Many of you have heard, but we’ve taken the step to homeschool our children this year. Not a big deal and there was no serious emergency. We couldn’t shake the burden we had for devoting as much time as possible in this season to influence and invest in our children. Homeschooling will be something we evaluate each year, but don’t worry – they’re still socializing with other people.
Because our oldest is home more, during lunch I was able to pick up one of her “Readers” and sit down with her to listen to her read. These “Readers” have a number of stories in them, helping children identify words, but also piece together a story for understanding. These books are full of simple stories and cute scenarios.
On this day, the particular story was called “Mr. Pine’s Town.” This was a story about a little town where there were no signs in the town, no names on the streets or shops, and in fact, the town had no name. It was simply called “Town.” Nobody knew where or what anything was, because there were no signs.
Finally, a man comes into town and guess what – he’s a sign-maker. Sadly, the people couldn’t read! They didn’t know that he was a sign-maker, or knew what he was about to do for and to them.
“I’m a sign maker. I will paint a sign for you. What’s the name of this street?” the man asked.
“It does not have a name,” the people said.
“Well, it needs a name, and it needs a sign,” the sign maker said. “What do you want to call this street?” he asked.
Slowly, he began to name things. Everybody was happy – so happy they named the city after him. Pineville. “Thank you, Mr. Pine, for all the signs,” said the people of Pineville.
Okay – why this recounting of this story. Well, I began to think about our identity as followers of Jesus. When we come to faith in Jesus, He changes our identity. We transition from attempting to figure out our identity, to our identity being declared by Him.
This means that we’re no longer defined by our feelings, or the opinions of others, or even by our circumstances. We’re not defined by our failures or our successes. We don’t find our identity in the car we drive, our income (or lack there of), or even the house we live in. Paul tells us:
“And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22, ESV)
To be anointed means to be set apart and gifted by God for His calling, which was similar to the OT pouring of olive oil showing God’s rich provision.
We are the people of Pineville before the sign maker comes.
We need someone OUTSIDE of us to IDENTIFY us.
And this is what Jesus has done. We are identified by God and God alone. He calls us His children (see John 1:12), and no one can ever take this from us. Walk in that today.