I was thinking today about labels...labels the world puts on us, labels those around us might put on us, and labels we put on ourselves. In Matthew's gospel, he writes that Joseph (the earthly father of Jesus) took his family and they settled in Nazareth to fulfill what the prophets wrote, "He shall be called a Nazarene." Nazareth obviously did not have a good reputation because in John 1:46 we have the recorded question of Nathaniel, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" The label stuck, however, because He was called Jesus of Nazareth in the gospels as well as in the book of Acts. It didn't stick in that Jesus didn't let that label dictate who He was... This is what I mean: I can remember telling someone I looked up to (this was probably back in high school or college) that I was going to accomplish something. That person looked right at me and, in all seriousness, said, "You can't do it." That stuck and I didn't do it. I can remember the conversation exactly as if it happened yesterday. Label me failure. I was very much an introvert in school and super shy and didn't have a lot of friends. I was the kid in the lunch room eating by herself. Label me nerd. I ask my kids all kinds of questions and always want to know what they are up to. Label me wacko stalker parent.
God says that I am His prized creation, crowned with glory and majesty (Ps. 8:3-5). Label me cherished. God sent His Son so that I might be redeemed. (John 3:16) Label me saved. The Apostle John wrote that if we confess our sins God will forgive us and even cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Label me clean and forgiven. God's Word tells me that I am His workmanship, created for good works according to His purpose. (Eph. 2:10) Label me worthy. His Word also tells me that when I am weak, I can rely on His strength and am not dependent on myself. (2 Cor. 12:10) Label me strong.
I could go on ... the point is, don't accept the labels of the world, the people around you, or even those that you put on yourself that weigh you down (like the ones from past sins or failure that you are hanging on to). Whatever it is that keeps you from being all that God has called you to be is a lie...don't believe it and don't live by it.
In service to the King because there is no other,