Did you know that you are chosen? Maybe in elementary school you were the last one selected for a team. You may still feel the sting of being passed over by the team captain. But today’s passage confirms that you have been chosen by God Himself!
God chose Abraham early in biblical history (see Gen. 12). But his descendants did not become a chosen nation until they received the Law at Mount Sinai (Ex. 19:1–8). God promised: “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” The church is also “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession” (v. 9). This means we’re called to faithfulness and obedience. We’re destined for a joyful eternity with Him.
This truth is so important it’s restated: “Now you are the people of God” (v. 10). After Israel received the Law at Mount Sinai, they did not suddenly become perfect. Far from it! The same is true for us. When we believed in Christ for salvation, we did not suddenly become perfect. We were profoundly transformed, yes, but with additional transformations ahead on our spiritual journeys. What made the difference between “not God’s people” and “God’s people,” for both Israel and us, was and is receiving God’s mercy.
Our change in identity should lead us to pursue holiness, that is, to “abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul” (v. 11). Such things no longer fit who we are as “foreigners and exiles.” One purpose is to “live such good lives among the pagans” that God is glorified and the gospel is proclaimed (v. 12).
>> Today’s reading challenges us to live in such a way that others see Jesus in us! Not just one day, but again and again. The word “see” in verse 12 means careful watching over a long period of time, a pattern of behavior. By this standard, how’s your witness before unbelievers?
How attracted we are to holiness, and yet how hard it is to execute! Sin’s pull is powerful. God, increase our aversion to evil even as You strengthen our love for righteousness. Day after day, make Yourself apparent through us.