“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
Growing up I wasn’t very athletic (I’m still not). I can remember at times standing in the gym when the teacher would assign two team leaders to pick their teams. I was never their first pick, nor their third, nor their tenth pick. I was almost always the last pick. I was the girl no one wanted on their team. They weren’t being cruel. They were right when it came to sports, I wasn’t good and to have me on their team would mean their chances of winning were dramatically less. However, even though that was true, to a child’s heart, I just wanted to be someone’s first pick. I wanted to be chosen, rather than someone they were stuck with.
As I have grown older, I have come to understand that I don’t have to be good at everything, and it is ok to not be chosen for something that is not your area of strength. However, I have not remained someone’s last pick. I am someone’s first pick. I have been chosen. I am not an accident, the left overs, the thing the team is stuck with. I am chosen by the most important team I could ever be a part of. This team is not stuck with me as someone to fill a spot, but they want me and declare how precious I am to them. The enemy would want us to believe that, as with sports, the kingdom had to have left overs too, but let me assure you the kingdom is not stuck with you or me. We have been picked, called, chosen.
Even greater is that we have been chosen for something very specific. To be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own possessions to do something that only we can do. We can proclaim the majesty and honor of the King who has taken us from a place of deepest anguish and lostness, into a place of being first pick. Into a place of being wanted, loved, and cherished. We can tell the world of a king who has taken us from being nobodies, to being children of the kingdom. Of being left without hope to being filled with hope and to overflowing with hope.
We have had a complete life change. Whether we feel like it or not does not change the facts. You and I have access to God. We have been chosen to be His own people, to be recipients of mercy. To be called out from the line of shame into the seat of honor. From the darkness to glaring displays of radiant light. What an amazing transformation. I don’t have to understand it to receive it. I just need to respond to the call that speaks my name and declares, “I chose you, come declare that you are on the winning team.”
Many in our world are having an identity crisis. They do not know God, and they do not know who they are. They stand in the line of life just wanting to be called out for purpose and beauty. We have what they need. We have every reason to be grateful. We have been chosen to bear fruit for the Kingdom that will endure. We have been called into the presence of the King of this Kingdom. Not just to look at Him, but to know Him. This is good news. We are not longer the lonely last one standing in a line of mockery, but sons and daughters in the presence of the King.
Today, I am grateful that He takes the last and makes them first. I am thankful that I did not have to be good enough to be chosen, but was chosen because He loves me. What can be greater than that? He picked me simply because He loves me. My heart, my heart must sing.
Susan Craig says:February 22, 2015 at 1:15 am
I can so relate to what Freda has written here-the world can be very cruel to those who are not like most people-if you are different you are quickly relegated to the outside and never part of the inner circle or the popular group. As a child,I knew what it was like to be different and was often overlooked by others who were richer,or more popular or more talented or more athletic etc. Seems I never fit in with the in-crowd and was on the outskirts alot. So glad to know that I was not alone in this spot in life. But one thing I learned when I became a Christian was that it was OK to not fit in to the world the way most people seem to fit in. I was happy to be chosen by God to be part of His family-I knew I was loved by Him and that was much more important than being loved by the world. True Christians really are different-we are not a part of this world’s philosophy or system-we have been chosen by God to be part of His Kingdom which is far better than anything this world has to offer. What may have been hurtful to me as a child, no longer has a hold on me because I know my destiny and know how blessed I am to be part of God’s family. His Spirit lives inside me and shines through me-little old me!! That is so amazingly awesome!!!The song “Take the world but give me Jesus” is truely relevant for me. and that George Beverly Shea song “I’d rather have Jesus than anything this world affords today!”is my song as well. What does it profit us if we gain the whole world and lose our soul?? What could we ever give in exchange for our soul?? Our soul is the most valuable posession we have and for it to be in darkness is a scary thought indeed. Thankfully,God has saved my soul and brought it out of darkness and into His glorious Light!! We shine as stars in the universe because of The Lord-we are the most blessed of all people on this earth. God loves us-God chose us-God lifted us from the depths of sin to the heights of glory. We have been saved by Him from destruction-We have a glorious destiny. We are sooo blessed. Nevermore will I feel envy for worldly places of honor,nor for riches,nor for fame,nor for anything this world has to offer. Jesus is my pearl of great price and nothing else comes even close to being as good as Him and definitely nothing is better than Him. When we stop to really understand what we now have been given in Christ Jesus-He is more than sufficient-He is “above all powers and above all kings-above all nature and all created things-above all wealth and wisdom of man-He was here before this world began”. The songs we sing of our Lord say it so well-but God’s Word says it best!! We are a royal priesthood, a chosen people,a holy nation,God’s own possession,God’s people,children of the most high God,brothers and sisters in Christ, ……..no identity crisis anymore-we know who we are and Whose we are and now we just need to live in the light of that knowledge and shine,shine,shine for Him!!!
Pat McRae says:February 22, 2015 at 8:28 pm
Hi Susan, as I read yours and Pastor Freda’s comments I smiled. I wondered if all 3 of us were there who would of been the last picked? I always felt like I came from another planet because I just never quite fit in. And guess what I have found out I did! I came from heaven and someday I am going to return for all eternity. I am just a passing through this here place, my home is not here!
Sue Holmes says:February 22, 2015 at 10:53 pm
Hey Pat, got room for one more on your team? I would not only get picked last for sports teams but I remember once or twice scoring against my own team. That actually might have contributed to being last … maybe. lol
I remember buying a pack of pens for my Sunday school class a couple years ago that had “I’m on God’s Team” printed on them. There was no first or last place on them. I’m thankful that there is no such thing as ‘last picked’ with God’s team. He has a position & a part to play for each of us.
Pat McRae says:February 22, 2015 at 7:26 pm
Today was Convocation for the PAWI Churches here in SVG. All the churches were closed today so we could all gather together at Anos Vale Cricket Field. We were over a thousand men, women and children today, all gathered to praise our King and lift His name up. It was a good day, but I have to admit I would rather of been in Layou Miracle Church in His presence. You see I have trouble focusing in the wide open spaces so His presence alluded me today.
One of the speakers made a comment today that did not sit well with my spirit. He said, “We need God, but God does not need us.” I am not sure why he made this comment because I lost focus as I pondered why this statement bothered me. I know if I am unwilling to be obedient to God’s request He will use someone else or even something else to accomplish His plans and purposes. But He really does need His chosen people, and these verses confirm that fact. He needs vessels He can work through and speak through.
I am so grateful God chose me and when He called I answered, “Yes!”. I am thankful I am holy, without spot or blemish because Jesus provided a spotless scarification for me. I am thankful the Word says I have been chosen for the high calling of the priestly work, although I do have to admit the Holy Spirit is going to have to teach me what this statement means to me in my life. I think my mind is stuck on the role of an earthly priest and I am sure this is likely talking more about a spiritual calling. So I receive this statement with gratitude and place it on the shelf of my spirit until such time as I understand it and am able to walk in it’s calling.
Now I am where I am most thankful! I am an instrument! Could I be a cymbal or maybe a plate? Or might I be a shovel or even maybe a candle? What if on different days I could be all of these and even more over my lifetime? A sounding cymbal praising and worshipping God, a plate of food for a hungry soul, a shovel digging a little deeper in someone’s life to help them recognize love is Jesus! Or maybe just a small tea light candle shining in someone’s darkness. Oh yes, being an instrument in the Master’s hand is a wonderful place to be!
I am also thankful He has given me a voice, so I can speak of His goodness, grace and love. I smile as I think of this! My life has been a full one with so many experience, and although mine night be slightly different to yours I can usually relate to yours. Over the years I have had to learn to hold my tongue, usually by biting it, so I don’t jump into everyone’s conversations with my story. God is teaching me when to speak and when to bite real hard and hold my peace.
I am thankful for each situation and circumstance because they all allow me to have a testimony. I can witness to others how God in His grace and mercy took me through to the other side. I have a personal witness of being in the darkness of night and coming out into the brightness of day. But most of all I can witness to God’s love for me! He loves me as His child, His wife, His lover, His princess! Yes I love every opportunity He gives me to tell someone how much He loves them! He truly has taken a nothing and made her something very special, I am His! The apple of His eye, His treasured possession. I am thankful what mere man rejected He accepted as His very own.
I am thankful God chose me and I am needed!
Jim Holmes says:February 23, 2015 at 12:04 am
I believe that we are living in the most crazy love times authored by the One Who brought all things into existence. Time has a climatic focus; two worlds in an unavoidable collision, a spiritual confrontation erupting into an unheard physical reality of sorrow and unfathomable joy. Our home is not here. Like the aboriginal people in our country, they are a nation within a nation. So too, we are a nation within a nation….called to be a holy nation within our nation. We belong to a royal priesthood (called to intimately know the heart of God as one who cries for those dying in darkness, for an unseen people having no mercy that were not…a people. We pray that the light of the gospel of Christ would shine into their hearts. For a marvelous light leads us and all those that seek Him. Thanking God for His mercy.
Sue Holmes says:February 23, 2015 at 12:44 am
I think there must be a lot of us around who were the ‘last picked’. When it comes to phys. ed. class in school you can add me to that group. Of course, wearing a metal leg brace & tripping over myself half the time didn’t make me a candidate for the all-star team. lol
I think we all have a deep desire planted in us to be ‘chosen’ or ‘wanted’. Not being the athletic type I tried to excel at anything else in order to be accepted. Looking back, I can see the enemy whispering in my ear on so many occasions. At home growing up with a wonderful mother who had temper issues that often got the best of her. In hindsight I recognize this was her weakness that she struggled with & didn’t conquer till much later in life. But to a young girl already dealing with a physical disability, I secretly held on to the theory that I was the ‘mistake’ that messed up my mom’s life which lead to my life as a ‘fixer’. I was ready to fix whatever was wrong. My career as a fixer was essentially powered on guilt & only resulted in a teenager with no confidence, low self-esteem and a deep desire to please those close to me in order to avoid rejection. It opened me up to stuff that is taking years to get over. But as Pastor Freda said, “I wanted to be chosen, rather than someone they were stuck with”.
I thank God that even though my home life wasn’t perfect, it was a Christian home. After school hours would be spend in the Bible, Christian books & listening to faith filled radio & TV shows. Peter became one of my favourite people in the pages of scripture . He knew what it was to fail & he knew what it was to be accepted & loved. Peter wasn’t afraid to share his story wherever he went. Petere knew what it was to be chosen. He wasn’t just chosen to be an apostle. He was “called out of darkness into his marvelous light”. He experienced the darkness of denying Christ & then being called out of that darkness to experience forgiveness & acceptance by the very one he denied.
I am thankful for this new nation that we are called into … a nation possessed by God Himeself, illimunated by His light & filled with His mercy. It is a nation that doesn’t recognize whether we are called first, third or last. Remember the workers in our blog on day 15. The ones who arrived last were treated the same as the workers who were there at the beginning.
I thank God for choosing me … not because of what I can or can’t do but because He loves me. That is a magnificent feeling … to be loved. No requirements other than trusting Him, following Him & giving myself to Him. This is something I have to remind myself daily or else I end up tripping over my own efforts ‘to make it right’ (as if I could).
I thank Him that He loves me enough. I thank Him that I no longer am living in that treadwheel of trying to make myself good enough (as if I could). Thank you Father for Your Son.
Susan Craig says:February 23, 2015 at 3:34 am
We have alot in common,you and I. I too was a fixer and still tend to lean that way til the Lord reigns me in and reminds me that is His job not mine. I too have identified with Peter the apostle-mostly because of his impulsiveness and his trying so hard yet failing when it mattered most- but the joy he must have felt when he was forgiven,restored and reminded that he had work to do for the Kingdom which he tackled with all the entusiasm he could muster and went full out accomplishing much for the Kingdom out of love and gratitude to Jesus. Trying to make things right is not necessarily a bad quality to have but with the Lord in control of our efforts. We do have much in common my friend and dear sister in the Lord-but the best thing we share is the love of our Lord. I am so blessed to have His love and the love of my sisters and brothers in this family of God in Christ Jesus. Thank you Lord!!!