5 IDENTITIES God wants you to embrace!
1 Peter 2:9 “… you are a HOLY people…”
This phrase comforts us when we have a failure in life or say or do something we later regret. Comparing ourselves to others eases our conscience as we give ourselves a pass and breathe a sigh of relief that there are worse people who have done way more wrong than I have.
It is true, nobody’s perfect. Unfortunately, it’s also easy to say this to God to dismiss or tell ourselves that his command to “Be perfect, as I your heavenly Father is perfect” is an unreasonable demand that no one can live up to.
Yet, the words don’t go away. They ring in our ears. “Be perfect. Be perfect. Be perfect…”
“But, God” I plead, “Nobody’s perfect!?!? How can you expect me to be perfect?”
To which God responds, “I am God. Be perfect!”
We quickly realize the status God demands is one we can never achieve. In fact, it would be more natural for us to embrace the identity we often confess, “I a poor miserable sinner…”
Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Like the owner of a theater has every right to prevent you from seeing a movie if you don’t have the proper admission cost, so God has every right to refuse us admission to heaven because we fall short of the holiness he demands. Yet, realizing nobody’s perfect and without lowering the standard of holiness, God, our holy and loving Father did something we could never do.
Romans 5:8 God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He died because he took our imperfection and made it his own…even though he WAS perfect!
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Hebrews 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
YOU have been GIVEN a new identity: HOLY! Because of Christ, you are no longer a poor miserable sinner (although we certainly still struggle with our sinful nature) but a HOLY person of God!
Why does this identity matter? You have been given the status necessary to be in the presence of a holy God! You ARE holy. You ARE perfect!
Apply: What happens when you shift your primary identity from sinner to saint (holy one)?
Prayer: Thank you Father for not lowering your standard of perfection, but rather raising me to meet that standard through your son Jesus. Lead me to enjoy each day knowing I AM a HOLY person! Amen.
5 IDENTITIES God wants you to embrace!
1 Peter 2:9 “…you are a ROYAL priesthood…”
If you have daughters in your home, at some point most of them have embraced one of the Disney princesses as their identity. They watched the movie. They were enthralled with the fantasy. They got the pretty dress and were proud to move around the house in the elegance and mindset of royalty.
Something about royalty captures the mind and heart of interest. Perhaps for some it’s the perceived luxurious lifestyle. Perhaps it’s the “happily ever after” that fairy tales are made of. Or perhaps it’s the lure of power captured by playing a game of “King of the Hill.”
No matter what your perception, to have the designation of “royal” is a positive and prestigious status…especially when it comes from the King of kings! God calls you royal which means you are part of HIS kingdom.
Martin Luther in his explanation to the 2nd Article of the Apostles Creed put it this way:
I believe that Jesus Christ, …who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, ….
No matter what status we have in the world in which we live, through the work of Jesus you have been made royalty in the kingdom of God…and given a special role…to serve as priests!
This may seem like an odd designation, but consider what a priest did…
- He got to speak with and interact with God directly…(you do too!)
- He was to understand the will and words of God and share them with others…(you get to do this too).
- He represented God to the people…(he calls you to this as well!)
Ironic that a king and a priest were anointed in the Old Testament for these very special and important rolls. You, by God’s grace in the waters of your baptism, have been given this identity and set apart for this special roll…to be a ROYAL PRIEST…a servant in the kingdom of the most high God.
So you may not have the pretty dress or the jeweled crown, but you have a royal identity with a prestigious purpose to carry out today…enjoy being a royal priest of the King of kings. Serve him with your heart full and your head held high!
Apply: How does your perspective on your day’s activities change as you embrace your status as a “royal priest”?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for changing my status and my position through Jesus to be included as a royal member of your majestic kingdom and entrusted with serving you as a priest. Assist me today in embracing this identity and carrying out this role to your glory!
Daily Devotions based on the Sermon Series: “STRANGERS in the World”
Week 6 of 7: “Strangers…Am I the only one?”
Full Sunday message, CLICK HERE
5 IDENTITIES God wants you to embrace!
1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a CHOSEN people…”
It was a tense moment on the playground. The teacher chose two kids to be “captains.” Then they started selecting classmates one at a time until all were on a team. It stunk to be the last person chosen. Sometimes the captains could be heard to say, “I guess we’ll have __________ on our team.” If you weren’t good at sports, this is probably a familiar feeling. It’s no fun to be left out.
As we get older perhaps the stakes get higher. Applications for college scholarships. Resumes for a dream job. Dating the perfect person. All of these we simply want to be chosen. We want to be selected by someone who matters…the captain, the college, the boss, the date.
When we’re not chosen, it hurts.
Being chosen says we matter. It says someone believes in us, values us, and wants us part of their team.
That’s why these words of Peter are so powerful. “YOU are a CHOSEN people…”
In the Old Testament this was the term God applied to the people of Israel. They were the ones God chose to be his people, the family through whom the promised Messiah would come. It wasn’t because they were better, smarter or more God-fearing. God simply chose Israel and his descendants as an act of grace to be his people.
Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. 7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers …
God chooses you because he loves you. Consider this. The almighty, perfect, loving Father has CHOSEN you to be one of his own, to be part of his people! It’s not that you or I are better, smarter, or even more God-fearing. It was a selection of grace.
Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16).
It’s exciting when your college of choice sends you an acceptance letter…you’re chosen! It’s a great day when your new company calls and says, “You’re chosen!” It’s a wonderful feeling when the captain wants you on his team…you’re chosen!
How much greater it is to hear God say to you…I CHOOSE you!
Embrace this gift of grace…out of all the peoples on the face of the earth…God CHOSE YOU!
Apply: How does this truth affect you when you feel rejected or not chosen?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for choosing me. I know I don’t deserve it, but I thank you for choosing me by your love and grace to be part of your family. AMEN
Join us ONLINE for EASTER WORSHIP.
Sunday, April 12 at 9am Traditional or 11am Contemporary (CDT)
A full service with songs, message and prayers to uplift and encourage you this Easter!
COVID-19 has created uncertain times;
but Easter is a chance to celebrate and be reminded of what IS certain.
Come and enjoy music and a message to give your heart peace and joy.
This Advent Season we will be having an Advent Devotion Time with Songs and Discussion
7PM we will gather in church for Advent Devotion
Followed by an informal Bible Study Discussion (following the Story Series Wed. Night Bible Study)
The topic is THE KING WE REALLY NEED…. Reflections on the Kings of Israel and our perfect King, Jesus
This will repeat each week Dec 4, 11 and 18th