Selfie: Pics of My Past by John Burke


Today we started a new series at Gateway Austin on capturing who we really are.

You can watch or listen to the entire message here:

To dive even deeper, work through this week’s Next Steps.

John Burke shared at the McNeil campus, and Kenny Green spoke at the South Campus. Here are some of the ideas we shared:

The selfie has become a pop sensation, and you guys have been sending some great selfies to our Gateway Facebook page this week.

But the Selfie also has a dark side, doesn’t it? It’s symbolic in many ways of our insecure identities.  I want to present the Me I want you to think I am.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with selfies, but often times we see ourselves through the wrong filter. Today, we will look at two false selfies that keep us from moving forward.

False selfie #1 – I am a victim.

The truth about us can be found in Ephesians 1:3-8:

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding….”

You are much more than what you’ve been told or what you’ve done. We have every spiritual blessing when we turn to God!

You aren’t a victim of your past! You are His!

We have to replace old lies that we’ve become to believe about ourselves and instead discover and believe what God says about you in the scriptures.

We need to replace the lies with the truth!

One day all will be made right. Until then, we need to forgive even when the other person doesn’t apologize or doesn’t deserve it! Forgiveness does not free the one who has hurt us from their consequences but forgiveness frees us from the past to experience a better future.

In Christ, we are victorious rather than victims.

In addition, miraculously, God can take our worst moments and bring good out of it! (See Romans 8:28).

Let Jesus redefine who you are! Stop posting old selfies and embrace who you are in Christ!

False selfie #2 – I am defined by my past.

When confronted with the truth of his evil choices, King David turned back to God. David focused on who God is rather than on who he had become. He understood that God is loving and forgiving and willing to restore us! (See Psalm 51).

Peter denied Jesus three times while Jesus was on trial. After suffering crucifixion and then rising from the dead, Jesus had the chance to talk to Peter. Rather than expressing anger or judgment, Jesus gave Peter an opportunity to reconnect with Him. Jesus gave Him the opportunity to declare his love and start over. (See Col. 1:13-23).

Hurt people hurt people, but healed people can heal people!

Listen to these words Jesus quoted to describe His mission:

Luke 4:18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
   to set the oppressed free,
 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Jesus sets us free! We don’t have to remain hostages to the evil choices of others nor the evil choices we’ve made!”

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