Last Wednesday was the beginning of the Lenten season. I was not raised in a denomination that celebrates Lent, but as I’ve done various articles, I see the benefit of focused attention on the weeks leading up to Jesus’ death and glorious resurrection.

Traditionally, or at least how I’ve always seen it, Lent is about giving up something, but this month, I want to focus on what being IN CHRIST really means.

This is something God has been teaching me lately -who I am in Him. Not who I am because of what I do, but who I am because of what HE did FOR me.

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So many time I get caught up in what I do – not who I truly am. How would you describe yourself? Do you define yourself by the roles you fulfill in your life – things like mom, wife, daughter, or church volunteer? When we identify ourselves by what we do rather than who we are, we miss out on all that God has created us to be.

I’ve been doing a study in Ephesians on spiritual warfare and as I read the first chapter of Ephesians, I was overcome by all that God says I am. In Ephesians 1:3, it says, that we are “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”

This is one of the first things Paul writes about who the Ephesians are IN CHRIST. I think it is significant that it comes so early in the book because this is a book that talks a lot about spiritual warfare and how to defeat out enemy.

We can’t defeat the enemy when we don’t know who we are. Tweet This!

This morning I was drinking my morning coffee and scrolling through Facebook when I came across a post that stopped me mid-sip. You can find the story online at the Washington Times.

The story is about 33 North Korean believers that were going to be executed by Kim Jong this morning for the crime of starting underground churches. He accused them of trying to take over the government as an excuse to execute them.

Later, as I sat in church, I looked around and tried to imagine what it would be like for 33 people in the pews around me being taken away and killed – just because they love Jesus and told people about Him. I don’t have that fear. We may complain about policies in the U.S. these days, but I can read my Bible without fear. I can share Christ with out fear. I can have a blog that shares how to know Jesus, and I do not worry that someone is going to break down my door in the middle of the night and drag me away or kill my family because of it.

I was thinking about this series I am writing, about the fact that we are given EVERY spiritual blessing in heavenly places. Not some or a few – but every one. And yet, I often live like a spiritual pauper – not like someone who has every spiritual blessing.

Those 33 Christians really got this. It wasn’t a nice idea – it was a foundational truth that gave them the courage to give their all for Christ. If the story is correct, those 33 Christians were welcomed by Jesus this morning. They got to hear Him say, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”

As we sang Chris Tomlin’s song “I Will Rise,” I couldn’t stop myself from crying. The words seemed so appropriate for what was happening a world away – words that those precious 33 truly believed.

Do you believe you are who God says you are? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

Blessings, Rosanne

I Will Rise
There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say, it is well

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing
Worthy is the Lamb
And I hear the cry of every longing heart
Worthy is the Lamb

And I hear the voice of many angels sing
Worthy is the Lamb
And I hear the cry of every longing heart
Worthy is the Lamb
(You are worthy, You are worthy)
Worthy is the Lamb

I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise, I will rise

By Chris Tomlin

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