Thursday, December 5, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are?

One of life’s biggest questions is our origins.  Where did we come from?  Genealogy searches have become very popular in recent years as the internet has made historical records more accessible. The TV program, Who Do You Think You Are, shows people learning about their roots.   I have really enjoyed watching the program.  During each episode, a celebrity is taken on a quest into his or her family history.

Why are people interested in genealogy?  They understand that their heritage is part of who they are today.  I have been researching my family tree and have traced the Lawry name back to Joseph Laurie who was born in Scotland in 1770.  So far the most interesting ancestor I have found is my great great great great grandfather, James Vowels.

According to a document that I found, James Vowels was a soldier in the Army of the Revolution.  James was born in Virginia in 1738. He enlisted in 1776 under Captain George Slaughter of the 8th Virginia Regiment.  He fought in the Battles of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, Germantown on October 4, 1777 and several others.  He wintered with his regiment at Valley Forge and served out the time of his enlistment faithfully.

When his enlistment was up, he came home to Virginia and married Anne Fields in April 1781.  After the wedding he again joined the Army and was at the siege of Yorktown.  After the surrender of Cornwallis on October 19 1781, he returned home to Culpepper County Virginia where he lived until his death on April 17, 1815.

My great great great great grandfather was a part of some of the most important events in American history. He experienced the hardships if Valley Forge.  He was part of the Army that forced the English General Cornwallis to surrender and end the war.  He helped America gain its independence.  He was a true patriot. I’m proud to be a descendant of James Vowels.

As much fun as it is researching your genealogy, finally you reach a dead end and you can’t trace your family tree back any farther.  You are still left with the question, but where did I come from in the beginning?

Who do you think you are?  The answer determines how we live our lives.  If we are here by an accident of forces our existence is meaningless.  If we are here because of God, our life has great worth, purpose, and a promised future beyond death.

In the Bible’s account of human history we read “In the beginning God.”  God said, “Let us make man in our image.”  Who do you think you are? God says that he made you in his image and likeness.  Satan lies and says you were a cosmic accident.

Who do you think you are?  You don’t have to determine what your identity is because God has already revealed it. God has told us that He created us.  So many people are searching for their identity because they don’t believe that God created them.

Anytime we try to establish our identity and we do not understand it biblically, it results in problems. One problem is when people think too much of themselves and believe they are God-like; that there is divinity within them.  New age philosophy teaches that God is in us. That everything is universally connected through God.  A similar belief is found in Pantheism.  Pantheism is the belief that that nature is identical with divinity.  As a part of nature each person is in fact God.

Who do you think you are?  If you think you are God, there is nothing to control your behavior.

Another identity that many people assume is that of a highly evolved animal. They say that we’re just lucky animals with thumbs; that really all we are is just highly evolved animals. 

Who do you think you are?  If you think you are just a highly evolved animal, there is nothing to control your behavior.

The question should not be, who do you think you are, but who does God say you are.  The Bible tells us in 1 John 3:1, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”  God says that we are his children!

Because we are all God’s children, you are not more valuable than anyone else and you are not less valuable than anyone else. All people equally bear the image and likeness of God; Male and female, young and old, black and white, rich and poor.  Some people are richer, some people are smarter, some people are more competent, capable, and able, but all are made in the image and likeness of God.  All have dignity, value, and worth. One of the greatest lies is that some people are more valuable than others.

That is why I don’t believe in the survival of the fittest. I don’t believe in Darwinian evolution that says those who are strong survive and those who are weak are worth less. Adolph Hitler’s plan for the Aryan race was based on his study of Darwin’s theory. Christians shouldn't believe in racism, and sexism, because all are equally made in the image and likeness of God.

Who do you think you are?  Your answer will profoundly affect your life, your actions, and your salvation.

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