Exodus 19:4-6 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
About three months after the Children of Israel left Egypt, God gave Moses this message to share with them. It was a communication of His heart for them. He was giving them the opportunity to be His treasured possession – out of all the nations, He chose them! They simply had to respond by doing what He required. Unfortunately, they responded with words not with their lives.
God has always been after a people that will be truly His. He wants to shower them with His love. He simply asks that they respond with love in return. Fortunately we Christians have been born again and received His Spirit. Our new natures in Christ free us to respond without the “deck stacked against us’ by our old nature. It can still be difficult, but we have such an advantage over the Israelites. It makes me pause to think of Jesus’ comment, to whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48)
While it’s priceless to be His – to receive salvation and become one of His children – it’s even more so to live the kind of lives that He has always wanted His people to live. Salvation isn’t the end, it’s the beginning! It enables us to pursue lives that truly reflect that we are His people. In 1 Peter 2, Peter is exhorting the believers to rid their lives of sin – to abstain from sinful desires that war against their souls. He is calling them to live lives worthy of who we are in Christ.
In 1 Peter 2:9-10, Peter writes, “9But 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. 10Once 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.”
This stunning reality that we are His is beyond words! It is a privilege beyond measure that we have. The more we recognize and grasp that, the more we will live lives that declare us to truly be His people. His mercy, His grace, His Spirit and faith in Jesus Christ enable us to do exactly that!