Manners and sanctification


April 13, 2019



“What in the world is blockchain?” I asked the Barnes and Noble employee as he somewhat unceremoniously plopped a stack of magazines with “blockchain” written on the cover on the rack. He said, “It is a technology that is being used to help protect our identity and personal information.” I grabbed a copy and was quickly hooked by the article’s title which began with the huge block letters: “Identity Crisis…”

“Identity” regularly occupies the headlines. We are so much more aware of it. Protection of our personal information has become a minimal expectation for doing business. In some cases, it even represents a competitive edge. Politically and culturally, debate surges over the most basic definition of identity: male and female.

All of the attention given to identity these days makes for some wonderful opportunities to grow in Christ.

First, it presents an opportunity to think about our own identity, in Christ.“Identity” is a simple one-word summary of what Jesus has done for us. Who are you? If you are in Christ, then you are a new creation. We tend not to think much about this new identity and all that it entails. Instead, we favor thinking about what we should do. Marinating in all that Jesus has fully accomplished not only instructs us in how to live, it motivates us, too.

Second, it reminds us how fragile, needy, and dependent we all really are. The fact that there is such concern over our SSN and credit cards numbers is evidence just how little control we actually have. We are vulnerable. Much of the media attention preys on and stokes our fears. None of us are in control.

But Godisin control. He is our refuge, strength, and protector. No matter how compromised my personal information is on the internet, God protects me through the end of my life on this earth—and beyond. My identity is completely, irrevocably secure in Jesus Christ.

Third, it provides a great entry point to share the good news with nonbelievers. It is not hard to imagine why people get so hysterical about their identity being stolen. This world really doesn’t offer much in the way of security. It is another reason why people without Jesus Christ have reason to be afraid.

When my family goes to visit an elderly neighbor in a local care facility, we often find the neighbor watching the news. He sometimes makes fearful, even angry comments about the future when the stories involve healthcare and social security. In those moments, I remind him that God cares for his own and that he can rest in that. Before leaving we usually pray with him and for him to rest in God’s sovereign care. Over the years we have had many deep spiritual conversations but we are still uncertain about his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Still, I can say that when I remind him of God’s care for his people in those moments it brings peace. I trust that a deeper work is taking place.

We all need the peace that only God offers because he is the only one in control of all that is happening everywhere and all of the time. If we are marinating in all that Jesus has done for us, we will be more attentive to the fearful, anxious cry of those around us who desperately need the security only Jesus can give. Jesus is the ultimate blockchain.

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