The following is a guest blog from Michael Boggs. Learn more about Michael at the end of the post.
I’m not much of a blogger. In fact, there are so many people writing blogs now, I feel there are enough “opinions” going around for everybody. Facebook status updates and tweets tell us everything from what a person ate for lunch today to how tired someone is from a long week. 1000-word musings rant on why this world is going to “you know where” in a hand basket. I get bored with all the information. Overloaded. Numb. That’s why I’ve come to appreciate Truth that’s worth telling. Worth hearing. Worth living. And I can only think of one book that contains that kind of truth. Truth that is powerful, encouraging, challenging, and loving. That truth is only found in the Word of God.
I long to hear the Truth, the truth of God. The truth told by His people, His children. The scriptures lived out in world that’s listening more to the lives we live than the words we say. I’m not sure I can even live up to the standard the scriptures set for all of us that try to communicate the Gospel, but I will try. And only with the grace-filled help of a loving Father will I succeed.
Matthew 3 tells us about the baptism of Jesus. This is one of the most profound and powerful scriptures I’ve ever read. Here it is: Matthew 3:13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
I’ve read this passage of scripture at least a couple hundred times, and it increases in power every time I read it. Why? Because you have a Father who’s willing to tell the whole world, literally, about His love for His Son and how pleased He is with Him. It’s the beauty of a perfect relationship. Here are a couple of observations that I’ve read and want to pass along to you.
Theologians argue that this is Jesus’ point of identity—the moment when Jesus knew who He was and was ready to accomplish His mission or purpose. The basis for that argument is immediately after hearing God the Father say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased,” Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Spirit, tempted by the enemy, and then walks out to begin His public ministry. That’s right. Until then we have no record of Jesus performing any miracles. No casting out demons. No healing the sick. No proclamations that He was the Son. The Promised One. The Savior. Which brings me to one of my first conclusions:
Identity should always precede purpose.
Who we are should fuel what we do. Not the other way around. If your purpose fuels who you are, then who you are will constantly change depending on what you do. It sets up a dangerous mentality of “I am what I do.” My friends, we are far more than what we do. Those of us who are believers are God’s children. His beloved. His chosen. His. We are first and foremost HIS. Everything we do is fueled or powered by our relationship with God and who He says we are. Jesus most certainly lived this way as even in his last breath Jesus says, “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.” From beginning to end, Jesus was God’s Son. Loved and pleasing to His Father.
Side note: I realize some of us don’t do well with the father analogy. If you’re reading this and you’re having difficulty relating to a loving, caring and truth-filled Father, I am sorry. Surely God will redeem the brokenness of that relationship either on this side or the other, but I will remind you that you can be more than your Father’s mistakes. You can be the change in your family. And honestly, you need to be the change in your family. Your spouse, your kids and your friends will become better for it. You will become better for it. It’s hard but press in and press on. Okay back to the story.
My second conclusion is this:
Believe who God says You are.
Listen to what the scripture tells us in Isaiah 43:1:
But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Then in verse 3 and 4 it says:
For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.
There is that statement again: I love you. There is so much power in those words! A long time seminary professor said, “After all my studies, after all my spiritual pursuits, the truth that is hardest for me to understand is found in a child’s song:”
Jesus loves me. This I know.
Even if we spent all day, every day trying to discover the Father’s love for us, we would not even scratch the surface of his affection. And to quote one of my favorite hymns, “In Christ Alone”, there will never be anything that can “pluck us from His hands“. Romans 8:37-39 says:
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I wonder: if we allowed ourselves the privilege of believing theses scriptures and not just hearing them, what would happen to our families, our churches, our places of work. Is it possible that God would use His Word to transform us (Romans 12:2) and then transform the world? Yes. You and I need to be the change in this world. To live like we’re loved beyond measure. To be confident in our identity as a child of God and pursue His heart in this world with the time that we have. That’s’ the truth.
So maybe I’m not a blogger but I am God’s son. His beloved. His. And that’s truth worth telling!
Hear it, believe it, and live.
Michael Boggs is the Worship Leader of Kairos. A former member of the Dove-award nominated band FFH, Michael now pursues a solo career. In addition to leading Kairos worship every Tuesday night, he continues to keep a rigorous, solo-touring schedule performing and leading worship over 120 dates a year. Michael has also lent his songwriting ability to other artists that garnered him multiple Top 10 singles as well as a featured song in the major motion picture release “Facing the Giants”.
His first solo project, More Than Moved, was released October 19, 2010.
Read more of Michael’s writing on his blog or follow him on Twitter.