You were brought into the world and given life. Whether you are now old or young, you are still you. Have you ever asked yourself, “Exactly WHO AM I?”
What special gifts do I have? How am I different from my closest relative? Knowing WHO I am is a most important question. People often spend their entire lives searching for the answer to that question. Some feel bewildered… while others feel confident in their own skin.
I found the answer to “Who Are You?” as I searched the Holy Scripture and saw that this question was also asked of the Apostle John. He must have been extremely confident to announce who he was, because in some cases, he went against the religious hierarchy of the day. It is evident that his confidence only came from God, who had given him a job to do. He simply knew that he knew.
How about us? His purpose for each of us will only be revealed when our hearts are ready to listen to the small still voice that we can’t seem to make go away. It is His Holy Spirit drawing us into His love. The answer then to the question, “Who are you?” is this:
WE ARE TO BE WHAT GOD HAS SENT US TO BE...A CHILD OF HIS. WE ARE TO BE A LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD.
“What if I have missed it?” you may say. He wants you to know that you have not missed it.
We measure everything in our time frame. Time is irrelevant to God. “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2nd Peter 3:8
He sees your heart as it is today. If you ask forgiveness for any past things that do not measure up to God’s purpose for you, He will forgive and remember them no more. The Holy Scriptures promises us that. We have to trust that fact.
“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25 (Old Testament)
Then He adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Hebrews 10:15 (New Testament)
In the Gospel of John, the Apostle John, as mentioned above, was “sent by God” to let the people know that the Messiah had come. His reputation had gone before him…so much so, that the priests and Levites, who were descendants of the Tribe of Levi, were sent from Jerusalem to ask him “WHO ARE YOU?”
St. John knew exactly who he was…a MESSENGER from God that the Jews should know the truth…that their MESSIAH, of Whom they had been waiting and looking for since the days of the prophets, was living and walking among them. He said that he, John, was only a “VOICE”….”crying in the wilderness.” His message was simple. “Make straight the way of the Lord.”
St. John was born in the late 1st century (circa 5 B.C.), Saint John the Baptist was a Jewish prophet who preached the imminence of God’s final judgment. It is believed that he was born somewhere in Judea, located near Jerusalem, Israel, according to the New Testament. A priest of the order of Abijah, John the Baptist gained recognition as a prophet, had several disciples and baptized a number of people, including Jesus Christ, according to scripture. Christians believe that John the Baptist was the last great prophet before Jesus Christ came to earth. He was reportedly beheaded circa 30 A.D. (Biography)
We are living in a wilderness today. One of the meanings for “wilderness” is an inhospitable region. Inhospitable means harsh, difficult, unfriendly or unwelcoming. Doesn’t that describe much of our world today as one faction raves against another.
This is why we have had wars throughout history. People, in kingdoms and governments, were, and are, filled with greed, ambition, power…and it overcame them to the point that they never found the true person that God wanted them to be.
Many led others to think that they should follow their ideologies rather than God. A few examples come to mind: Napoleon Bonaparte, having made himself an emperor of France, died in exile on the remote, British-held island of Saint Helena at age 51. Adolph Hitler, after losing WWII, committed suicide at age 69 and Saddam Hussein was captured, tried and hanged for his crimes…age 51. They did not have very long lives by today’s longevity. (history)
Each of these men were once the little boy that God wanted to have a good life, but they chose to neither listen to nor accept the Holy Words of God. They thought they knew better about who they were, but they didn’t. Their eyes became blinded to God’s truth through their own choices.
Back to our original question…Who are you? You are to so live your life that you will be a voice to the harshness of this world…for good, not for evil.
Being the messenger of God’s love and hope does not mean that one has to be a minister, who preaches in a church, on a mission field or some other Christian group. St. John was not seeking a prominent position or popularity, but to be faithful to the message he was given by God to share with the world.
We may only be the voice of hope to someone who shares with us their difficulties in life. Just be ready for that encounter! Remember, God’s timing may take you by surprise. It may be at the grocery parking lot; when walking in your neighborhood and meet someone you haven’t seen in a while or a fellow worker.
You may say, “I’m too shy to open up to someone about faith” or “I think religion is their business” or “That seems a little bold to me.” Yes, you are right. Some of us are by nature on the shy side, but God has promised to supply the boldness needed.
Even if we believe that everyone’s business is their own…especially about “religion,” we must remember that sharing God’s love is not talking about a particular “religion,” but about your own personal walk with Christ. As a Christian, you are called to be ready to give the hope that is within you. Peter 3:15 also talks about your shyness and that you may be afraid.
John was known as the “beloved disciple.” We all want to be loved. How wonderful to be the loved of Christ, who speaks of you to His Father in heaven. We must all ask ourselves as Christians, “Are we faithful to being what God wants us to be?” It is never too late to surrender ourselves to His perfect love.
Dedicate this day, this hour, your next breath to being His in all walks of your life…and you will find that you are what He wants you to be. He will lift you up and give you the voice, heart and soul that He wants of you.
You will truly know exactly who you are…a child of God.
The following is a trailer of the life story of a young boy, from Argentina, who was also called of God to be His voice. His name is Luis Palau. He made his voice the voice of hope to the Spanish speaking people around the world, especially in Columbia. The full length is extremely moving and is available on Amazon Prime.
Turn on your sound.
The truth of the butterfly is much like the truth of the Christian new birth. There was a time in my life when my senses about God and His Son were as dormant as it is in a caterpillar that doesn’t know it is to become something designed by God. Many Christians have this feeling.
The fact is that very caterpillar has to die before it can become a butterfly. The same is true with our old life.
Science tells us: “In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch.”
There are many different caterpillars that make a unique type of butterfly in color and design.
People are also different. God will take our special personalities and use us how He chooses. His plan is to take your life and mine and make us in his honor. Just as the butterfly, He unfolds a new life in us. The old life will pass away, like that of the caterpillar. God’s goal is to make every Christian’s life more beautiful than could ever be imagined. The butterfly is our example.
Will the butterflies of various colors be with us forever?
A German study gives some difficult news of fewer butterflies than ever before…down by two thirds:
“Our study emphasizes the negative impact of the conventional, industrialized agriculture on the butterfly diversity and shows the urgent need for ecologically sustainable cultivation methods. Additional field studies may aid in identifying individual factors responsible for the insect die-back and in implementing appropriate countermeasures,” (Science Daily).
It is difficult to think that such beauty could someday be extinct from the earth, as have many of God’s other creatures.
Will the Christian be always on the earth to see it through rough times?
Apparently not, for God has promised the most beautiful place that He is preparing for us. When this will happen, we do not know. We are only told to watch and be ready. We are not promised, however, that we will not go through horrific times on earth before Christ’s coming. We are only promised that He will be with us and courage will be ours.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36
Can we imagine that all the perfect parts of nature will be in this new, heavenly place that God is preparing? We will also be joined by those we have loved on earth…including our beloved pets. We are told also the lion will lay down with the lamb in perfect harmony.
I can only imagine the heavenly gardens with all the colorful butterflies that only heaven can produce! A new heaven…and this new earth made perfect by God with no more sin, fighting, or tears.
As scientists warn about global changes, the Holy Scriptures also gives fore-warnings about the ways of the world. We are not to be caught unaware… as we watch our earth decline…scientifically and within the lives and actions of people and nations world-wide.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17; NIV).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:22; ESV).
God’s promise about heaven and earth to John in a vision on the Greek Island of Patmos, is recorded in Revelation 21:1-6
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.
To the Butterflies…Thank you for your lesson of life to us.
Video: Background music for your special pleasure. Turn up sound.