All posts tagged: identity

Are You Suffering From Spiritual Identity Theft?

Identity theft! We cringe at the thought of it. We set up firewalls to keep the hackers out of our computers, tablets, and phones. We have to make a list of passwords for every bank account, every utility, every loan, and even our grocery store accounts and then a password for the program to protect our passwords. All because of an invisible predator. Identity theft didn’t begin with the digital age of computers. It began with the subtle lie of Satan in the Garden of Eden—“You will be like God…” (Genesis 3:5). Adam and Eve believed it. Satan stole their original identity—made in the image of God to walk with Him in fellowship (see Gen. 1:27, 3:8)—and their lives were filled with misery (see Genesis 3:16-19, 23). My identity was stolen at an early age. I was no longer Dale; I was “Freckles.” Had lots of them (still do)—and the kids in school reminded me just about every day. When the doctor gave me my polio vaccination back in the 50’s he said, “If I …

Do You Know Who Jesus Says You Are?

-written by Betsie Richards My favorite name is “BetBet.” If you know me, you know that’s what my niece and nephew call me and I love it. I’ve heard it yelled across ponds, parking lots, dining rooms, ball fields (sooooo many ball fields), and even a classroom or two. When I hear it, I don’t have to guess who someone is looking for. “BetBet” isn’t all I’m known as. Some people know me as “Betsie, who sings at Southern Hills,” others as “Betsie, from Carrollton Ear Nose and Throat,” and dear to my heart are those who still know me as “Betsie, Beedie’s grandaughter.” Those are a lot of good ways to be identified. There have been times, however, when I’ve been identified in a much more negative manner. I can sometimes be identified as “Betsie, the bitter woman” or “Betsie, the unkind.” As much as it hurts to admit, there have been times I could be identified as “Betsie, the liar.” I think Peter would understand that last one. Luke 22:54-62 tells us of …

Are You Living Out The Forgiveness Given To You?

-written by Betsie Richards Some of my favorite Bible stories are the ones where Jesus gives open, no-holds-barred forgiveness to someone and. at the same time He puts the Pharisees in their place. It may be because I have a “bit” of a snarky side and when Jesus calls the Pharisees out, it makes me smile. It may be because I know I need that open, no-holds-barred forgiveness too.  I love the story of the woman who was caught in adultery and brought to the Temple where Jesus was teaching. Jesus silences a crowd full of accusers by writing in the dirt and telling the one without sin to throw the first stone. When the crowd leaves without one rock thrown in condemnation, Jesus replies to her with “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” This small statement is a declaration of forgiveness and purpose (see John 8:1-11) Another favorite of mine is the story of Luke 7:36-50. This passage tells the story of the “sinful woman” and how she washes Jesus’ feet with …

Have You Forgotten Who You Belong To?

There is nothing like becoming a Christian. You remember the joy? The fulfillment? The purpose that came into your life? The exuberant excitement when He saved you? Working in ministry on West Georgia’s campus I see a lot of things. But one of the most common (and personally frustrating) things I see is when someone becomes a Christian, is full of passion and zeal for the Lord, but a few months later is pretty much living the same exact life. I’m not saying I’m shocked that human beings continue to sin. I’m simply observing that sometimes the zeal and passion we see in the baptistry easily fades away. I would say this is more noticeable in the new things these believers don’t do as opposed to the old things that they still do. Things like praying, reading the Bible, and sharing their faith. To me, it seems to be an identity issue; people tend to forget that their identity is in Christ. But the Bible is clear about what happens in the life of a new believer, “Therefore, if …

This Week For Sunday

This Sunday we’re introducing a new song by Chris Tomlin called “Good Good Father.”  The chorus says: You’re a good good father. It’s who you are, it’s who you are, It’s who you are, and I’m loved by you. It’s who I am, It’s who I am, It’s who I am. We serve a good God.  He gave himself up for us so that we may have life and experience His presence.  Through the sacrifice of His son, we become adopted children.  The beginning of 1 John 3:1 says, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!” Ephesians 2:10 says, “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.” And  Romans 8:15 says, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’” That’s who I am!  That’s who …