But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 NIV
Identity. This one word changes everything if we know how to define it. But so many of us in this world remain confused, unrooted, and fickle. And it’s not because we lack purpose, but because we don’t know foundationally who we are nor who we belong to. I’m not going to make this a philosophical discussion on existentialism and the search for self, but I am going to test your pop culture knowledge.
Now, who kept up with the royal marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? I sure did. I watched the ceremony live and then watched all the replays discussing all of the attendees at the wedding, Meghan Markle’s choice of music and fashion, and close-ups of Prince William’s receding hairline. I was obsessed! How did an American actress end up marrying a prince with a British accent?!
Let’s hold our horses for just a second. What does it mean to be a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special possession?
God’s chosen people were the Israelites. They were Jews whom God called His children. This had nothing to do with talent, good works, or how much money they had in their bank accounts. What qualified the Israelites as “chosen people” was that they were loved by God.
And I know what you’re thinking. So how are we also a “royal priesthood”? Most of us do not know Pope Francis on a personal level. What’s God saying here, and why does He call us priests? The term “priest” is used to describe a believer. As believers, we offer up the sacrifice of praise to the one Priest (Jesus Christ) who made one sacrifice for all sins. This relation to Christ allows us access to the kingdom of God.
Alright, so God also says that we are a “holy nation.” I promise you that this holy nation isn’t just made up of workers from Chick-fil-a, as kind and polite as they are. The word “holy” means set apart, which means that God’s chosen people, the Israelites, were a people set apart by God to be cleansed from sin in order to live redeemed (free from the bondage of sin and death). We get to share in that redemption as believers.
Lastly, we are called a “special possession” by God. This means that we are treasured by Him. The fact that God calls us “special” at all means that we are far from ordinary. Here’s something I want you to remember though: you are important to God. Everything that comes out of the mouth of God is truth that will never change. No one can take away your identity or give you an identity that doesn’t belong to you.
So what does this mean for you, me and Meghan Markle? Well, Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry deemed her a Princess. A lot of us won’t get to have that identity since our lives don’t end up like romantic Hallmark movies. But it is interesting to think that this marriage has thrust Meghan Markle into royalty, greater fame, and a new family. Being a Christian doesn’t make us rich with money, but we do receive a rich inheritance (eternity) and an unshakable identity. We are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.”
1. Which identities have you allowed the world to use to define you?
2. How does knowing how God sees you change how you live?
Loving Father, You have called me to live with a new identity. Help me to see myself the way that You see me, that I may live free from the way the world wants to define me. Thank You for giving my life meaning and purpose, amen.
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