Greetings In The Name of The Lord:
1 Peter 2:9 (NLT)
9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
Filmmaker Walt Disney was ruthless in cutting anything that got in the way of a story’s pacing. Ward Kimball, one of the animators for Snow White, recalls working 240 days on a 4 1/2 minute sequence in which the dwarfs made soup for Snow White and almost destroyed the kitchen in the process. Disney thought it was funny, but he decided the scene stopped the flow of the picture, so out it went. It appears Mr. Disney was a very picky man when it came to his films. Likewise, God is picky about who he choses. The good news is that God has chosen you! If you’re like me, you probably wonder if God is so picky why he chose me. You see, I know all of my shortcomings and failings. The idea that really blows my mind is that God knows all of these things too, and he chose me anyway! Peter tells us that we are a chosen people. The word translated chosen means “to pick or gather,” and when you combine that with people it indicates that God handpicked us from all the people in the world. Wow, you mean God knew all about me and still chose me from all the people in world? Yes, that’s what it means! It doesn’t matter what people think about us; not family, friends, co-workers, or even ourselves, because God has chosen us to be his people and a part of his family. That encourages me!
Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:
1 Peter 2:1 (ESV)
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
Brennan Manning once said, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Of course some may know this quote as the opening lines of the DC Talk song “What If I Stumble,” but the quote originated with Manning. Whoever said is really not the case, but rather the truth behind the statement is at issue. We often say to those atheists we meet, “How can you not believe in God?” Most of them simply reply, “How can you believe in God and it have no bearing on how you live your life?” That is why Peter tells us to “put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.” The things that Peter is telling us to put away, or probably more appropriate, get rid of, are the things that tear us apart and drive people away from Jesus. The sad reality is that people don’t really have a problem with Jesus, but rather with the people who claim He has changed their lives. In over thirty years of being a Christian, and fifteen years of that as a Pastor, the single most cause of people leaving the church is the people in the church. Time and time again I have invited people to church and have them turn me down because when they were younger someone in church treated them unkindly so they never went back. Recently I sat with another minister and explained to them all of the scars my family has endured over the years because of the way church people have either treated them directly or the way they have treated Tina and I. How sad a statement is that? The one place that you would think that we would be safe from that kind of treatment is in the church, but sadly it happens all too often. It’s no wonder we see people leaving the church in droves and never returning. That is why Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 , ESV). It is time to stop living like the world and start living like Jesus!