Tag: holy nation

God’s treasured possession!

Scripture reading for March 12th:  Deuteronomy 25-27, Luke 7

Key Scriptures:  Deuteronomy 26:17-19  “You have declared today that the Lord is your God, and that you will walk in His ways and Keep His statutes and His commandments and His rules, and will obey His voice.  And the Lord has declared today that you are a people for His treasured possession, as He has promised you, and that you are to keep all His commandments, and that He will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that He has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the Lord your God, as He promised.”  

God declared in the hearing of all the people His covenant commitment to the nation of Israel.  The people declared their allegiance to God in obedience to His law and voice.  God promised He would honor His people and set them high above all the nations and that they would be holy.  God would work out His plans in His time.

Luke 7:26-27  “What then did you go out to see?  A prophet?  Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  This is he of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for treasuring the souls of men and making a plan to prepare a way of redemption through Your Son, Jesus.  May I value what You see as valuable this day.  Amen.

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Thankful to belong to God!

Scripture reading for December 20th:  1st Peter 1-5

Key Scriptures:  1st Peter 2:9-10  “But 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.  Once 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.”  

Peter wrote to the Jewish believers to encourage them that God had indeed chose them to belong to His family through faith in Jesus Christ.  Believers are “chosen people” and a “royal priesthood” that continually offers praise to the One who called them out of the darkness of sin and fearful religion to a glorious holy people!  “How wonderful!  How marvelous, is my Savior’s love for me!”

Praising the Lord our God:  “To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.  Yet the Lord set His affection on your forefathers and loved them, and He chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today.  . . . Fear the Lord your God and serve Him.  Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His Name.  He is your praise; He is your God, . .”  (Deuteronomy 10: 15, 20-21)

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God’s treasured possession!

Scripture reading for January 23rd:  Exodus 19-23

Key Scriptures:  Exodus 19:3-6  “Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob. . .’You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.  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, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'” 

God, by His grace, picked Abraham and formed a nation of people.  He made a covenant with this group of people to dwell in their midst and be their God and they would be His people.  If they obeyed Him fully, they would His treasured possession and a kingdom of Holy priests!

Cause for rejoicing:  Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been made into a holy people and are a kingdom of priests set apart to God with His presence dwelling in us!  “But 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.”  (1st Peter 2:9)

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Called out of darkness!

Scripture reading for November 9th:  1st Peter 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st Peter 2:9-12  “But 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.  Once 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.  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.”

Our identity as believers is humbling and encouraging!  God sees us as His chosen people.  We are called to be a royal priesthood–people who represent the needs of the world and man to God in prayer and who offer sacrifices of praise and gifts of worship.  We were called out of the darkness of sin and now are filled with His glorious light and a blessed hope of eternity in His presence forever. Our response to this should be lives of worship and good deeds instead of indulging in the sinful desires of our past life.  We are now the people of God because of His great mercy!

Observations for over-comers:  Living in the light drives out darkness in every corner of our lives!  “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  . . .Then I will teach transgressors Your ways and sinners will turn back to You.”  (Psalm 51:10, 13)

 

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The Cornerstone!

Scripture reading for November 10th:  1st Peter 2

As Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote to persecuted and suffering Jewish Christians, he encouraged them with language that would speak to them from their heritage.  He used the prophet Isaiah and the Psalms to paint a word picture that showed them God’s plan and their identity and purpose!

“As you come to Him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him–you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.  For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious Cornerstone, and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”  (1 Peter 2:4-6)(Isaiah 28:16)

God had given the nation of Israel a pattern for the temple.  This temple was a shadow of the new “Temple” that He would build using “living stones”.  The temple had a “cornerstone” that began the foundation of the building, insuring it was solid and true, horizontally and vertically.  Jesus Christ was the “living Stone” of the spiritual “house” that God was building.  He was rejected by men, specifically the Jews.  However, He was precious to God, as His only and First-born Son.  He, alone is the Cornerstone that is firm, straight, and true!  All who trust in Him become “living stones” laid on the cornerstone.  “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praise of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1st Peter 2:9)  What encouraging words bringing identity and purpose to those suffering persecution!

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God’s Treasured Possession

Scripture reading for January 26th: Exodus 19-20

What is it that you treasure more than anything else in this world?  Would it be silver or gold or maybe precious jewels?  Would it be your house or car?  What about technology, like a computer or cell phone or video game?   Would it be your health and life?  What about your children?  There are many possibilities to consider.

God has a treasured possession that He tells us about in His word!  “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself.  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, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” (Exodus 19:4-6)  The nation of Israel was God’s treasured possession.  He had carried them on eagle’s wings out of slavery and bondage to a place of intimacy and worship.  His main goal was to bring them to Himself!  There was a condition, however; complete obedience by faith was expected. They would become priests to God and be set apart as His special possession!

This idea is carried into the New Testament as well.  Peter talks about this same thought in his letter written to Gentile Christians as well as Jewish.  “But 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.  Once 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.” (1st Peter 2:9-10)

No one can come to Christ unless drawn by the Holy Spirit and chosen by God.   (John 6:43, 63-64)  He shines the light of His love into our darkness and calls us into His glorious light.  He takes us from our lost and hopeless state, and declares us His people by grace.  However, each person must respond to God’s choice by freely choosing to become one of His chosen. (Romans 10:9-10)  We become God’s treasured possession because we freely accept His will for our lives and become priests, interceding before God on behalf of others.  What a treasure we have in Christ!

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