One of the best gifts I received from my parents is the sense of ‘place’ and ‘purpose.’ In my formative years my Dad often said to me, “You’re a Scott, take care that good name.” It was not said in a prideful way. It was to remind me that I belonged to something bigger than myself, that my life was not just about finding my own bliss. In the turbulence of my teens, when I was drawn towards temptation, Dad’s words echoed in my mind, preserving me from many foolish, short-sighted choices. That gift of ‘identity’ was a powerful motivator to do good. A half-century has past and another Father now speaks to me, calling me to take care of His Name.
The primary reason I (and you) exist is not to find happiness. We were made to known and love God, to make His Name great as we reflect His glory and good to our world.
Peter writes to us, inspired by the Spirit, to remind us that our lives become a thing of beauty when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. God take ‘nothings’ and make them into ‘somethings.’ We are called into God’s “Ekklesia,” the Church! “Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10 NASV
Elect, royal, holy, God’s treasure! Those words give us an identity, call us to a purpose, and ennoble our lives. Is pride possible? Not if we know the whole story which includes the reality that we are who we are only because of His work of Grace. “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8, NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)
Are you living in your God-granted privileges today?
Are you rejoicing that He has called you out of the dark and into His wonderful light?
Zechariah urges people called by God to take their place, to live in His promise, and to know their destiny. The pictures painted by his words are jolting yet compelling. “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey… Then the LORD will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign LORD will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, and the LORD Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. The LORD their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. How attractive and beautiful they will be!” Zechariah 9:9,14-17 NIV What are the words used to describe the people of God?
Protected. Powerful. Celebrating their victories with the abandon of those who are intoxicated! Precious as jewels and as beautiful, too!
So, who do you think you are? It is not a rhetorical question. It is a key to living the life He desires. Believe His statement that you are “Elect, royal, holy, God’s treasure!”
IF you are Christ’s then you can live that description. Shake off that ‘I’m nothing, unworthy; don’t look at me’ attitude. God has set His favor on you. Live in it today with thanksgiving, humbled by His grace, and fed by His goodness.
Abba, so much of life conspires to make me feel worthless.
So many tell me that I am less, that I have failed because I do not meet their expectations.
This immense universe sometimes makes me feel like a drop in the ocean.
Whisper, today, in my heart of Your Love.
Put steely resolve in my steps to find Your purpose and live it.
May I know, anew, who am I in Your eyes so that
I will live to make Your name beautiful before my world.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen