaction, you'd have thought I'd severed a finger. That was a whole 'nother opportunity for me to see where my idols are. When I thought I wouldn't be able to email, Skype, pin, tweet, facebook, blog, work on the one health project I am involved in, or otherwise have any contact with the outside {Cambodia} world, I.freaked.out. And I learned another meaning of this saying - don't let yourself be defined by the mistakes and sins you commit (have committed and will definitely commit in the future). 

Hold fast to Jesus. Set your hope on him. Define yourself by his grace.
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