Transformed – teen devotion – February 5, 2023
One truth shared: God-given identity moves us to live differently.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:9,10
Different me acts differently
Two teachers teach the same class to the same grade at the same school. Both teachers give the same test on the same day. Teacher 1 says, “Don’t cheat” and then leaves the room to use the bathroom. What happens? Many students cheat. Teacher 2 also needs to use the bathroom while the students are taking the test. Before leaving the room, Teacher 2 says, “Don’t be a cheater.” What happens? No one cheats. Why do many students cheat for Teacher 1 but no one cheats for Teacher 2? It is to do with connection between identity and actions. Actions (“don’t cheat”) do not determine identity. Identity (“don’t be a cheater”) determines actions.
Look at the identity God has given you. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” All of these groups are people who are different from the rest. If the rest are the sinful people of the world, then that means God is saying your identity is a person who is sinless. God has called you out of the darkness of sin and unbelief and brought you into the light of forgiveness and faith. Your identity is now as a person who has no sin.
You might think that can’t be true. You know the sin that you have committed. But remember, your actions don’t determine your identity. God does. Instead, your God-given identity is going to determine your actions.
So here is what you should do. Every day, wake up and say, “I am different. I am a holy, chosen, child of God.” And then, go be who you are! Do things that godly children of God do because that is who you are. Stop sinning, love others, and tell people about Jesus. Be different. And then at the end of the day, if you messed it up and didn’t act like a child of God, be honest and confess it. Hear God say, “I forgive you.” Have peace knowing that your identity hasn’t changed. God still announces that you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession. You are sinless.
Prayer: Lord, you have given me my identity. Help me to live in a way that reflects who you have made me. Help me to find my self-worth and value in the person that you have made me. Thank you for sending Jesus to make me like Jesus, someone who is sinless. Amen.