721 N. Memorial Drive, Lancaster, OH 43130 // Main Service: Sunday 9 & 11am // Movement Youth Sunday 5:30pm


“We don’t have to self-actualize or be anything other than simply “His,” and we can learn this best in the context of godly, Christ-first relationships and community.” 

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)

And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.


In 1991, Christian artist Michael W. Smith released his hit song, “Place in This World.”1 In the song, Smith considers the world’s influence on him, his dark roaming, his need to find reason, and his “place” in a world that demands individual identity statements like: 

Who are you? 

Where do you belong?

What is your purpose?

To say that we have been influenced by culture is an understatement. When I lived in Washington, DC, my colleagues would often muse that the first question any given person would ask you in a social setting was one of the following two questions:

Where do you work?

Who do you work for? 

In DC, your individual, political identity and connections were of foremost importance.

My years in Manhattan introduced me to the most shocking wave of feminism I believe history has ever seen. Several of my girlfriends in New York City followed a well-known feminist who taught that all women were superior “goddesses” who should seek and embrace whatever brings them joy.

Culture tells us that we are individually autonomous and that our self-identities should be recognized and praised. Societal themes like “You do you” and “Live your own truth” suggest that life is about seeking our own wellness and success first. But this is not, nor has it ever been, God’s plan for humanity. One of the earliest examples of the church was a culture of togetherness where each person gave, served, and played an important part of sharing “all things in common” (verse 44).

Christ’s own example and His direction to us was that we should first love God and then love others as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40 ESV). So, as Luke observed of the early church in Acts, we were intended to play a part in this community, this body of Christ which functions opposite of individualism. Our identity should be found first and foremost in Jesus Christ because in Him, we are enough. We don’t have to self-actualize or be anything other than simply “His,” and we can learn this best in the context of godly, Christ-first relationships and community.

 "Michael W. Smith - Place In This World." GMA Dove Awards. October 23, 2015. Video, https://youtu.be/15nNDxRCcWQ?si=tBYZCi4hlkkmO6jY.

Action Steps

  1. Have you ever asked God how He sees you? Is there any part of you that places confidence in a false sense of identity? 
  2.  Are you a part of a small group? Do you have people in your life who encourage you or build you up from a godly perspective? If not, ask the Lord right now to help you take the first steps in finding this.

Father, my patient Creator, I know that You designed me to be a part of a community that places You at the center. It is so easy, in today’s culture, to emphasize “self” and default to my own goals and priorities, but I know that You have created me for so much more than gratifying my own schemes and plans. Help me to daily consider and encourage the body and community You have given me. Please work in me to build up and embrace the God-first relationships that You have placed in my life. It’s in Your perfect name I pray, amen.

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