Many struggle to keep the New Year’s self improvement resolutions. Instead of feeling defeated by our desire to look better or perform better, join us this month in a discussion of identity and how God truly sees us. #WhoAmI
Week 1: CHOSEN – we were intentionally created for relationship with God.
- Graphic: We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us – an unbelievable inheritance! – Romans 8:16
- But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession... – 1 Peter 2:9
- Is the way you think and act controlled by the approval of those around you?
- “You did not choose me, but I chose you…” – John 15:16
- Graphic: Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: “You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” – Henri Nouwen
- Caption: In a world filled with voices that shout that you are worthless, do you listen to the voice that calls you “beloved”?
- “My soul is restless until it rests in you, O God.” – Augustine of Hippo
- "I'll keep myself busy so I'm not discovered as a fraud." Do you find yourself struggling with this?
- Read aloud Psalm 139:1-18. Identify a phrase that strikes you in light of your own experience of God over the years.
- Article: She didn’t let racial slurs define her identity.
- Article: If you struggle with insecurity, this one’s for you.
- Article: Even Bonhoeffer struggled with questions about his identity.
- Graphic: "Love bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things, endures all things." – 1 Cor 13:17
- And this is also what God’s love is like for you.
- We are intimately loved long before our parents, teachers, spouses, children, and friends loved or wounded us. – Henri Nouwen
- “Through our adoption, God meets the deepest longings of our heart.” – Leigh Swanson
- Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) – Ephesians 1:5
- "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go…" John 15:16
- What makes you unique and how you can use your talents to glorify God? #cruchallenge
- Graphic: The truth about myself, even when I cannot feel it, is that I am a child of God, precious in his eyes.
- Caption: Every time you feel hurt or rejected, repeat this to yourself.
- “An identity grounded in God would mean that when we think of who we are, the first thing that would come to mind is our status as someone who is deeply loved by God” - David Brenner
- Verse: “He predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:5
- "The authority of God made all of creation. But it was the affection of God that made all His children." Ann Voskamp #WhoAmI
- “Isn’t that what friendship is all about: giving to each other the gift of our Belovedness?” – Henri Nouwen
- Article: The love of a father transcends death to touch the life of a daughter.
- Graphic: You're not just a face in the crowd. In the heart of God you're a unique person chosen before the foundation of the world. – E. Fitzpatrick
- "Your roots, as a child of God, are in eternity – in the infinite mind and heart of God." @JohnPiper
- "...a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace – his undeserved kindness in choosing them." Romans 11:5
- Graphic: "When we keep claiming the light, we will find ourselves becoming more and more radiant." – Henri Nouwen
- Graphic: “It is only when we have claimed our own place in God’s love that we can experience this all-embracing, noncomparing love and feel safe, not only with God, but also with all our brothers and sisters.” – Henri Nouwen
- Caption: God’s love includes all people in their uniqueness.
- "For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name…" Isaiah 45:4
- Article: “Your faith in Jesus is a wonder more wonderful than any of the seven wonders of the world.” John Piper
Week 2: BLESSED – benefits, privileges of being a child of god
- Article: Students, are you using grades to measure your worth?
- Graphic: The problem of modern living is that we are too busy to notice that we are being blessed. – Henri Nouwen
- How does your citizenship in heaven affect your life today?
- Journal about some of the privileges you have as being a child of God. Then pray and thank God for those blessings. #CruChallenge
- How could you intentionally encourage a friend today? #CruChallenge
- Graphic: "The real 'work' of prayer is to become silent and listen to the voice that says good things about me." – Henri Nouwen
- "No matter your story before, this is your beginning now: you were formed by Love ... for love." Ann Voskamp #WhoIAm
- When you wake up pray & ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit ... that He'd be apart of your work, conversations, and your thoughts.
- “When we belong to Jesus, we’re finally able to make God look glorious in our lives.” – John Piper #WhoAmI
- Article: Do you find yourself fixated on what other people think of you
- Graphic: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:3
- "Wise men are only wise because they make their priority the seeking of Christ." Ann Voskamp
- Spend time just listening and singing along to worship music to praise your Lord. #CruChallenge
- He makes us complete. "…You have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority." – Colossians 2:10 #WhoAmI
- Graphic: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Matthew 5:6
- "And the greatest gift we can give our great God is to let His love make us glad." Ann Voscamp #WhoAmI
- But our citizenship is in heaven–and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … – Philippians 3:20 #WhoAmI
- Two Tweets, 1 quote: “Faith is the gift of God. So is the air, but you have to breathe it;..” (1 of 2)
- “...so is bread, but you have to eat it; so is water, but you have to drink it.” D.L Moody (2 of 2)
- Graphic: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
- The definition of blessing is God's favor and protection. Spend some time writing down some of the ways God has blessed you. #CruChallenge
- How could you intentionally bless someone else this week? Could you take a friend out for coffee, make a meal for friend? #CruChallenge
- “Once we extend grace to ourselves, we will be able to live a life of extending grace to those around us...” Andrea Groenewald
- Video: How an entire family encountered God’s love through the experience of adoption.
- Caption: Are Christians hipsters more godly?
- Graphic: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9
- Two Tweets, 1 quote: "We are all children of God who have a purpose and a meaning on this earth..." (1 of 2)
- "...That is our core identity, and it will never change, no matter our job description." Samantha Gratton (2 of 2) #WhoAmI
- Today practice taking your thoughts and turning them into prayers so you are intentionally connecting with God. #CruChallenge
- Article: You are not your job title. Your job does not define you. You are more than an 8-to-5.
Week 3: REDEEMED – though broken we are restored, viewed as redeemed creation
- Graphic: “I never realized that broken glass could shine so brightly.” – Henri Nouwen
- "We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!" – Romans 8:17
- “Faith is simply believing that there is a God who loves us, in spite of the poison of sin coursing through our soul.” – E. Fitzpatrick
- "...You are not your own; you were bought with a price." – 1 Corinthians 6:19
- "Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin." Romans 6:6
- Article: ‘Hiding my Ugly, even though I know Jesus’
- Caption: I don’t want to hide anymore. It is so comforting to know I am not the only one.
- Graphic: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
- “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” Ephesians 1:7
- “in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:!4
- "Who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time." 1 Timothy 2:6
- Graphic: “True Christianity is not a program of self-improvement; it's an acknowledgment that something more than self-improvement is needed.”
– Elyse Fitzpatrick
- Text: Why we need redemption.
- "It is no small thing to become people marked by firm hope in uncertain times." – Carla Waterman
- “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. “ Romans 5:8
- “But with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” 1 Peter 1:19
- Video: See how beauty and life can spring from brokenness. (The Windmill Farmer, a short film by Joaquin Baldwin, joaquinbaldwin.com)
- Graphic: “Take seriously the story that God has given you to live...because your story is the one that could set us all ablaze.” – Dan Allender
- Text for FB: “The image of God is central to developing a solid view of personality; that our sinfulness, not how we've been sinned against, is our biggest problem; that forgiveness, not wholeness, is our greatest need; that repentance, not insight, is the dynamic in all real change.” ― Dan Allender
- “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
- “My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.” Psalm 71:23
- Article: It is impossible to live a life without failure, but you are not a failure. #WhoAmI
- Graphic: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
- “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
- “For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.” Colossians 1:13
- Article: A porn star’s life redeemed through Christ. #WhoAmI
- VIDEO: At the age of 90 Bettie continues to follow Christ by visiting women in jail to help them experience God’s love.
- Article: Her body was dying, but she still had hope.
- Graphic: "We want to avoid suffering, death, sin, ashes. Graphic:But we live in a world crushed and broken and torn, a world God Himself visited to redeem. We receive his poured-out life, and being allowed the high privilege of suffering with Him, may then pour ourselves out for others." – Elisabeth Elliot
- Article: God can redeem you from your porn addiction. #WhoAmI
- “Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Romans 10:13 #WhoAmI
- "Even so, consider yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus." – Romans 6:11 #WhoAmI
- Graphic: "If Jesus Christ was who He claimed to be, and He did die on a cross at a point of time in history, then, for all history past and all history future it is relevant because that is the very focal point for forgiveness and redemption." - Josh McDowell
- We are justified & redeemed. "...they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ..." – Romans 3:24 #WhoAmI
- We're new people, "no longer enslaved to sin." Romans 6:6 #WhoAmI
- Article: What is the problem with self-help books? #WhoAmI
Week 4: TO BE GIVEN – we are made to be God’s light and gift to the world.
- Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others. – Henri Nouwen #WhoAmI
- Graphic: "To truly love someone is to see them as God intended.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- “Jesus needed, not once, but again and again at each stage of his mission and each crisis in his living and dying, a freshly confirmed knowledge of his own identity.” – Thomas Smail
- Video: Sarah enjoys relating with people, but when an encounter with a Deaf woman challenges her ability to connect, God redefines what it means for her to be a follower.
- Article: The Great Commission is not all about you.
- Graphic: “Because of his inward assurance that He is the Beloved of God, he is...able to pour himself out in extravagant self-giving.” – Trevor Hudson
- "As saints we strive to live for the now and not yet, believing by faith that God works things together for his glory." – Mary Grace Lyon
- "...You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 #WhoAmI
- What does it mean to daily be a conduit of Christ’s life? John 15:1,5 #WhoAmI
- What do you think of Romans 8:17? - We are “heirs” provided we “suffer with him” #WhoAmI
- "...Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you...You are not your own..." 1 Cor. 6:19-20 #WhoAmI
- "...For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Cor. 6:20 #WhoAmI
- “Our bodies – their life, their death – belong to Christ. They are not ours to dispose of as we will.” – John Piper #WhoAmI
- Graphic: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10
- Graphic: “Knowing who he is, Jesus invests himself single-mindedly in the realization of his Father’s kingdom vision for our broken world.” – Trevor Hudson
- What does Matthew 28:19-20 say about who we are called to be? #WhoAmI
- Article: Learn how to be a disciple who makes other disciples. #WhoAmI
- Article: What stage are you in as a disciple of Christ? #WhoAmI
- Article: Is there any place for competition in ministry?
- How can you be a peacemaker? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9 #WhoAmI
- We are “more than conquerors” through him who loved us. – Romans 8:37 #WhoAmI
- Read Matthew 5:1-16 and see what Jesus says about your identity. #WhoAmI #CruChallenge
- Graphic: We are called to become bread for each other – bread for the world. – Henri Nouwen
- Caption: Christian maturity comes to fruition when we live to bless and give ourselves to others.
- Graphic: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” ― Frederick Buechner
- How has he chosen you to go and bear fruit in the world? John 15:16 #WhoAmI
- Article: Read about what it means to be a “sent one.” #WhoAmI
- Article: Lauren is living as a “sent one” and God is blessing her relationships. #WhoAmI
- Graphic: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
- “You are the salt of the earth..." – Matthew 5:13a #WhoAmI
- “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden." – Matthew 5:14 #WhoAmI
- Article: Read how Sara could be a light to her family by sharing a video on Facebook. #WhoAmI
- Article: Regardless of your relationship status, consider the unique ways you can bless God’s kingdom in every life season.
- Graphic: “We are chosen, blessed, and broken to be given.” – Henri Nouwen
- "The role of an ambassador is not something we check-off our to-do list, because it's a heart attitude.” – Hailey Domeck
- What gifts has God given you for building up the body? #WhoAmI
- Verse: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” Ephesians 4:11-12
- Verse “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” 2 Cor. 5:20
- Graphic: “A pencil in the Master’s hand”
- “I'm a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa
- As Christ's servant, ask someone who usually serves you how you can serve them today. #WhoAmI #CruChallenge
- Article: It’s not just for Christian workers; we are all called to be ambassadors. #WhoAmI
- Article: How are you representing the King on earth?
- Graphic: “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ...” Philippians 3:20 #WhoAmI
- Article: Are you an authentic ambassador of Christ? #WhoAmI
- "So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us."
– 2 Corinthians 5:20a #WhoAmI
- In your opinion, what does it mean to be “salt” and “light” to the world? #WhoAmI
- Article: 5 things you can do to grow as a witness of Christ #WhoAmI