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Often I forget the community of the worldwide Church in the pursuit of personal discipleship. While throughout Scripture, the Jews have always had a national mindset, Peter extends that thinking to his Gentile brothers and sisters.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV
Peter again gives us a list of word pictures:
Chosen People: You have been selected. God did not pick you randomly. And you have a place in a group. You don’t fly solo—at least you shouldn’t. Ecclesiastes 4:12 reads, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Paul described the corporate church as a body. Are you connected? Do your spiritual fibers interlock with those of the brothers and sisters in Christ around you? Wisdom. Comfort. Strength. Encouragement. Healing. The give-and-take of community builds us up. The body suffers when we disengage.
Royal Priesthood: British royals fascinate me, but Queen Elizabeth, William, and Kate can’t compare with the royal status God gives His children. We are not children of a king. We are children of the King. Priesthood in the Old Testament remained separate from the kingship—until Jesus came. Because Jesus came as a priest in the order of Melchizedek, not Aaron, He combined the two. Consequently, we inherit both as well. Who better to represent the King than His children?
Holy Nation: Holiness, love, and grace should mark God’s people. Belief determines behavior. What does our behavior demonstrate about our beliefs?
When I think of nation, I think of a people united by geography, culture, and government. The opening ceremonies of the Olympics give me a sense of God’s future kingdom. Every nation, race, and culture will unite as brothers and sisters in Christ. Worship will be an adventure.
God’s Special Possession: Wow. You. Me. His. Wow. A change has taken place, Peter tells us. A transition from unacceptable to accepted. From justice to mercy. God looks for a response on our part, and rightly so, “that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Worship with Tasha Cobbs as she declares the power of Jesus as He breaks the chains of the evil one.
Workout of the Week: You Belong
Memory Verse: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 NIV
Meditation Passage: 1 Peter 2:4-10
Do It: Declare His praises and embrace the community of the Church.
Our spiritual discipline for January is meditation. This week, remember all the times you were chosen—or not. Now, picture God choosing you. Set the scene. Who do you see in the crowd? What does Jesus do when He sees you? How does He call you forward? What does He do when you get there? How do you feel?