June 27, 2015

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

This verse is so familiar I almost didn’t write on it, but the truths in it are so glorious and so deep that they bear a lot of repeating. The very first thing this touches on is one of the great mysteries of existence, and that is God’s choosing. Stuck as we are in the flow of time, we can’t even imagine, really, what it’s like for God who is outside of time and perceiving it perfectly all at once. Free will is real, but God already knows how we will choose, and so He makes His choice. The people to whom Peter were writing were a decidedly mixed bag of assorted nationalities from all social levels and backgrounds – just like the Church is today. You could hardly have called them “a people,” but that is exactly what Peter does here. He then heaps on some remarkable descriptives, and we need to realize that these apply just as much to believers today as they did back then. We are royalty, exercising the authority of God. We are priests, interceding between God and man. We are holy. We are God’s personal possession. Wow! We tend to forget the wonder of that, if we ever really believe it in the first place. However, we must remember that all of this is for a purpose, and if we deviate from that purpose we are off course at best. That purpose is to declare the marvelous works of God to all who will listen. Sadly, few Christians actually do that, and those who do are often considered “fanatics.” If that is fanatical, then every Christian on the face of the earth is called to be a fanatic! This is not saying that every Christian is to be a “full-time evangelist.” Rather, it is saying that we are to be giving God the credit for what He has done, most especially in our lives. Talking about the good things he has done for others isn’t bad and can be quite enjoyable, but we need to recognize and talk about what He has done for us. Actually, it is an interesting reality that telling someone else expands and cements our own appreciation and understanding of the grace of God.

My life has certainly been an illustration of the grace and mercy of God. I do seek to tell others, and it is sad to me that the majority either think I am bragging or that God must love me more than He loves them. Neither is true! They too can join the ranks of God’s chosen by their own choice. Expressed in human words that seems paradoxical, but it is glorious reality. As a pastor I desire that everyone in this church understand and fulfill the purpose for which they were created and chosen. In my experience and understanding, we were created for fellowship with our Creator and we were chosen to be His agents and representatives, declaring His works not only to our fellow human beings but also to the “principalities and powers,” (Ephesians 3:10) though we have very little grasp of that dimension. I am to be faithful in my own obedience and I am to call all believers to do the same. There can be no greater joy, blessing, satisfaction, peace, what have you, than fulfilling the purpose of our existence.

Father, thank You for this reminder. This verse is familiar for a reason! Help me live it out consistently, building up the Body of Christ for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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