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A New Year – A New Identity – A New Way of Thinking

Ezra was born in slavery on a Georgia cotton plantation in 1800. At the conclusion of the Civil War, his owner called him and the other slaves in from the fields and gave them their freedom. Some milled around trying to decide their next step. Some shouted for joy and left the plantation immediately. Ezra, now nearing his 65th birthday, turned on his heels and walked right back into the same field he had been working since he was a child and resumed his work.

While the fact of his freedom made him free, there was no freedom in his condition. Since he was an infant, he was brought up as a slave; he was trained as a slave; his security was in his enslavement. His owner took care of him and met his basic needs. The fact is—his freedom was as foreign to him as another language.

And while he was free, he was still enslaved. Someone might have said to Ezra, “If you walk in your new identity, you will never have to serve a master again.” And while Ezra may have heard these words, inside he wouldn’t have been able to put his faith in them. Why? Because of how he thought.

Fast forward to today, your owner has given you a new identity. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Cor 5:17 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” Galatians 2:20 “Christ in you, the hope of glory” Colossians 1:27

Someone might say to you, “Live out of your new identity, and you will never have to serve a master again.” And like Ezra you may hear the words, but inside you can’t put your faith in them. Why? Because of how you think. I want to encourage you to begin this year to live out of your new identity. Make a list of your new identity and renew your thoughts everyday about who you are in Christ.

I have started my list:

In Christ, I am loved by God.
In Christ, I am completely forgiven.
In Christ, I have the life of Jesus.
In Christ, I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.
In Christ, I have died to the power of sin,
In Christ, I have been made complete.
In Christ, I am delivered from darkness and transformed in light.
In Christ, I am raised up with Jesus and seated in heaven.
In Christ, I am sealed with the Holy Spirit.
In Christ, I have the mind of Christ.
In Christ, I am adopted into God’s family.
In Christ, I am made alive.
In Christ, I know and can live by his resurrection power.

Questions:
In what ways can you identify with Ezra?
What are some areas in your life where you need the renewing of your mind?
What will help you every day live out your new identity?

About the Author

Vice President of Marketing & Business Development. Hal White serves as Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Blueprint for Life. His varied background includes Student Minister for Fellowship Bible Church (Roswell, Ga), FL/GA/ALA Area Director for Campus Crusade for Christ, and Vice-President for North America with Crown Financial Ministries. Hal has a passion for people to live on purpose and with intentionality in five areas: spiritual, relational, physical, financial, and career. He believes the greatest tragedy is not death, but life without purpose. Hal and his wife Carla, reside in Alpharetta, Georgia.