1 Peter 2:9
But you area 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.
There are very few people who just don’t identify themselves with anything. Nearly everyone has gotten a hold of something that defines them. It could be their careers. I am a soldier, I am a fireman, or I am a mom. Maybe our identity is connected to our hobbies or our pastimes. I am a biker, I am a surfer, I am a Lakers fan. We put stickers on our cars and wear our identifying clothing. Maybe we even define ourselves as Christians. We have Jesus stickers on our cars, “John 3:16 or Christians aren’t perfect just forgiven.” But are these just costumes we put on that really don’t represent who we truly are? I heard a story about a cop pulling a woman over thinking she was driving a stolen car. He had observed her driving aggressively, being way less than courteous to other drivers and she had AC/DC playing very loud. She had a cigarette dangling from her lips until she threw it out the window. He pulled her over certain that the car was stolen. Why? It was literally plastered with Christian bumper stickers. It is so important to us that we have something that defines us. It is so crucial to our sense of self that we have an identity. A Rockabilly guy would no more wear a Duck’s jersey than a Duck’s fan would wear a King’s jersey. We are not kidding around when it comes to representing ourselves and identifying with something. Paul says this with slight variations at the introduction of every letter he wrote in the New Testament except Philippians, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God.” He is absolutely clear about who he is. I love 1st Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. For many years I promoted an image of the outlaw biker guy, the been to prison guy, the guy with the huge sleeved arms. Even when I got saved I still clung to that image but I reasoned it was for the purposes of a good testimony. “Look what God has done in the life of outlaw biker, convict, big arms guy!” But isn’t that really just glorifying the past? Doesn’t the Bible say that if any man is in Christ he is a new creation? So shouldn’t we truly desire a new identity? Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Not tough guy, not cool guy, not rock star guy, or fashion girl but a person who serves God and as a result has access to the deepest mysteries of God. We don’t have to be identified with our worldly accomplishments or our worldly failures instead we are seen and known for just what the Lord has empowered us with today, right now. We can be trusted to be forthright and honest in our dealings with others because we are living by Biblical principles. When someone is under the pressure of the things of the world whatever they might be, we become the person they think of to call for prayer and advice. People used to call me, “Hey man so and so owes me a bunch of money how much will you charge to collect?” Not anymore. Now people call me,
“Hey pastor, my friend is in the hospital will you go and pray for him?” Both scenarios are a form of service but the second isn’t about what I can do but about what the Lord can do. I wasn’t asked because of who I am, I was asked because of who my God is. Oh, but that is a sweet and welcome change in my life. 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. When I was a kid I was very uncoordinated. I was picked last for everything probably because I was always stoned and was a total loser. But now we are chosen because we are precious to God! His own special people! Called out of darkness into His marvelous light! This happened and we are these people so that we can proclaim His praises. It was done and is being done so that He will become our definition. He will become our identity. So knowing that let us then do this; Ephesians 4:22-24: Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
“Dear Lord, because you have brought me into Your marvelous light I want to spread that light far and wide. I want to be identified with Your light. I want people to see You shining out of me, amen.”
Pastor at First Love Church
Orange County, CA