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“Where is Your Identity Found?”

The Hope Connection

Emma Grace is playing on her high school softball team this Spring and last Tuesday after school she and I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy her some of the equipment she would need to play.  When we got home she wanted us to go out into the front yard and throw the ball some, which we did.  As we were throwing to each other we both heard something behind Emma in the woods on our farm and she turned around and said, “Dad, it’s a puppy.”  Then she said, “There are two of them.  They are beagle puppies.”

She knelt down and called the first one to her and he came.  The second one we realized was not a puppy, but a much older beagle dog.  The puppy had both a tracking collar (put on hunting dogs) and a regular dog collar on him.  The older dog had neither.  On the puppy’s collar was a name and phone number, so I called it.  A gentleman answered the call, I identified myself and asked if he had lost two dogs, to which he replied, “Yes.”  He asked specifically about whether one of the dogs was an older dog.  Yes!  He said that this one was his daughter's pet and had gotten lost two days prior with his hunting dog.  He said she had been crying for two days and to please hang on to both dogs until he could get them.

Emma got them some water and we put our leashes around each one so we could hang on to them.  We both noticed how the older dog was protective of the young puppy.  It was so enduring.  As we were waiting, Terry arrived home and we all were on the front porch and heard another sound coming from the woods and then there appeared another beagle puppy.  Yes, a third one, with the same person’s name and number on her collar.  Now all three of us had a dog to hang on to.

The man I talked to on the phone sent his wife and daughter to pick up the dogs.  When they arrived, the young daughter ran from the car to hug the older dog, her pet.  His name was Smoke.  You could tell she was so happy and relieved that Smoke was back in her arms.  They told us the other beagles puppy’s names, but I have forgotten them.  Lets, for talking purposes call them Duke and Daisy.  Duke and Daisy both had on a collar that identified whose they were.  Their owner’s name and number were on their collars.  There was no mistaking it.  I could have ignored it, but it would not have changed the fact, that they had a specific owner.  Smoke on the other hand did not.  Smoke, had he been separated from Duke during those two days of wandering, would have most likely been picked up and either kept by someone or taken to the county shelter.  There was nothing to identify whose he was.

I got to thinking about that.  You know by now how I relate my daily adventures to my walk with Christ.  This one is no different.  I have an identity and my identity is in Christ Jesus my Lord.  He is Lord.  I believe in Him.  He has His Spirit in me.  So, anyone who sees me should be able to know who I belong to.  There should NEVER be a question.  Oh, they may ignore it, but that doesn’t change the fact I’m His.

On the other hand, there are many who are like Smoke the beagle.  They have gone through life with no permanent identification.  Oh, they may have lived a great life.  Cared for!  Successful!  Loving life!  But they have no relationship with their owner (creator).  And when that is the case, no one around them will see Christ, because His is not in them.

As you live in a lost world, and it is definately a lost world, will anyone know who you belong to?  Will anyone be able to identify you as a believer in Jesus Christ and that He is you LORD?  Anyone?  God’s Word states: John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name…”. Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…”. 1 John 3:1a “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are…”

Duke and Daisy returned home.  They were lost, but never without an owner.  Smoke was one of the lucky ones.  Smoke knew that sticking with Duke and not going off on his own was the thing to do.  He stuck with the one who knew the way to the Master.  Look around you folks.  God may use you to bring those who are lost to Him, the Master, the one who gives the only true identity that counts, that is, being a Child of God!  Think about it.

Pastor Marty - HOPE Church Raleigh
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