You probably remember the scene in The Princess Diaries when Amelia Thermoplis, an awkward teenager, is asked to meet the Queen of Genovia. We soon find out the queen is her grandmother, which made Amelia a princess. So let me ask you this--when did Mia become a princess? At birth. When did she realize it? When her grandma the queen told her.
We are all heirs of the God of the universe at the moment we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. How many times do our students and we not realize who we are in Christ?
Neil Boorman decided to burn every branded (item with a brand-name logo) thing in his possession after he realized he was addicted to brands. He explained: “From an early age, I have been taught that to be accepted, to be loveable, to be cool, one must have the right stuff. At junior high school, I tried to make friends with the popular kids, only to be ridiculed for the lack of stripes on my trainers. Once I had nagged my parents to the point of buying me the shoes, I was duly accepted at school, and I became much happier. As long as my parents continued to buy me the brands, life was much more fun. Now, at the age of 31, I still behave according to the playground rules.
“The manner in which we spend our money defines who we are. In this secular society of ours, where family and church once gave us a sense of belonging, identity, and meaning, there is now Apple, BMW, and Coke. So this is why I am burning all my stuff. To find real happiness, to find the real me.”
We often try to get our identity through our accomplishments, what we have, or what others say about us. When that happens, our students and we get down on ourselves and question where God is when times are tough. If that happens, we need to be reminded of who we are in Christ
Scripture is full of reminders. Lon Stettler, a school board member and small group leader, starts his classes on living out the Bible by having the class say with him,“This is my Bible. I am who it says I am, I have what it says I have, and I can do what it says I can do.” He then teaches many of the statements from the Bible that support this sentence. Here are a few examples:
I am who it says I am…
I am reconciled to God and adopted as his child (Romans 5:11, Eph 1:5)
I am chosen by God, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:12, I Peter 2:9)
I am a saint (a “holy one”) (Ephesians 2:19, Rom 1:7, Colossians1:2)
I am free from condemnation (Rom 8:1, 34)
I have what it says I have…
I have eternal life (John 3:15-16, I John 5:13)
I have the mind of Christ (I Cor 2:16)
I have overcome the world (I John 5:4)
I have victory through the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor 15:57)
I can do what it says I can do…
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Phil 4:13)
I can hear God’s voice (John 10:14)
I can always triumph in Christ ( II Cor 2:14)
I can approach God with boldness, freedom, and confidence (Eph 3:12)
Along with that, we need to look at ourselves in a different way. Instead of telling ourselves that we are sinners saved by grace, we should tell ourselves that we are saints (as mentioned earlier) that sometimes sin. That small change can be all that we need to become all that God has for us.
We are all more than conquerors (Rom 8:37); we just have to be reminded at times.