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RELATIONSHIPS - PART ONE: UNDERSTANDING WHO YOU ARE

Most of us have learned that the Bible teaches us mainly about two things....

1. The first is our relationship with God.

2. The second is our relationship with one another.

Every book in the bible deals with these two relationships.

Almost everything that I talk about from this pulpit concerns our relationship with God. That is a good thing to talk about!

Tonight though, I want to begin a new series concerning our relationship ourselves and with others.

We are going to address relationships that deal with the husband, the wife, friends, and family, communication...but I want to begin this series tonight by talking about understanding yourself!

The first key to understanding yourself is to understand...

• Who you are.
• Where you come from.
• Where you are going.
• What is your purpose.

...before you can be successful in any relationship...you must be able to understand yourself!

Before you can be successful in your relationship with God you must be able to understand yourself!

Tell the person next to you..."I am about to find out who I am."

The bible says....
James 1:17-18
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

James, Jesus half brother, wrote this.

Very quickly in his writings, he begins to talk about who we are....

• He begins by stating, "Every perfect gift is from above, from God the one who created light, and from the one who can never change."

James is setting up his next statement in this verse.

In the very next verse, James says, "God brought us to life by His word, and we became His most precious possession."

In two verses, James tells you who you are, and where you came from!

• God brought you into this world.
o It doesn't matter what the earthly circumstances of your birth were.
o You were not a mistake.
o You were not an accident.
o God put you right where you are for a purpose.
o God brought you into this world.

That's where you came from!

• The bible says that you are a perfect gift from above.
o That cannot change.
o There is no variableness or shadow of turning about that!
o You are the most prized possession of God.
o You are the apple of His eye.

That is who you are today!

Somebody say, "I know who I am!"

Then James goes on to say that it is not good enough to hear who we are, but we must become who we were born to be!

James 1:22-25
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

There is a lot to swallow in those four verses!

James makes it easy for us to understand though...he compares it to looking in the mirror.

How many of you like to look in the mirror? Don't raise your hand.

o The mirror doesn't lie...it tells the truth every time.

o I liked the mirror a lot more when I was 25 than I do today.

I looked in the mirror a lot in those days...

o I did my hair.
o Shaved.
o Brushed my teeth.
o Tied my tie.

And then I stepped back to admire the beautiful sight...just kidding.

Then I walked away and came back five minutes later to make sure everything was just right...like the mirror was lying to me or something.
Don't laugh at me, you know exactly what I am talking about! Some of you go back to the mirror seven, eight, nine and ten times before you leave the house.

It is like you forgot what you looked like ten minutes earlier.

That is exactly James point...

James 1:23-24
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

The reason that some of us struggle so much in our relationships is because we forget who we are...

o I can preach to you about being the prize of God's possession till I am blue in the face.
o You can hear me and agree with me all night long.
o But if you forget who you are between now and Sunday when the enemy starts messing with you...it is not going to do you any good.

James says, some of us are like that person who constantly has to look in the mirror to make sure they are good enough.

You know what your problem is tonight?

o Some you have forgotten what you look like!
o Some of you have forgotten who your father is!
o Some of you don't remember where you came from!

It is time for somebody to go beyond the hearing, and start believing.
It is time for somebody to start becoming who you are.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 
James said, don't look in the mirror, look in the word...the word is your mirror!

Take it to the next level...don't just hear the preacher, but believe him and put it into action!

o You are the apple of God's eye.
o You the crown of His creation.
o You are not an accident.
o God didn't make any mistakes.
o You are a perfect gift from God.

o Satan has no power over you.
o The enemy can't mess with you...Unless you let him.

Can I get a witness in the house tonight?

Since you are a perfect gift from God, it is important to understand that you are unique!

There ain't nobody else like you in this entire world!

David said...

Ps 139:14-16
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 
15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

o You were fearfully and wonderfully made.
o God knows every part of you...everything about you was recorded while you were in the womb.

Not only are you unique in creation, you are unique in purpose.

God has a unique purpose for your life!

o Nobody can take your place...You are unique.
o Nobody can talk like you...you are unique.
o Nobody can sing like you...you are unique.

Isaiah 43:6-7
6 I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth;
7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

We were created for the glory of God!

o God's glory is the beauty and power of His Spirit.

o We were created then to show God's glory...his beauty and his power...to all of the earth.

That is our purpose!

We are earthly vessels that contain His Glory!

We reveal His Glory to this world through our unique abilities...through our unique characteristics that were given from God.

o In other words...I can't sing like my wife...she reveals Gods glory through song...the beauty of music. She is unique in that way.

o I try to reveal God's glory through the spoken word.

There are many ways that each one of us can show God's glory to this world.

o Love for one another.
o Compassion.
o Humility.
o Servant hood.
Another way that we can all show God's glory is by our testimony! Our witness!

o Your personality is unique.
o So your testimony is unique!

You don't have to do it like Bro. Church, or Bro. Smith, or Bro. Matt Maddix.

But you do have to do it! You are called to be a witness!

1 Peter 2:9
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

We are called to show people how He called us out of darkness! We cannot hide our light!

Nobody else can reach the people that you are called to reach...you are unique.

There are a lot of people that will listen to your testimony, but they won't listen to my testimony, and they won't listen to Bro. Smith's testimony.

o Nobody else goes where you go.
o Nobody else works where you work.
o Nobody else has the friends that you have.

Listen now...and nobody else can witness like you can witness.

God had given you the unique ability to reach the people in your life!

If you don't reach those people...who will reach them... You are the only one who can reach them...you are unique!

God placed you where you are for a purpose.

I can't take your place, and you can't take my place...you are unique.

When I look at my own children...same father...same mother...yet so different...unique.

o As much as they look like me, my image, my wife's image...God has also made them in His Image!
o As much as Barrett wants to be like Davis, he can never be because God has already made him perfectly unique.

He has in own personality.
He has his own smile.
He has his own frown.

And it is the same way for each of us!

God made us that way and He understands our differences!

Matthew 25:15
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Don't be jealous of the talents that somebody else has...God made them that way.

And if you will use what God has given you...He will bless you with more.

Remember what out text said...

James 1:25
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

If you start doing what God has created you to do you will be blessed!

Can I get a witness of that in the house tonight?

So God made each of us unique, and God loves us that way.
His love is unconditional...

John 3:16
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God's love for you is unconditional...we are the object of His affection.

I didn't say that God loves it when you mess up and sin...but His love for you is unconditional.

I know you have heard that before.

The important thing tonight is to remember what I am telling you....that is what it really means to understand yourself.

Remember where you came from.

Don't forget who you are when you leave this house tonight!

o Our problem is that we forget who we are.
o We forget where we came from.
o We forget what our purpose is.

Do you know who you are tonight?

The reason people backslide is because they forget who they really are!

The prodigal son took his inheritance and left his family and home behind.

He erased the memory of his past.

o He became somebody that he was not.
o Instead of staying true to who he was, the bible actually says that he joined himself to a citizen of another country.
o He forgot who he was...and became another person, living a life he did not know.
After a time of living like that, and when his money was all gone, the bible says...

Luke 15:17
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

When he came to himself...one day he woke up!

One morning....

o He remembered who he used to be...
o He remembered where he came from...
o He remembered who his father was...

Oh does anybody remember who your daddy is tonight.

Do you know who you are ?

It dawned on the prodigal that he needed to go back home...even if it had to be as a servant.

So he heads back home to his father...

Luke 15:20-24
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

You might not think you are worthy to be called a child of God tonight...but if you will just give God a chance...

o He will bring out the best robe.
o He will bring out the fatted calf.
o He will throw a grand celebration.

...because you are one of His...a child of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords! He loves you more than anything.

o Do you remember who you are tonight?
o Do you remember when God baptized you with the Holy Ghost and fire.
o Do you remember when you took on His name at baptism.

You have been purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ, and you are not your own....he is Abba Father to you!

It is time for somebody to start being who God called you to be tonight!

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