"But now, this is what the LORD says - He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are Mine.' " Isaiah 43:1

 

Speaker and writer Christine Caine tells of how she was born to an unwed mother, and that on her birth certificate, under the space for "Father", was typed, "Unknown." She said that was the beginning of a long period in her life where she lived under the bondage and captivity of labels that were placed upon her by others. In that case it was the shame of not having or knowing her father. But there would be more to come. The world, and the enemy who works through it will never be slow to seek to burden us with names and labels that it would have define us, oppress us, shame us. These labels are seemingly endless, and all of them are crushing. Many of us carry them throughout our lives, and the shame of them follow us everywhere. Through them, the devil has convinced us that the labels he's assigned are who we really are. That what has happened to us, or even been done by us, defines us. It follows us, haunts us. Holds us. Shames us. 

 

As tragic as this is in the world, it is even more so when it takes place in the church. It may be shouted at us by the world and whispered at us by the church. Yet the whispers of the church can be far louder and more painful than the loudest cry of the world. Wounds in the house of our friends always are. 

What label might you be living under today? The divorced one. The failure. The single mom. The weekend father. The unemployed husband. The struggling pastor. The son or daughter with the alcoholic parent. The perpetual screw-up. These and so many other labels can so easily lay hold us, and seek to define us. They become who we believe ourselves to be. We struggle to escape them, but even when we manage to change the outcomes around us, the labels keep their grip upon our hearts and minds. A death grip, and the only hope we have is to enter into the grip of His love. A love that has always been there, but that our labels have kept us from seeing and knowing. 

 

Scripture indicates that the Father has given us a name over and above our earthly one. The things I look forward to in the fullness of eternity are endless, but one of the greatest is to know that name He gave me not only when He formed me, but that He knew before the beginning of time. Yet He has given me a name already, one that I can know right now. That I do know now. "Mine." Above all the labels of this world, and the enemy that attacks us through them, stands that glorious truth. I am His. He calls me His own. It's a Kingdom label that all the labels of hell cannot dispute, and that all must fall when confronted with. Christine Caine came to know this in her life, and its power was such that the power of every satanic label was broken, along with the shame that held her in chains. We must know it as well. We who have come to Him through the blood Christ, are His. With His eyes of love He looks upon us and simply says, "Mine." 

 

Blessings,
Pastor O

 

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