To navigate our way along this third trek we will be guided by the following key text, image, themes and prayer.
Key Verses for Trek #4 – Psalm 139:14, 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Romans 3:22-23 and Hebrews 10:9-10
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:22-23
He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:9-10
Guiding Image for Trek #4 – A Mirror
I have long believed that the most powerful tool the leader can possess is a mirror. The second is a set of friends who can help them look into it with honesty and clarity. When you and I look in the mirror we see a physical image. We immediately attach to that image judgments, valuations, assessments and characteristics that are born from a lifetime of experience. In other words, the image is not neutral. Some of us take pleasure in looking in a mirror while others hate it. When we see ourselves in the mirror we see a lot more than just our face. Mirrors can help us know what we look like, but not who we are. For that we need the input and interpretation from another source. The question is, what other sources should we look to for validation of who we are?
The theme of this week focuses our attention on this question. It is so easy in this world to look to all kinds of other sources for validation of who we are. Some of them can be helpful, even reliable. But in the end all external inputs into our self-image will fail us. The only consistent and true source of valuation is the creator God in whose image we were created. If his assessment is all we seek, if his applause and approval is all we need to maintain a healthy and balanced self-image, then we have found the sweet spot of the Christian walk. That is our goal for the week ahead.
Main Theme for Trek #4 – Our sole identity is found in Jesus Christ. In him we are redeemed children of God, and the only affirmation we need is the knowledge that he is well-pleased with us.
Dear Lord, I confess that I have allowed my identity to be shaped by voices other than your own. I am out of balance. I am tired of guarding my reputation and building up my image in the eyes of others. I am tired of both pride and discouragement. I want to be at that solid place where I am looking only to you as the source of my identity and confidence in this life. Jesus, help me fix my eyes on you this week. Give me strength to ignore the distractions that call to me and keep me on the straight road that leads to you. You are all I need in my life to live with assurance of who I am. My identity comes from you alone. Let that blessed assurance guide me this week and throughout my life. Help me be a steward of this great truth; if you are pleased with me, that is all I need in this life! In Jesus’ name. Amen.