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Voices With Ed Stetzer: 20 Truths from ‘Known’: How Believing Who God Says You Are Changes Everything

known

I am glad to feature Aubrey Sampson’s new book, Known. As I wrote in my endorsement, if you ever wanted to explore your identity and family name as a child of God, this is the book to pick up. In such a personal, authentic, vulnerable, yet biblical, way Aubrey emphatically and comprehensively declares how you are known by God. My prayer as you read Known, not only will you come to know who God says you to be, but you (as the title says) will come to believe who God says you are—and that, my friends, will change everything, not only how you live for him but how you live on mission to make him known.

20 Truths—Known: How Believing Who God Says You Are Changes Everything

By Aubrey Sampson

  1. Our names have the power to be badges of honor or badges of heartache.
  2. What if, in place of the negative names in your story, God wants to speak a new name, a better name, a healing name, a loving name, a freeing name over you? And what if he already has? In God, you are named—perfectly and truly—because in him, you are known completely.
  3. This is the universal human longing; to be known.
  4. God loves you and speaks goodness and delight over you, not because you have earned it or achieved it. Because you exist, you are worthy of love.
  5. Sometimes God meets our false names with such powerful redemption that they become the very place of our renewal.
  6. . . . suffering leads to a greater unveiling of Jesus’ image in us.
  7. Because of God’s love, my wounds are not my identity. I will keep on sharing that until I die.
  8. God is aware that our names, whether true or false, can become self-fulfilling prophecies with the power to dictate the way we live. So when he gives his children new names, God isn’t being cute.
  9. . . . we are called to honor and affirm the image of God in all people. This requires intentionality, humility, awareness, repentance (in many cases), and godly love.
  10. When we live in the confidence and flourishing of our true identity, we can’t do anything but scatter that goodness to the people around us.
  11. We serve a God who knows the wastelands we are in.
  12. Even in the scariest of pandemics, even in the face of injustice and evil, even when we are far from him in the loneliest of places, this is the God who sees, the God who pursues, the God who shows up, the God who repurposes, the God who finds us in our small corners of the world, while holding the entire world in his hands.
  13. What you do for Jesus, in each and every new life circumstance, may not even be noticed by many. But God will notice.
  14. At the end of the day, the things we achieve, the positions we lead, are not as important as the One we serve.
  15. From the beginning of time, the presence of God was always intended to be revealed and intermediated through humanity.
  16. As God’s royal priest, you are meant to, very intentionally, share the love and presence of Jesus with every person you come into contact with—be it a friend, stranger, or enemy—by name them well.

17. Your beingness, your namedness, is essential to your doingness.

  1. You are invited to participate with God in making your world into a garden-like, shalom-like place where others are empowered to flourish. This has been your mandate since the Garden of Eden. You are here to work for the prosperity and peace of wherever God has you.
  2. The God who breathed the world into existence, the God who knows every piece of who we are, also wants to be known and heard by us. What a gift. What a grace. What a thing.
  3. In Jesus, we find the one name, the true name, the exalted-above-every-other name, the name that holds all things together, the name that has no beginning and no end, and the name that is the beginning and the end. While most names are a proclamation, or a statement of identity, Jesus’ name is the only name that does something—a lot of somethings.
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Ed Stetzer, Ph.D., is a professor and dean at Wheaton College where he also serves as Executive Director of the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, has earned two master’s degrees and two doctorates, and has written hundreds of articles and a dozen books. He is Regional Director for Lausanne North America, is the editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited in, interviewed by, and writes for news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is the Founding Editor of The Gospel Project, a curriculum used by more than 1.7 million individuals each week for bible story. His national radio show, Ed Stetzer Live, airs Saturdays on Moody Radio and affiliates. He serves as interim teaching pastor of Calvary Church in New York City and serves as teaching pastor at Highpoint Church.