Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 2:9’

Transitioning from darkness: Arise to a new place

January 4, 2017

1-peter-2-9

During the first week of 2017 I have been reflecting on times in which we live, recognizing the Lord’s command that we let our light so shine in the midst of darkness. At times the darkness that surrounds us can be overwhelming. A number of years ago I posted a prophetic word addressed to the Body of Christ by the late John Paul Jackson. Although he shared this message more than eight years ago, his words certainly can be applied and they provide encouragement to believers today.  Here is an excerpt from that message entitled: “All New Things Begin in Darkness: Transitioning through Your Dark Night”:

This is a year of transition. 

“. . . [N]o doubt you’re aware that transition means things are changing. If you allow God to move in your life and do what He wants to do, you’ll enjoy the change. And if you don’t … then you won’t, for obvious reasons.

In this e-letter, I would like to talk to you about something that goes hand in hand with transition. It is the hardest part of change, actually, and is what makes change so often difficult.

Jesus said that whoever loses his life will find it (Matthew 10:39). Growing spiritually is possible only if you’re willing to let go of the old in order to gain the new. In other words, you gain by losing; you give up your life in order to find it.

But there’s a secret in that. What you need to give up is the thing that’s holding you back. You might think it is good, but it is actually keeping you from your destiny. It is a virus, an infection, a germ that needs eradicating before it can metastasize.

If God asks you to give up something, it is only what will destroy you — i.e., this isn’t something you want to keep!

Here’s the catcher: The in-between time when you’re coming to that conclusion is usually confusing, painful and completely black. You can’t see a thing, and you have no idea where you’re going. Have you felt like that this year … yet?

Three Levels of Darkness

From pregnancy to creation, from anointing to new days, everything begins in darkness. It has been that way from the first day of creation, and it will continue to the end.

New things begin in darkness. There are three levels, or deep times, of darkness that we encounter on the road to our destiny and true, pure spirituality: the Dark Night of the Wilderness or Desert, the Dark Night of the Soul and the Dark Night of the Spirit. With each one, you will feel like you are immersed in a deeper darkness than you have ever been in before.

You will see less clearly, if at all, where you thought you were going. You most likely will not understand the purpose of it and why God is allowing you to go through such a dark, difficult time. Depending on what God is after, this time may shake you to your very core.

The First Sign of Healing

At some point in all three phases, you finally realize that what you have self-justified (the thing you’ve been trying to hold onto) is actually hindering your destiny, and with this realization, there is often a sense of failure or sorrow or both. . . .But even here, do not give up hope, because this sense of failure is actually the initial sign of healing: You are on your way out. You have allowed God to remove the blinders, and as He does so, the first tendrils of light become visible again.

Immediately after this point of despair, everything changes. Here you see the light at the end of the long tunnel. You have hope for a better life, and it is soooooo refreshing. Though you know the rest of the tunnel still lies ahead of you, you see the light at the end, and you know you will make it, even though, up until this point, you were pretty sure you wouldn’t.

So many of us are walking blindly today, because God sees where we’re heading, but we do not. As this is the eighth month already, no doubt you’re aware that transition means things are changing. You can’t get away with the things you got away with before; your Father has asked you to come up higher. He may have asked you to give up the “good” thing in order to give you the best. Times are dark. The way is hidden.
The secret is this: No matter how dark your transitional time has been, you were always going to make it in God’s book, even during these times when the light has been hidden from you. If God is your Captain, you will survive this year — and the next year and the one after that.

But for right now, as God transitions you and you walk through intense times of not knowing, don’t lose hope. As the sun rises from behind the peaks and you see life again for the first time in months … you’re going to fall in love all over again. God never leaves His children in the dark. You’ll see.

Reading this message brought to mind, the following poetic exhortation:

Arise to a New Place

  But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises

of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

 1 Peter 2:9

In Christ you are free from the burdens you once bore.

The shackles of past shortcomings have been lifted,

For the yoke of guilt and shame you will bear no more.

Arise to a new place–all things God has shifted

The shackles of past shortcomings have been lifted.

No longer restricted, cast off every care.

Arise to a new place–all things God has shifted.

Even in darkest times God has always been there.

No longer restricted, cast off every care.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away.

Even in darkest times, God has always been there.

Pure joy comes with the dawning of a brand new day.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away.

In a place where love abounds and peace never ends,

Pure joy comes with the dawning of a brand new day.

You walk, hand in hand, with the Lord, as faithful friends.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away,

For the yoke of guilt and shame you will bear no more.

You walk, hand in hand, with the Lord, as faithful friends.

In Christ you are free from the burdens you once bore.

Arise to a new place–all things God has shifted.

We close with Chris Tomlin, who reminds us that we are “A Chosen Generation” whom God has “called out of darkness to walk in His marvelous light.”

Holy nation of kings and priests

November 2, 2016

1-peter-2-9

The Verse of the Day for November 2, 2016 reveals God’s desire for those who serve Him, as He points out their special relationship in light of their having a unique, dual designation:

I Peter 2:9 in the New Living Translation:

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.

When the Children of Israel were released from the bondage of Egypt, God’s ultimate desire was that His people would be set aside to serve him.

Exodus 19:5-6 (New King James Version)

5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Today, as the Kingdom of God unfolds in greater measure before our eyes, we recognize that in our times the Body of Christ, the Temple of the Living God, the Church, is to be that holy nation, the expression of what God had in mind.

This dual designation as “kings and priests” is also mentioned in Revelation 1:6 which along with 1 Peter 2:9 form the introduction to this portrait:

Kings and Priests

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.

I Peter 2:9 (NLT)

 

And has made us kings and priests unto                   

God and his Father; to him be glory and 

dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:6 (NKJV)

 

As kings and priests we keep and seek, keep on seeking

To know just who we are, our true identity,

Along our journey that is more than intriguing.

We press on and progress toward our destiny:

The called, chosen, faithful ones to reign forever,

Empowered by the Spirit of the Living God.

With endless love, not even death can sever,

We now blossom eternally, as Aaron’s rod

And serve as holy nation and royal priesthood.

Emissaries of the Kingdom, sent from on high

Ascend as kings and soar beyond the highest good

To bless the earth from Heaven’s bountiful supply.

After the order of Melchizedek, King of Peace,

Kings and priests speak boundless blessings that ever increase.

Each member of the Body of Christ has been anointed and appointed to follow in steps of our Lord Jesus Christ, the consummate example of King and Priest. Likewise, we also carry out our faithful service to God, being part of a “kingdom of royal priests and a holy nation.”

Chris Tomlin proclaims this same truth: “We are a Holy Nation”

Blessed is the nation: the remnant

July 4, 2016

Psalm 33--12

On the 4th of July, 2016, the Verse of the Day relates to the nation who puts their trust in the Lord God Almighty:

Psalm 33:12 (NLT):

What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

The Psalmist reiterates this message:

Psalm 144:15 (NLT):

Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.

Psalm 146:5 (NLT)

But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God

In the Old Testament God expresses His desire to have a people who were set aside for His special purposes.

 

Deuteronomy 14:2 (NLT):

You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

In the New Testament God’s chosen people are the called out believers: those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, those who make up the Body of Christ, the called out from Jews and Gentiles into one Body

 

Paul speaks to the Church at Thessalonica in this way:

 

1 Thessalonians 1:4 (NLT):

For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you,

As we think about those called out and chosen, we recall the word of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Matthew 22:14 (NLT):

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

 

In contrast to unbelievers, those who believe are described in this way:

1 Peter 2:9 (NLT):

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.

 

Those whom God has chosen and set apart to accomplish His will in the last days is sometimes spoken of as “the remnant.” As used in the Old and New Testaments, the term refers to what is left over or remaining; when used with people, it refers to those who remain following a catastrophe. At this time the chosen people of God, “the most blessed remnant” is said to be the true Church, the body of Christ. Though this remnant may be small, its transformative influence will felt throughout the earth. Here is a poetic description:

God’s Remnant

God is never left without a remnant.

Apostle Eric L. Warren


And the remnant that is escaped of

  the house of Judah shall yet again take

root downward, and bear fruit upward.

 2 Kings 19:30

 

God is looking for a remnant; what is left over

Will suffice in the strong hands of a master craftsman.

Those who seek to know the mind of God will discover

That He keeps a remnant, set apart to stand alone,

A residue, an intricate part of His grand plan.

What the builders rejected is the chief cornerstone.

God uses what is left to fulfill His purposes in the earth.

As God’s remnant, to be hidden is our destiny.

We take root downward and bear fruit upward to give birth

To the glory that God intended our lives to be,

For remnant people maintain the same integrity

As the original: pure in essence—whole, complete,

As leaven remains hidden in three measures of wheat.

 

To conclude our comments, listen to Chris Tomlin who offers “We Are a Chosen Generation”:

Who are we really: Kings and Priests

November 2, 2014

1-Peter-2-9

As believers we are ever on a quest to discover who we really are . . . what is our true identity. Often I recall the lyrics to a song popularized in the late 60s and 70s by the Christian rock group Cookin’ Mama:

You can be who you want to be

When you find out who you are

The Verse of the Day for November 2, 2014 reminds us of who we are as believers described in I Peter 2:9 in the Amplified Bible:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

This dual designation as “kings and priests” is also mentioned in Revelation 1:6 which along with 1 Peter 2:9 form the introduction to this poetic portrait:

Kings and Priests

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.

I Peter 2:9 (NLT)

 

And has made us kings and priests unto

God and his Father; to him be glory and

dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 1:6 (NKJV)

 

As kings and priests we keep and seek, keep on seeking

To know just who we are, our true identity,

Along our journey that is more than intriguing.

We press on and progress toward our destiny:

The called, chosen, faithful ones to reign forever,

Empowered by the Spirit of the Living God.

With endless love, not even death can sever,

We now blossom eternally, as Aaron’s rod

And serve as holy nation and royal priesthood.

Emissaries of the Kingdom, sent from on high

Ascend as kings and soar beyond the highest good

To bless the earth from Heaven’s bountiful supply.

After the order of Melchezedek, King of Peace,

Kings and priests speak boundless blessings that ever increase.

As we follow in the steps of Jesus Christ, the ultimate example of one anointed to serve as king and priest, we also manifest God’s desire expressed in Exodus 19:6 that His people would be a “kingdom of priests and an holy nation.”

Chris Tomlin proclaims this same truth: “We are a Holy Nation”