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.
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.
Dear friends I URGE you,
as ALIENS and STRANGERS
in this world,
to ABSTAIN from SINFUL DESIRES
which WAR against your SOUL.
Live such good lives among the pagans
that, though they accuse you of doing wrong,
they may see your good deeds and
GLORIFY GOD on the day he VISITS us.
- 1 Peter 2:9-12 (NIV, Capitalization added)
This passage just washes my soul and spirit. Doesn't it feel good to know that we are chosen?
Doesn't it feel good to know that we BELONG to God? We are His. In verse 4 of the same chapter it says, "...chosen by God and precious to him." I don't know about you but it makes me want to shout, Hallelujah and do a happy dance!
It doesn't matter where we've been or what we've done or how many times we've failed,
he's called us OUT of darkness into his wonderful light! Hallelujah!
Why? He's building a HOLY NATION. He's building a ROYAL PRIESTHOOD to represent him.
Why? So that "We can DECLARE HIS PRAISES" before a lost and dying world and continue to expand his kingdom and help others find life more abundantly as well.
We were NOT his people and there are many out there who still are not.
But now we ARE his people and we need to help others find their way.
We did NOT have his mercy and there are many who still do not.
But now we HAVE his mercy and we need to help others obtain it as well.
THEREFORE, therefore, we are urged to live as STRANGERS and ALIENS in this world.
Don't get too comfortable. Don't become ASSIMILATED and forget who you are.
Don't forget who you've become and to whom you belong.
ABSTAIN from SINFUL DESIRES that WAR against your flesh.
Fight them off. Don't allow them to stain your royal, priestly garments.
You are the temple of the holy God.
Live such a good life, a peaceful life, a Spirit-led life, an unselfish life, a servant-like life
among the pagans, the unbelievers, so that even though they may accuse you wrongfully,
even though they may hate you, they can't deny your good works.
Then when God visits, THEY will glorify God, they will recognize God, they will praise God,
they will receive God and become part of the chosen people of God.
Then they too will declare his praises and do a happy dance!