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A New Season
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"A New Season"

"Identity" (Relational Truth: part 6)

          In Matthew's Gospel (Mt. 16:13-20) we are told that when Jesus is in the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asks his disciples the question, "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt. 16:15). Simon Peter responds, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Mt. 16:16). Jesus then calls Simon blessed because it is the Heavenly Father who has revealed Jesus' true identity to Simon. Again, we note that it is the Father who reveals the truth of identity. For, "no one knows the Son except the Father" (Mt.11:27).

          The Father has given Peter "a spirit of wisdom and revelation" (see Eph. 1:17) to recognize Jesus' true identity, and the gift of faith to believe Jesus to be the Father's Son. Peter is the recipient of the Father's gracious will: "Father...these things...you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will" (Mt. 11:25,26). One can say that this gracious will of the Father is related to His great and astonishing love spoken of in 1John 3: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us" (1 John 3:1). Each is an unmerited gift of the Father's love, mercy and kindness towards us, and only the childlike of heart are open to receive these. True children of God are childlike and it pleases the Father to give them revelation. The childlike are those whose hearts reflect most closely the heart of Jesus. No one can penetrate to the 'heart' of the mystery of who Jesus really is except the Spirit Whom the Father gives as a gift. Nor for that matter can anyone on his own penetrate to the 'heart' of one's own true identity. Rather, it must be revealed by the Father in the Spirit.

           The Father is also the One who gives each of us the gift of faith. Faith is first of all a "heart gift": "One believes with the heart" (Rom. 10:10). St. Paul tells the Ephesians, "For this reason I kneel before the Father ...that he may grant you...to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Eph. 3:14,16,17). One is "empowered by faith" (see Rom. 4:20). This gift of empowerment comes when one accepts the truth of who Jesus truly is: "To those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God" (John 1:12); and, "Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26). It gives the Father great joy when we choose to invite Jesus into our hearts. True children of God are those who allow Jesus to enter into our inmost being through faith. When we allow "Love" to enter in and make his 'home' within our hearts, we are awakened to our true identity. Only a true heart can hold a true identity.

           

Questions:

1)   What is the most recent revelation that the Father has given me from His 'gracious will'?

2)   Where in my life do I still need growth into a more childlike interior disposition?

Scriptures:

Any scripture from the text; John 6:69; 2 Cr. 5:7; Gal. 2:20; James 2:5

"TWO-ZERO-ONE-EIGHT, TIME TO EXPIATE"

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