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In Christ (a #FridayFavorite).

Happy Friday, friends!  I was thinking through of what to post for #FridayFavorites today, and there were tons of options rolling through my head.  I mean, really, the Lord has been so kind to give us wonderful, Gospel-centered resources!  But I began doing my personal Bible study, and I could not get out of my head that THIS was my favorite.  God’s Word and what it teaches us about who Christ is and who we are because of Christ.  THAT’S my favorite.

So, I’m sitting in my chair, studying Ephesians 1, and am just becoming more and more joyful as I specifically study verses 3-14.  I recently taught on these verses to a group of youth girls, but even though I had just done that, these verses were still so fresh and wonderful to me. Truly, I will never grow weary of being reminded of the truth in these verses, because these verses remind us of who we are in Christ.

I’ve written about this so many times before, but I have an identity struggle.  I have struggled with placing my identity in things that are of this world.  I have placed my identity in cheerleading, academics, and being a mom, just to name a few.  I think that we all have this struggle in one way or another, and the way to battle this is to immerse ourselves in the truth of who Christ says that we are in Him.  So, friends, let’s dive in!  Let me share with you my favorite thing today, and that is who we are because of who Jesus is!  Ephesians 1:3-14 teaches us that we are…

Blessed with every spiritual blessing (verse 1).  Sometimes, we place our identity in our earthly blessings.  We think we’ve reached a certain status because of the car we drive or the size of our house.  Or maybe, we don’t have those things so we feel that we are “less than”.  Friends, these material things will fade, but the spiritual blessings that we have in Christ are far greater than anything that this world has to offer and they will never be destroyed.

Chosen (verse 2).  Anyone else out there ever struggle with rejection or being left out?  Maybe you didn’t get chosen for the team you wanted to be on, or maybe a group of people left you out.  Either way, I think that we’ve all felt very un-chosen before.  But friends, the God of the universe CHOSE us in Christ before He created the world (when we were actually very un-choosable)!  Even better?  He did this so that we could be presented holy and blameless before Him.  That means that when the Father looks at you, He doesn’t see your sin or your past.  He sees you clothed in Jesus’ righteousness!

Adopted (verse 5).  This one has a special place in my heart, since we are in the beginning of our adoption process.  When we adopted our child, that means that she will have all of the benefits of being a Pattillo.  We will call her “daughter”, and she will be 100% ours, just like Hunter and Isaac are.  She’ll get a seat at our table for family dinners, enjoy lake days with us, and family vacation.  This is exactly what the Father does for us, but so much more.  Before Christ, we are spiritually orphans.  But when we accept Christ, the Father adopts us into His forever family.  We have a seat at His table.  We are His, and He calls us “son” and “daughter”.  Oh, how wonderful and beautiful this is!

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Redeemed and forgiven (verse 7).  Before Christ, we are all sinners.  Scripture calls us dead in our sins and enemies of God.  But once we accept the free gift of grace and mercy that Jesus provides through His work on the cross and His resurrection, we are redeemed and forgiven.  This means that our identity is no longer in or defined by our past sins.  You cannot out-sin the grace of Jesus.  When He died on the cross, every sin that you would ever commit was paid for.  Live in the redemption and forgiveness of Jesus for His glory!

Sealed with the Holy Spirit (vs 13-14).  Back in the day, a king’s seal meant that it couldn’t be undone.  With the seal of the Holy Spirit, our salvation cannot be undone.  We are Jesus’ forever.  The Spirit seals us and is our guarantee of the inheritance that the Father is preparing for us (another piece of our adoption into God’s family!).

So, yes, on this Friday, these things are my favorite.  I love being reminded of who I am in Christ!  And yes, don’t forget that “in Christ” piece.  None of this is about anything that we have done or could do.  Without Christ, we are lost and walking in the ways of the world.  In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, and sealed with the Holy Spirit!

To finish up, I would love to challenge you.  Take a sticky note, mailing label, etc. (something like this…)

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and put who you are in Christ on it.  Maybe you’re struggling with rejection, so you want to be reminded that you’re chosen.  Maybe you’re struggling with shame from past sin, so the words “redeemed” and “forgiven” stick out to you.  Whatever it is, write it down, and put it somewhere where you can be often reminded of the Truth of Scripture.  And then, may we not forget to walk worthy of this identity of which Christ has so generously lavished on us.

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