1 Peterby David Burge
The New Testament urges Christians to encourage one another-to speak truths to each other that strengthen and give courage. It's a shame when people feel so despondent or self-critical that they give up on a relationship or a ministry because of despair. If only we were more encouraged and more encouraging of one another. Can you think of times someone encouraged you in your faith or ministry? What effect did it have?
Today's passage is God's way of encouraging you. In 1 Peter 2:9, he says four things for you to cling to, each using Old Testament descriptions that are loaded with significance.
First, ″you are a chosen people″. Just as God chose Israel from among the nations, God chose you to be His and He is committed to you forever (see Hebrews 13:5).
Second, you are ″a royal priesthood″. In Peter's day, kings and priests were privileged with special roles of service to God. Now, God gives you a share in the kingdom work of Jesus our King and Mediator.
Third, you are a ″holy nation″. The nation of Israel was set apart to represent God in the watching world. Israel failed in her task, and our representation of God is still far from perfect, but in Christ we are set apart for this privileged role. Day by day, you are being made holy through the inner working of the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, God says that you are His ″special possession″. Incredibly, even though God does not need anyone or anything, He says over and over through Scripture that He loves and delights in us (see Zephaniah 3:14-20). May His love overwhelm your minds and hearts! You have a special place in God's heart.
Such truths are intended to fill you with overflowing gratitude and cause you to ″declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light″ (1 Peter 2:9).
Whatever your work or life situation might be, God gives you a fulfilling purpose-you are to allow your heart's gratitude to overflow to the world and to share how merciful God is to have brought you from darkness to light (v. 10).
God wants you and your church to know who you are to Him. Read in 1 Peter 2:9-10 again. What strikes you most from these descriptions of you?
How might you let these truths fill your heart and overflow into praise of God today?