extreme identity makeover

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  • EXTREME IDENTITY

    MAKEOVER

    Begin to Live As God Sees You

    Shannon Leibold

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    Table of Contents

    Introduction Page 5

    Week 1 From Nobody to Somebody Page 7

    Week 2 From Enemy to Child Page 25

    Week 3 From Old Creature to New Creation Page 45

    Week 4 From Born Wrong to Made Right Page 61

    Week 5 From Sinner to Set Apart Page 83

    Week 6 From Independence to Surrender Page 109

    Week 7 From Isolated to Belonging Page 131

    Week 8 From Vulnerable to Secure Page 153

    Week 9 From Cursed to Blessed Page 175

    Week 10 From Dissatisfied to Complete Page 295

    Week 11 From Imprisoned to Free Page 215

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    Introduction I am thrilled you have agreed to join me on this journey. This has been an exciting process for me, and although difficult at times, one I have thoroughly enjoyed. I love the challenge of writing Gods truth in a format that I trust will challenge you as well. I am passionate about allowing the Holy Spirit to take the truth we already know, and letting it permeate all aspects of who we are, until it transforms our daily lives.

    The focus of our study is the Christians identity in Christ. I hope you will agree that we are entirely different in Christ than we were before we surrendered our lives to Him. There is an instant transformation that takes place that is similar to a makeover. Our before Christ and after Christ images are completely different. Although our behavior doesnt immediately change; how God sees us does. Throughout this study we will seek to discover what our identity in Christ means for us and how it affects us daily. Although we may be able to verbally articulate our identity in Him, we dont always live it. It is a giant leap between what we know and how we live, so this study will address both. Our goal is to live in the fullness of how God sees us.

    Like any study of Gods Word, what is gained is directly proportional to the effort invested. Allow the daily homework to enhance your journey. Take the time to read the Scripture passages and let Gods Word sink into your very being. Reflect on the personal questions; allow the Holy Spirit to confirm His truth in you. The purpose of this study is not to accumulate more knowledge, but instead to focus on life transformation.

    The material is divided into eleven weeks. The first week is introductory and the following ten weeks deal specifically with ten different aspects of our identity in Christ. A weekly Scripture focus is provided for us to meditate on and perhaps even commit to memory. The more we internalize Gods Word, the more equipped we are to face the stuff of life. Each week incorporates five days of homework and each day has a section called Reflections which allows you to reflect on the material covered that day. Also included is a section called Spiritual Journal which you may use as you wish. You may want to capture fresh insights, to express your gratitude to God for your identity in Him, to ask Him questions, or to document His activity in your life. I will leave that between you and God. The last lesson in each week is entitled Appropriate Response. On this fifth day, we are going to answer the question posed in Romans 8:31. What then shall we say in response to this (NIV)? As we keep uncovering who we are in Christ, each discovery should move us to action. We will ask ourselves what our appropriate response should be to the insights we have gained.

    Are you ready to begin our journey together? My prayer is that you are open to what God wants to do in and through you as we seek to become all that we can be in Him. I am praying that you dedicate yourself fully to our time together and that you allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you through the next eleven weeks. Lets begin!

    In Christ, Shannon Leibold

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    WEEK 1 FROM NOBODY TO SOMEBODY

    We live in a world that defines beauty as tall, thin and blonde, success as six figures, and pleasure as momentary gratification. Our individuality is lost to the image society defines as perfect. Amidst lifes frantic pace of appointments, meetings and the endless activities demanding our attention, we gradually lose sight of who we were created to be. The world begins to influence our thoughts and actions, and tragically we begin to blend in with the masses. If we dont regularly take the time to stop and reflect about who we are in Christ and how that knowledge should affect our daily lives, we may lose ourselves entirely.

    This Is Me We begin our journey together with some inward glances. Self-reflection is an exercise designed to help us better understand ourselves and how we relate to the world around us. Take some time to consider the following reflective questions about yourself.

    Read each pair of descriptive words and phrases and check which one of the pair most describes you. There are no right or wrong answers, simply answer with what comes to mind. a) _____ optimist _____ pessimist b) _____ fair _____ dark c) _____ athletic _____ intellectual d) _____ single _____ married e) _____ disorganized _____ organized f) _____ people-focused _____ task-focused g) _____ impatient _____ patient h) _____ passive _____ aggressive i) _____ patient _____ quick-tempered j) _____ coward _____ courageous k) _____ trusting _____ suspicious l) _____ content _____ dissatisfied m) _____ introvert _____ extravert n) _____ professional _____ blue collar

    Day 1 A LOOK WITHIN

    Scripture Focus: For we are Gods masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10

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    o) _____ competitive _____ passive p) _____ spontaneous _____ planner q) _____ detailed _____ big picture

    r) _____ shy _____ out-going s) _____ independent _____ dependent t) _____ spender _____ saver u) _____ laid back _____ impulsive v) _____ optimist _____ realist w) _____ creative _____ logical

    Describe yourself in terms of: your appearance

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    your responsibilities ________________________________________________________________________

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    your various roles (i.e. parent, child, sibling, employee etc.) ________________________________________________________________________

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    your character ________________________________________________________________________

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    As we have just seen, we can describe ourselves in many different ways. Among others, we can use our appearance, our relationships, our profession and our character to express our individuality. When you first meet people, they almost always explain themselves in these terms. Although its true that all of these attributes describe us, they do not define us. For that, we must get past our various titles and responsibilities and delve into our innermost being.

    Who are you really, on the inside? Who are you when nobody else is around? When you strip away all of your relationships, responsibilities and social tendencies, what are you left with? These are invasive questions, I realize, but they are designed to be thought-provoking. They are questions we will think seriously about today and throughout our entire time together. Lets continue in self-reflection.

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    What are you passionate about? ______________________________________________________________________________

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    What frustrates or discourages you? ______________________________________________________________________________

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    What do you excel at? ______________________________________________________________________________

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    What are your greatest dreams for your life? ______________________________________________________________________________

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    If you could impact the world in any way, what would you do? ______________________________________________________________________________

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    I trust these questions have initiated a curiosity to discover more about who God created you to be.

    Quest for Significance At the core of every human being is a desire to be loved, valued and cherished. We want our lives to make a difference, to impact the world around us in some way, leaving a lasting imprint long after we are gone. This longing is a godly one. In fact, it was God who placed it within us. He created us for significance and we will learn that in Christ is where we find our tr