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PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Jul
30

Identity Theft

Elwin Ahu

Scripture
"This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." They asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." ... "I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 'MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,' as Isaiah the prophet said." (John 1:19-23)
Observation
I really like this guy, John, not necessarily because of any great feat he might have performed, nor because of the following he might have amassed. What impressed me about him was his confidence in who he was. Notice how these priests grilled him on cross-examination: "Who are you?" It would have been nice, perhaps, to be "the Christ," or to be Elijah, or any one of the prophets. Maybe it would have given him favor, or privileges for being a known dignitary. But, John wasn't about to steal anyone's identity. He knew who he was and stood confidently in his assignment, even if it was confessing to being a mere servant and messenger of the Lord.

Identity theft in America has become one of the leading crimes being committed today. And in many instances, it's not difficult to do. But, what's worse than having someone steal your identity is if you were to give away your identity. Yet, we do, don't we, when we either compromise who we are, our values, our philosophies, in exchange for lesser standards, or forfeit our true identities under false pretenses. "Who are you?" Shouldn't that be a question we ask ourselves daily?

Identity theft may come in many shapes and forms:
A father who forfeits his responsibility to the family for the sake of money, position, promotion;
A wife who "sells" her emotions to another for a relationship she never had at home;
A person who tosses his character out the window, as he undermines the trust of close associates in order to gain an upper advantage in business.

John was different. He knew who God made him to be and he knew his assignment. And because of that, it established a level of confidence that allowed him to fulfill his responsibilities and ushered in the Savior of the world.
Application
I need to do a better job at understanding my identity, who I am in Christ, who the Lord designed me to be, my roles and responsibilities as a husband, father, friend; one called to "bring good news to the afflicted; ... bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners." (Isa. 61:1). There is freedom when we walk in the assignment of God, freedom from distractions and strength to finish the race strong.
Prayer
Thank you, Father, for Your continued faithfulness in my life. Keep me within Your calling and focused on the assignment You have for me.

Devotions for July 30

Isaiah 60,61,62
John 1

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