My Identity Is Defined By the Gospel

Excerpt from Dave Harvey's Rescuing Ambition:

The gospel answers my questions of identity. It tells me I am God's bondservant, His child, a worshiper, and a functioning member of His Church. My identity as a pastor was always a secondary identity. I have not lost my main identity.

The gospel answers my questions about purpose. The gospel opened my eyes to the glory of God in Christ. I responded to the call to ministry in order to glorify God. Being pastor was never, rightly, my chief end. I do not presently have opportunity to serve as a pastor, but I do have daily opportunities to fulfill my main purpose in life. Asking the question, "How do I glorify God now?" wonderfully liberates me.

The gospel always points the way to my ongoing happiness. My main joy is in God and and in the salvation Jesus wrought for me on the cross. Above all else, I'm grateful to be a Christian--to be saved--to know the joy of sins forgiven and conscience cleansed. The joy of ministry could never legitimatey be the foundation of my happiness. It is secondary, derivative joy.

So, God has taught me to...
  • think of myself in terms of my main identity
  • busy myself with my main purpose
  • delight myself in my main joy.

By God's grace, lesson learned...hopefully.

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