November 7, 2008
Proclaim the Excellencies!
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
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.
1 Peter 2:9-10, ESV
Perhaps you did, too. And maybe, like me, it had you thinking about what it means to be an American citizen and what freedoms that status still affords us all. More than ever, I have realized what a privilege it is to participate in the voting process. And while the outcome was obviously not up to just me, I know that I played a small part in helping to shape history in the year 2008.
But beyond my earthly citizenship - and despite how our new president will change the nation and how it will affect you and me - I know that this is not my home. In 1 Peter 2, I am reminded of who I really am and who is the ultimate authority in my life. As a believer, my heritage is in Christ and I need to personalize verses 9 and 10 each day to help me remember where my primary citizenship really lies. ...
But I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood and a holy nation, a person for His own possession, that I may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called me out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once I was not a person, but now I am God's; once I had not received mercy, but now I have received mercy.
So how should this affect my life on earth? Let's break it down. ...
I am chosen, royal and holy ... Do I keep this mindset each and every day? Do I remember my heritage? Do I live knowing that I have an inheritance? I am a child of THE King. I am marked with a seal. No matter what happens around me, I am secure within His hand.
I am a person for His own possession ... Do I act like an alien in a strange land? Am I prepared to be scoffed at by those who criticize my "other-worldly" citizenship? Do I work more not to fit in or do I try harder to not rock the boat? Does God in me clearly define who I am to others?
I may proclaim the excellencies of Him ... Do I say the name (Jesus) when it is unpopular to do so? Do I give glory and credit to my Father in front of my friends no matter if they might get offended? Does my faith inform all areas of my life? Am I unashamed of the gospel and proud to share it with others?
I have received mercy ... To know and understand what it means to be given mercy is to have a heart that is submitted to God. Apart from him, I am nothing. He has done for me what no one else can do. He has paid the price for my sin! How can I not respond to him with grateful praise?
If we understand what it truly means that God has called us out of darkness and into his marvelous light, then why wouldn't we want to live differently? Even in a increasingly hostile and politically correct type of world.
Today, when none of us really knows what the future will hold - and whether or not the "right" candidate won the presidential election - we must be encouraged and remember that our primary citizenship is in heaven.
Until we are home with the King of Kings, may God help us continue to "proclaim the excellencies" of him while we're here on earth.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Have you been silent for too long, either in word or in action? How can you make your identity in Christ known to those around you today? How should you behave differently than the world? Is there something you should say "no" to this week that will show others to whom you belong?