This book was so encouraging, as it reminded me of who I am in Christ. There are 10 chapters, each an essay on the truth of who we are as Christ followers. Each chapter is written by a different female author, which was really nice.
Here are the chapter headings and authors:
1. Free: Rescued by Grace - Jen Wilkin
2. Reflection: Made in God's Image - Hannah Anderson
3. Child: Beloved by the Father - Courtney Doctor
4. Saint: Redeemed by the Son - Melissa Kruger
5. Fruitful: Filled with the Holy Spirit - Jasmine Holmes
6. Member: Connected to the Church - Megan Hill
7. Beautiful: Clothed in Splendor - Trillia Newbell
8. Servant: Reaping a Reward - Betsy Childs Howard
9. Worshiper: Shining Brightly in the Darkness -Lindsey Carlson
10. Citizen: Longing for Home - Jen Pollock Michel
I thought I'd share a quote from each chapter that stood out for me.
From chapter 1 - Free: Rescued by Grace:
"...I wonder if for many of us, our problem was not with salvation itself, but with our understanding of how salvation brings freedom. Not until my early 20's did I gain any clarity on this issue. I knew I served a God who was and is and is to come, but I had yet to learn that I possessed from Him a salvation of which the same could be said.
Salvation from sin can be broken down into three categories: justification, sanctification, and glorification. For the believer, our justification was, our sanctification is, and our glorification is to come. We were saved, we are being saved, we will be saved."
From chapter 2 - Reflection: Made in God's Image:
"You may find as you begin to center you identity more fully on God that little about your life changes - at least externally. Most likely, you will still use certain categories to explain how you spend your days. You will work your job, love your family, and serve others. But while life around you may not change, centering your identity on God will make you a different person in it."
From chapter 3 - Child: Beloved by the Father:
"Is everyone a child of God? The answer is, no, not in the sense we're talking about. Every person is a creation of God, and He, as the Creator, certainly plays a fatherly role in many ways. But what we are talking about here is a special relationship that the New Testament uses two different terms to convey: new birth and adoption. They are two ways of looking at one reality - we have to become children of God.
John tells us, 'But to all who did receive Him (Jesus), who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God' (John 1:12-13). Adopted and born again. Children of God. If you've believed in Jesus through the work of the Spirit, then you can rest confidently in the truth of your identity - beloved child of the Almighty God."
From chapter 4 - Saint: Redeemed by the Son:
"...how we think about ourselves greatly affects how we live as we wait for Jesus to return.
Living as a saint who struggles with sin is profoundly different from living as a sinner who's desperately trying to be a saint."
"We're saints not because of anything we've done, but because of who Jesus is."
From chapter 5 - Fruitful: Filled with the Holy Spirit:
"Are you abiding in Christ, or are you abiding in the security of the work of your hands? Are you abiding in Christ, or are you walking in shame at the lack of the work of your hands? Neither will do. And neither is what we are called to.
Our identity is found is abiding in Christ. If we're fruitful, it's because He has given us increase, and we praise Him for that. If we're floundering, we rest in the fact that our true worth comes from His work on our behalf, and we praise Him for that.
In either season, we press toward the mark, resting and working for His glory alone. That is where our identity lies."
From chapter 6 - Member: Connected to the Church:
"The church is not a human invention - a group of people who thought it would be a good idea to get together since they share the same beliefs and spiritual practices. The church is established by Christ, and exists for the glory of Christ."
"The church is fundamental to the identity of everyone who belongs to Christ."
From chapter 7 - Beautiful: Clothed in Splendor:
"Psalm 100:3 'Know that the Lord, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.'
We are His! We are God's creation (Eph.2:10). Each intricately designed cell, every single strand of hair - everything - was designed by God (Matt. 10:30), made for His glory (Isa. 43:7), and therefore intrinsically beautiful. But far more beautiful in His sight is the person we are becoming as we pursue holiness and follow Jesus in this world."
"The only beautiful thing that will ever truly satisfy isn't a 'thing' at all. It's a person - Jesus."
From chapter 8 - Servant: Reaping a Reward:
"Imagine you're a first-century indentured servant. Day after day, you wash your mistress's clothes in the river. You dry them in the sun to bleach the natural fibers. You hope she will notice the care you take to please her, but she never notices. In fact, she takes out her bad moods on you by mocking you and speaking harshly.
In this situation, you're faced with a choice. You could stop trying so hard since you're never going to be appreciated. Or you could choose to do your best because you know the Lord of all the earth will see your efforts and be pleased by them."
From chapter 9 - Worshiper: Shining Brightly in the Darkness:
"Through His Word, His Son, and His Spirit, we've been afforded a front row seat to view endless examples of His kindness and mercy, so that in response, we might praise Him."
From chapter 10 - Citizen: Longing for Home:
The author of this chapter shares this quote from C.S. Lewis:
"Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy (my desire), but only to arose it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, those earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy or echo or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country...I must make it the main object of life to press on to the other country and to help others do the same."
I hope these quotes piqued your interest in this book! It also contains questions for group discussion at the end of each chapter. It was very good and I highly recommend it.