I first became introduced to Casting Crowns by a group started by teenagers at Red Lion Christian Academy. Faith on Fire was formed under the leadership of Jim Walls and evolved into a ministry team. One of the members was Kaylyn Warren, one of my students that I taught over my ten-year teaching career. Despite losing her battle to cancer at age 18, Kaylyn was a gifted singer who regularly led worship at chapel services. The words of one song often sung reminds me of Who I Am in Christ, not what I do.
I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me, Galatians 2:20.
At any social gathering that you attend, one of the first topics men discuss is “what do you do” and “where did you go to school?” If you’re in between jobs or not proud of your current position, you may give a brief answer before changing the subject to something more comfortable. While I have been blessed to hold several great positions like Store Manager of Michael Jordan Golf at O’Hare International Airport and Regional Staff Writer for Travel Golf Media, this is not who I am today.
[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous,] Galatians 2:21.
I’m a humble servant of Jesus. I have been crucified with Christ like the apostle Paul explains in Colossians 3:1-4. I walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Corinthians 5:7. I have been saved by God’s grace, Ephesians 2:8-10. Who I will become is yet to be determined, but Philippians 1:6 claims that God is preparing me so that I can accomplish God’s will for my life. While I still have aspirations to become a full-time screen writer and complete the television series that I have in my head and on my heart, James 4:13-15 reminds me that I need to live life one day at a time. Do your best and let God take care of the rest.
by Jay Mankus