Are You Defined by Your Denomination?
Are You Defined by Your Denomination?

We were at a wedding reception. The music started, and the dancing began. It was a time of celebration, and everyone was having a good time. My husband and I stood off to the side, sipping punch and talking to people we knew, when a young man, urging my husband to get out on the dance floor, blurted out, "Come on, Brian! What are you? A Baptist?" He then laughed and walked away. Brian smiled politely and continued his conversation.

"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted." Job 42

Our imperfect efforts to present the gospel will not make it harder for an all-powerful God, who has been drawing men to Himself since the beginning of time, to open the eyes of those who do not realize that they need Him. Yes, times have changed. It is becoming harder and harder for believers to be able to speak about God freely, but there is nothing that can make it too difficult for the Holy Spirit to draw a person to Himself. He continues to be the one that moves in the hearts of men, and He is more than capable of opening the eyes of any person.

As I look back over 58 years of a life journey that God has had my husband and me on, I am becoming more and more grateful for the things that God chose to use to help us to grow up and to equip us for all that He has called us to do. Every step we took, and every church we were a part of, was used by God to mold us into the people we are today. None of it was a mistake, and all of it, the good and the not so good, helped us get to know God better and learn to discern truth from error.

None of us can be wrapped up in a neat little package and labeled "Baptist" because that is not where our identity lies. Our identity always has been, and always will be, found in the person and work of Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross. The buildings we sat in where the message was taught were only the means by which God used that we might hear the gospel and come to know and follow Him. They are, and were, all a part of God's beautiful plan to draw men to Himself.

We are continuing to grow and learn so much, yet we must be confident-- not "self-confident, but confident in all that God has done to equip and grow us up to the present, and then use it all for His glory. Imperfectly pouring out for Him, knowing that He will use it as He sees fit.

"So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11

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