1 PETER 2:9–10 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
THEME OF THE DAY. OUR IDENTITIES DECLARED BY GOD. Today’s scripture contains heavy doses of encouragement for the downcast believer; the one who is feeling the weight of life upon them with such force as if to crush them. Now the scripture is not a “zap of joy” from God lifting us out of the pits. Nor does it contain promises to hold to like a life ring gripped by a drowning individual. It does more. Far more. It puts us on the firm and solid ground of what God declares we are before Him, now and forever; our never-changing identities. And they are not based on our “Christian performance.” If they did, none are true. Our always falling short conduct as believers would cause us to forfeit them. For instance, left to ourselves, how much of being a holy individual in a holy nation applies to us? I think we get the point. But we are not God’s children in all the glorious identities He declares of us on our merits. They are all by grace from start to finish! So, take time to ponder them. Doing so will bring great joy to a hurting and discouraged heart. Let’s walk through them on the path to joy . . .
First, we are a “chosen race” and that floods the soul with joy because of what we could not or would not do on our own – come to God, choose Christ. It was the initiative of the Lord, even before the foundation of the world – even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (Ephesians 1:4) coming to us; choosing us. Such security! Such assurance!
The next two identities we want to combine – “royal priesthood” and “holy nation” because they are inseparable. “Holy” is what a “royal priest” must be and being a “holy nation” points us to others – a community. And who do priests serve? Others, not themselves. This identity produces joy by reminding us of one of our primary responsibilities as a “royal priesthood” – praying for others. What is one of the main functions of a priest? To intercede, to offer prayer to the Lord, and as “royal priests serving a holy nation” (God’s people), we are enabled to be like Jesus – interceding in prayer for His will and others. The book of Revelation opens with this declaration – John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen (Revelation 1:4-6). Ponder the privilege and joy of getting to pray for others, God’s holy nation, as “royal priests.” Joy abounds when we forget ourselves and focus our praying, interceding for others.
Finally, God calls us “His possession.” Please spend time thinking what this means. It will drive any “spiritual blues” or “dark clouds” quickly away. As His prized possession, He cares for us, protects us, provides for us, guides us, teaches us, and ensures we will arrive safely to heaven as His prized possession forever on display as trophies of His grace! And that, friends, leads to joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8)!
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for electing grace, redeeming love, and the privilege to be bought and owned by You.”
QUOTE: “To have Christ as our Master living under the joyful submission to His ownership is life’s greatest experience.”