Saturday, December 5, 2009

Where We Belong

 1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, 2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.   
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

      “ Behold, I lay in Zion
      A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
      And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“ The stone which the builders rejected
      Has become the chief cornerstone,”

 8 and

      “ A stone of stumbling
      And a rock of offense.”

   They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (1 Peter 2:1-10, New King James Version)
Because we are born again through the precious, incorruptible blood of Jesus and the eternal word of God, we now need to lay aside all of those things that are not suited to our new nature.  Malice, or ill intent, has no place in our new life.  We must reject every form of deceit and dishonesty, and hypocrisy which is that tendency to say one thing and do another, to pretend that we something other than what we are.  We need to stop envying each other for their possessions, their talents, gifts, relationships, whatever, because this is often the source of malice and hypocrisy.  We must continue to be careful not to speak evil of others.  We must stop making excuses for all these things and make a choice to lay them aside, rejecting them as behavior not suitable for a new creation in Christ.

We need to feed on God's word and not resist the things it says, but rather  let it do its work to change us and cause growth.

Indeed our Lord is gracious and precious to us who yielded our lives to Him.  He is the solid Rock on which we stand and base our lives, but to hearts bent on rebellion He is a stone which trips them.  Having been offered a free pardon and then choosing to reject it, they heap more condemnation on themselves.

But those of us who know Jesus as our Savior and our Lord are chosen.  We are a royal priesthood.  Royal because we are children of the King of Kings, and a priesthood because we are God's servants and ministers.  We are His hands and feet, going and reaching out to those around us, a light in the darkness that so heavily hangs over this world of ours.

We are a holy nation, we no longer claim citizenship in this world, but our citizenship is in heaven, and we are strangers and visitors here on earth.  We are God's chosen and special people, set apart to proclaim the praises of  God bring glory to the One who called out of the thick choking darkness we once walked in and into His marvelous light.

Once we were not a people, once we did not belong, we had no place or people to which we truly belonged, but now we belong to God Himself, we are His people, on which He has chosen to show His incredible love and mercy.

Lord, I thank you for your mercy.  I thank you that now I truly have a place I belong, in Your loving arms.  I praise You, Lord, for choosing me.  I don't understand why you did, there was nothing in me to warrant or be worthy of  Your choosing, yet You chose me as a vessel to display Your mercy.  I can only respond with humble thanks.  I ask Lord, that You will help me to lay aside everything that would hinder my usefulness to You, anything that would stop other people from seeing Your glory.  Praise You LORD.

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