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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 28
Luke 7:36-50

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i "yam" or i am?

"By God's favor I am what I am." —1 Corinthians 15:10

The old cartoon character, Popeye, used to flex his muscles, eat spinach, and say: "I yam what I yam. I'm Popeye, the sailor man." Popeye was quoting the Bible in the first part of this statement. Paul also said: "I am what I am" (1 Cor 15:10), but he didn't add: "I'm Paul, the sailor man." His addition was: "By God's favor I am what I am."

Christians base their identity on God's grace. Our relationship with Jesus, not our job, is the essence of a Christian's identity. Our self-image is not primarily based on our looks or our muscles, as was Popeye's. As followers of Christ, we see our bodies as temples of the Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), not as expressions of our ego, pride, and vanity. Christians base their identity on eating Jesus' flesh and drinking His blood, on receiving Him in Holy Communion (Jn 6:55). Christians are in Christ. We say: "I am what I am" because Jesus is the great I AM (see Jn 8:58).

Prayer:  Father, give me the mind of Christ, not my own mind or the mind of the world (1 Cor 2:16).

Promise:  "I tell you, that is why her many sins are forgiven — because of her great love. Little is forgiven the one whose love is small." —Lk 7:47

Praise:  Joan gave her eating habits to the Lord and was filled spiritually.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Developing A Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 19, 2014

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