As we speed into another month of 2015, I want to point out a subject we are focusing on in Youth Group, an adult Sunday School class, and our Marriage Enrichment class.  Our identity as believers and followers of Jesus Christ defines us first and foremost - period.  The classic 80's movie "The Breakfast Club" has a lot to teach us about teenage culture both then and now.  In a Wednesday night youth group meeting we used a clip from that movie to help us evaluate how we see others and ourselves.  Who are those we associate with and why?  Who are those we seem to put into categories of unapproachable or outcast?  As Christians we see our identity in our creator, sustainer, teacher, redeemer, Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.  We believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - the triune God.  It is the most important part of our identity.  Our faith defines us.  It determines what kind of spouse, parent, child, friend, employer, employee, and person we are.

In our Marriage Enrichment class we are using a series titled "From This Day Forward," which is a 5 part series helping us as spouses to seek God first, fight fairly, have fun, live purely, and never give up.  All the others hinge on that first session, "seek God first."  It is the starting point, the middle ground, and the ending to all of our stories as Christians.  No one can complete us other than the one who created us. 

We are seeing a lot of advertising now on the subject of Valentines, and iconic hearts are everywhere we look.  But did you know that Valentine's Day began with a Christian who was teaching the way of relationship as God designed - between one man and one woman in holy matrimony.  This teaching, for which St. Valentine was martyred, pointed people to the truth of the Gospel and how it should shape all areas of their lives.  The culture of Rome in the 3rd century was one of false gods and a lot of debauchery, to put it in a censored and condensed way, but nothing can destroy the Good News of the Gospel, then or now!

So as we live our lives moment by moment and day by day, let's focus on the most important aspect of our identity - our faith.  It shapes everything else in our lives into a proper perspective as we live it out.  Let's be reminded, as we enter into our time of reflection during the Lenten season, why our Emmanuel came, and what did for us out of an abundant and unconditional love.  Jesus came to us, He taught us, He blessed us, He died for us, and He rose from the grave for us.  He now calls you and me to follow Him in all we do!  What's more important?

"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"  Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."  Matthew 22:36-40

God is good all the time and all the time God is good!  I love you!

In Christ's Love,
Rob, Romans 12