Restoration of Identity
The story of the prodigal son moves my heart to delve into the depths of God’s limitless grace. I find myself in every facet of Jesus’ words. I identify with both the son’s rebellion and the power of the father’s love. As children of God we are in constant need of reminders about God’s mercy toward us. When the world rejects us, God calls us in. When the world writes us off, God clothes us with righteousness and honor. May this transformative story of the prodigal son guide you to a deeper and more intimate relationship with your loving heavenly Father.
Scripture:“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” >1 Peter 2:9
The restoration of identity to the rebellious and wayward son in the story of the prodigal son is perhaps the greatest example of God’s heart to restore you and me as his children. In the story, the rebellious son returns to the Father hoping solely to be allowed to serve his father as one of the slaves. But as the son approached his home, the father ran out to meet him and immediately brought restoration to his identity as a good and pleasing son in his eyes.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” Through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we have been transformed from a rebellious and sinful people into reflections of our Savior. God ran out to meet us at our point of greatest weakness and clothed us with a new nature that we might no longer sin against him but live with him in glorious, powerful communion.
Isaiah 43:1 says, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” Our Father saved us from a life of wandering and searching for who we are and has called us his holy and redeemed children. Our name is no longer associated with a sinful nature but rather with the bloodline of Christ Jesus. By no power of our own, we have been transformed, set free, redeemed, and made to be like our heavenly Father in both our nature and our deeds.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” We have an identity that reaches far beyond simply getting through this life happily and successfully. Our identity now is to proclaim the unimaginable excellencies of our heavenly Father. We’re called to declare to the world the incredible power of our God, that he could take our weak and helpless lives, give us new names, place his Spirit within us, and ignite a passion so deep no circumstance could ever change it. This world is not your home. The nation in which you live is no longer your highest allegiance. You are the child of the Creator, the one true God, and he has made you new, whole, and purposed for works of eternal significance.
Allow your Father to declare to you your identity in Christ. Take time today to listen and receive a fresh revelation of who you are. Allow the Spirit to fill you afresh and empower you to live a life worthy of the one who has saved you. There is no greater joy than living in light of the incredible gift of a restored identity we’ve been given by the grace of our heavenly Father.
1. Meditate on the restoration of the son’s identity in the story of the prodigal son. Allow Scripture to give you perspective on your own identity in Christ.
“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” >Luke 15:21-24
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” >2 Corinthians 5:17
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh today. Take time to rest in God’s presence and allow him to reveal his love for you anew.
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” >Ephesians 5:18
3. Ask the Father to show you the good works he has set before you today. Ask him to lead you into a lifestyle of proclaiming his excellencies. Ask him to empower you to live out your new identity in Christ.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” >1 Peter 2:9
“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” >Isaiah 43:1
May Colossians 3:1-4 serve as a foundation on which we pursue the fullness of life afforded to us by the love and grace of our heavenly Father:
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Extended Reading: Colossians 3
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