The Secret of Our Identity

During this season of unprecedented changes and stressors, Christian leaders need more than ever to model stability and security in Christ. Society, health risks and policies for public meetings may change, but the believer’s identity in Christ and his.her ultimate Source of living transcends these challenges. Dr. Ray Stedman’s daily devotions convey this biblical, grace perspective. Here is a contemplation on John 14:15-20:

Here Jesus tells us the secret of our identity as believers. The most fundamental fact of our life as Christians is there: Jesus says that He is not going to leave His disciples desolate or as orphans. These men are frightened. They know that He is going away. They remember the intimations He has given that it will be by violence, by being taken and beaten and ultimately crucified. And they are fearful–not only for Him but for themselves. But now He reassures them: “I’m not going to leave you orphans; I’m not going to abandon you. I will come to you.”

He is not talking here about His second coming. His reference to that is in verse 3 where He has said that He will come again and take them to Himself. At his second coming, John tells us, “Every eye will see him” (Revelation 1:7). But here is a way of coming that the world will not see, but in which the disciples will not only see Him but live by Him: “Because I live, you will live also.” That is more than merely a reference to His resurrection and the promise of our resurrection some day. It is really a reference to His coming by the Spirit, the result of which will be “you in Me, and I in you.” And that is to be the secret of our lives, as His relationship with the Father was the secret of His life.

I find Christians all over this country who do not understand this truth about their new life in Christ. The truth from which they get their identity is this fact: Jesus is in them and lives in them. It is to this fact that they should return whenever there are pressures and problems and demands made upon them, because it is from this fact that the secret of life will flow to them.

The day of the Spirit began on the Day of Pentecost, when suddenly the Spirit of God was poured out upon these believers, and they became changed people. And that day is still with us. It began over two thousand years ago, and it hasn’t ended yet. In fact, on the Day of Pentecost, Peter stood up and bracketed its extremes–the events that would mark the beginning and the end of the day of the Spirit. It begins with the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, as prophesied by the prophet Joel. Peter quotes that prophecy. He says, “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16), this pouring out of the Spirit upon people. And it ends, he says, when, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord” (Acts 2:20).

“Lord, what a privilege to live in this new day when the Spirit has been poured out and even makes His home in me! Teach me to reckon on this profound reality today.”

Life Application

What is the ultimate secret of our lives? How can we know this is the truth? How is our identity related to our reality?

A two year cycle is searchable at / Daily Devotions. Excerpted with permission from The Power of His Presence, © [July / John 14:15-20] by Ray Stedman Ministries. All rights reserved. Visit for the complete library of Ray Stedman material. Please direct any questions to

The Cost of Spiritual Leadership

“Love suffers long and is kind…” (1 Cor. 13:4). “The price of leadership remains high and hard; it may be cheap and easy for the dictator, for the hireling, but never for the shepherd. The dictator dominates; the hireling flees; but the good shepherd loves his sheep and is loved by them. He lays down his life for the sheep. True spiritual leadership involves this principle: ‘Death working in me works life in you’ (2 Cor. 4:12, Cony.).”- Miles Stanford

“It is the quality of leaders that they can bear to be sat on, absorb shocks, act as a buffer, bear being much plagued. Moses put up with the complaints and the waywardness and revolt of the people. He pursued a steady course, enduring as seeing Him who is invisible [Heb. 11:23-28]. The wear and tear and the continual friction and trials which come to the servants of God are a great test of character.” -F.M.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom 5:1-5).

“Bridge the gaps! A bridge means something—generally a life laid down. The very simplest bridge, a plank thrown across a stream, was once part of a tree standing erect, sapping life from the earth, and beautifying all the area around it. [“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers” 1 John 3:16]. Now it is dead, but perhaps saves other lives; anyway it helps to make others useful, and is content to push others on, unnoticed, unthanked. ‘Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not,’ [Jer. 45:5] just be a bridge. It is so simple. See that others are placed on the right track with God through the Lord Jesus. When they get there, they will not thank you, will never look back probably at the bridge; but the Great Architect will know and love and care.” -E.W.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5)
Some Scriptures and references added

Discovering Who God Is and How He Sees You

Rose Publishing is offering a free PDF of “Discovering Who God Is and How He Sees You” eChart. It introduces a book on this by Norm Wright.

“I have learned that who I am is not tied to physical abilities, roles, and emotional ties in life. Who I am is determined by my Creator, my Potter, Sovereign LORD. Who I am is determined by ‘Whose I am!’…Chapter three is the meat of the text: how to let go of your false identities and accepting God’s grace and His plan for you.”— Ann Sanger, customer review on Amazon

See the Rose page for access.

Daily in Christ Devotional

We appreciate the value of biblical, daily devotional literature. A volume that has blessed our home is Daily in Christ by Dr. Neil Anderson with his wife, Joanne. It is now available free online. The readings have a grace and identity in Christ perspective. Why not bookmark it for your use and/or remember it as a resource to recommend.


Transplanted for Spiritual Growth

By Devern Fromke

I stood looking at a shallow dish of water in which some kernels of corn were breaking and sending forth green shoots. In that moment something I had been trying to express came into mind so vividly. It was just as though the Lord were saying: “It is not nature’s design for kernels to remain in this dish. Even so, I have too many little babes like these sprouting kernels who are under the delusion that, having accepted Me as their personal Saviour, all they need to do is grow. They do not seem to realize there can only be spiritual growth as there is proper climate and proper soil.

I pondered what it would mean to be placed in a proper climate. He seemed to say: “Your climate is like a framework–so very important. There are some frameworks in which it is impossible to grow … if gaining a place in heaven by and by is your only goal, then you cannot expect spiritual growth, for there is no proper climate; you can only expect to reach heaven because Another has paid your admission price.

But if life holds the possibility of an infinite growth after the Infinite Pattern, then that should focus your eyes, stir your heart and quicken your spirit, for you can live with real expectancy for the big, the significant, the ultimate. Until you have been awakened to this kind of goal, do not assume that you have begun to breathe of that Eternal Climate.”

I understood the importance of a proper climate, now–what was the proper soil? Then I remembered a verse that is often quoted at this point as the answer: “But go on growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.” … As I looked again at the little kernels in which death and decay was working, yet in which life was sprouting forth, I realized the importance of being transferred into “another dish”–into the environment or soil of His grace. As long as the little kernel remained in the dish, it was still living from its own stored up nutrients. Similarly, as long as there is no changing of the center of my life from self to God, there can be no real growth, or living by Him as my new source of Life. Living on the soil of myself, I simply cannot (really) grow.

We are not made to grow as a self-centered being–living in a display dish … We are designed to grow as our roots are in HIM. Hence the very first step in growing spiritually is a transplanting–a shifting from a self-centered to a God-centered source of life: this is growing in grace. And further, we must become alive and completely harmonized in the climate of His desire and purpose: this is growing in knowledge.

The rest of the article is at

Christ in You

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

Do you realize that the Christ in you is not an imperfect Christ? When the Lord Jesus wrought His Calvary work He not only dealt with the matter of forgiveness, but He went right on to the perfection of redemption, finally reaching the throne as the great Overcomer.
In Him, the Person, the whole ground of spiritual experience is covered and completed. There is no experience that can ever  come to you or me that makes impossible the reaching of God’s end,  for Christ has already met and overcome it. So we are not to struggle in vain attempts after perfection, but to cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He seeks to make good in us the power of Christ’s finished work on the Cross. It is Christ in you who is the hope of glory. Anything less or anything else will bring no hope of glory but rather despair.

T. Austin-Sparks