What Made You Who You Are?
For the last two, maybe three years, I’ve listened toÂ Montgomery Gentry’s song titled, “Long Line of Losers.” I always loved it, and still do, however, it was not till about a week ago that something hit me while I sat in the library studying and listening to the song. Something so simple, and yet so glorious in the Gospel that I had over looked in the words of this song.
The lyrics go:
Granddaddy was Irish Cherokee,Â Ran moonshine from here to Tennessee,Â Spent half his life in the Montgomery county jail. Grandma she got drunk and left,Â All her kids on her mamas front steps,Â NobodyÂ´s heard from her since she hightailed.
I come from a long line of losers,Â Half outlaw half boozers ,Â I was born with a shot glass in my hand,Â IÂ´m part hippie a little red neck,Â IÂ´m always a suspect,Â My blood line made me who I am.
Daddy never finished school,Â But he shot one mean game of pool,Â Took a bullet for stealinÂ´ cars down in Birmingham.Â Mama always went to church.Â But we soon found out what her reasons were.Â She got caught at the local motel with the preacher man
I come from a long line of losers,Â Half outlaw half boozers ,Â I was born with a shot glass in my hand,Â IÂ´m part hippie a little red neck,Â IÂ´m always a suspect,Â My blood line made me who I am. (3X’s)
I come from a long line of losers……”
I am sure that many of you could not possibly see how such song lyrics could be enjoyable, let alone mean anything to you. But as far as I am concerned, I love them. I love the beat. The words speak to my own life (where I came from and where I spent the better part of my life growing up back home in Ashland Ohio). I simply love hearing about what made me who I am today, where I came from, and hearing the words of songs that speak about where people really come from in life.
Yet what hit me last week is that I too come from a long line of losers in my own family (not all of them): the outlaw half boozers on the one side, to my own hippie aunt; from my little red neck family on the east side of Kentucky (where the grass is really blue) to my suspect past history; and, yes, even a family that had for so long been my identification–who I was, what made me, me. However theyÂ did not make me who I am.
While sitting in the library, studying, writing and working on my thesis it dawn on me that all that I am is found in Jesus Christ and not in my human history and human nature.
I am adopted, justified, chosen, forgiven, and have direct access to the throne of grace:
- John 1:12 – I am God’s Child.
- John 15:15 – As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ.
- Romans 5:1 I have been justified.
- 1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.
- 1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s body.
- Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
- Colossians 1:13-14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
- Colossians 2:9-10 I am complete in Christ.
- Hebrews 4:14-16 I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.
I am secure, saved, sealed and filled with the Spirit:
- Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation.
- Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
- Romans 8:31-39 I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.
- 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.
- Colossians 3:1-4 I am hidden with Christ in God.
- Philippians 1:6 I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.
- Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
- 1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.
I am significant, seated with Christ, and I am a workmanship of the Lord’s Kingdom:
- John 15:5 I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
- John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.
- 1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God.
- Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.
- Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
- Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
I guess after thinking about it, the past history of a man means nothing after they have been called out of the world by God. I sat there in the library thinking: it was not my human blood line that made me who I am, but what is written in Hebrews 9:14, “how much moreÂ will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” For it was Christ blood that purchased me and made me who I am.
If you actually wanted to hear the song, you can do so here.
Sounds like a good sermon series is brewing up a storm. Twenty-six texts in a broad three-part outline–half a year’s worth of growing this one truth deeply into the minds of your congregation! May God be glorified.
[Publication details pending. Tapes & CD’s available in the foyer. :o)]