IN today’s world it is extremely easy to get our identity from the things that we value. 

These might include how much money we have in the bank; how many proprieties we own; how many people have liked my post on Facebook or Instagram or how many friends I have, or about having the latest and new model of car or mobile phone. 

All of these are good things, things not to be dismissed.

However, they are not always things that will lead to our fulfilment as human beings. What does it mean to be fulfilled?

It means reaching a state of contentment with life, of being happy with your life and what you have.

It is not about ever-increasing wealth or chasing after the next flashy and shiny thing that promises to meet your every desire.

In the Bible, Jesus is recorded saying lots of things, some of which is incredibly powerful and related to our worth as humans.

In the reading used on the second Sunday of Lent, Jesus said, anyone who wishes to follow Me, must first deny themselves, and take up their cross, before following Me (Mark 8:34).

This is a powerful saying from Jesus. That if we want to follow Him, we must deny ourselves, and to say no to what the world gives so that we can have true life in Jesus. 

Denying oneself is a skill that is not easily learned. It involves taking an ownership of matter in life, of not blaming others for what has gone wrong, but rather to allow God in to help us carry the burden they bare on us.

To do this means going against the way of the world, of living in rebellion to the world. It is a process that enables us to get our identity not from things, but God through Christ Jesus. 

In a little over four weeks, we shall be celebrating Easter once again. Easter was the day that Jesus came back to life, after being dead for three days.

It was on this day, by coming back to life, Jesus proclaimed that only true life can be found in Me, not in the things that we value. 

Rev Lewis Eden

Assistant Curate

Crediton Parish Church