I Peter 2:9-10 (NIV) 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.
My husband and I are blessed with five fabulous children. Each with their own personalities with unique qualities that make them amazing individuals. Not perfect, but imperfectly ours. The kids range from almost 29 to 16 years old. As any parent of a large family will confide, if totally honest, the kids fuss and argue constantly. The older ones call the younger two spoiled. The younger ones engage in warfare all the time unless in cahoots. Each one vying for a favorite child award that doesn’t exist. It can be exhausting and even chaotic. However, let someone come against one of these children and it is like a scene from a black-and-white western. When the pioneers were threatened, they would circle the wagons and fight the enemy together. Why? It’s personal. When our middle daughter was in middle school, she was subject to a bully. Our oldest daughter was outraged and decided to go to the school to confront the bully taking matters into her own hands. Well, that may or may not have resulted in battery charges so I discouraged her behavior but applauded her dedication to her sister.
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.
God chose us individually but did not leave us isolated and alone. He united us into a royal priesthood, a holy nation called Kingdom, and claims us as His Special Possession. It is in this bond as believers that we declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into His Wonderful Light. To be a city on a hill that shines brightly for all to see. (Matthew 5:14) How bright is the Light of His Love shining through the windows of our homes, businesses and churches? Is it reaching those in the darkness who need light, life and salvation?
The enemy wants to take out the Light of God’s Love. Hide it. Dampen it. Extinguish it, if possible. The Apostle Paul warned about division. In Romans 16:17, Paul writes “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.” He addresses the matter again in I Corinthians 12 when hearing division was arising in the early church. He cautioned and reminded them that “there should be no division in the body.” It’s funny how our life often is untouched by the plight of others. We live in domestic isolation unless the same trial or tragedy strikes us. I prayed for people with cancer. However, it wasn’t until I became a cancer mom that it became personal and real. Our belief system is heavily influenced by life experience. The senses engage produce the choices made based on the limited knowledge of emotions and feelings. It is not until faith begins hearing and doing what the Word of God says that transformation is possible. To step out of who I was to Who He says that I am based on Who HE is that I finally experience the true blessing of agreement, unity and connection. 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. That mercy that I have received is the basis of love and acceptance for those who accept the invitation of the Lord to become “people of God” who are deemed brothers and sisters in Christ. Now it’s personal…
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
“People are people so why should it be… You and I should get along so awfully…” (Depeche Mode) People are people. It may appear that life would be easier without them but the truth is people need people. In order to hold unswervingly to hope that we profess requires the understanding of our identity as brothers and sisters, family of God, royal priesthood, and a Holy Nation – all called Kingdom. The enemy wages war against the Kingdom not by attacking in the heavenlies but rather in the heart and mind of God’s People. The self-motivated thought that I can do it myself and I don’t need anyone is a lie. We all need help. We all need support. We are relational beings. Our survival requires the connection called relationships. This is not only true in the natural but absolutely vital in the spiritual.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I am not a mega church kind of girl. I am not seeker sensitive but Christ focused. However, that doesn’t mean that a church cannot grow exponentially as long as the foundation of Christ alone remains true. The dedication of our heart to our Father through the Son and infilling of His Spirit means that my identity of changes and I become a Child of God. My relationships change in that instance because now I am part of a Kingdom. A Kingdom that I was allowed entrance to by overwhelming love and grace. A Kingdom where sin including division is not welcome. A Kingdom that will remain long after Christ’s Return. I must make this thing with the Lord personal. It has to be an adoption rather than a foster home. (Ephesians 1:5) God is building a Kingdom for His Children. Children who must bind together on earth to release the blessings of Heaven. Our family is personal. Just as my children do not always agree…okay seldom do… they take it personal when someone speaks ill of their sibling or tries to harm them. As believers, it is imperative and vital to our Kingdom relationship that our human relationships are thriving. We must encourage one another. We make opportunities to gather together and get to know each other. Join small groups and attend. Get to know those around us. No one in our life is not strategically placed by God. Each encounter a divine opportunity to make a connection and build a new relationship. It’s personal. There is nothing more pleasant or rewarding then to hear the laughter of our children. I am sure it blessings our Father’s Heart, too.
Psalm 133 (NIV)
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!