and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.”[d]They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9 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. 10 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.
11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 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.
In verse 10 Paul says, “Once you were not a people…” For years I’ve glanced over that part of the verses that make up this section of 1 Peter. To think that Paul describes those outside of Christ as those who are not a people…having no direction, no purpose, no collective…we miss the gravity of that statement unless we understand that the core of who the Jews were and are is their connection to each other and to God the Father.
Darkness rules without God. I had a great discussion with one of our interns this week about the concept of “total depravity” which basically states that apart from God we have nothing divine within us. Paul is saying that before we respond to God we are as those who have no direction, no purpose, no light and no future. To be called and to find ourselves in the “light” of God in our life doesn’t mean we’ve achieved our purpose, it means we’ve found the journey; and I think that was what Paul is saying here.
To RESPOND: “To show a reaction; to answer.”
Responding to God’s word, or His calling to us is the end result of a life IN Christ and matured. To those who know God’s voice, responding to truth of God’s word is easy! It’s almost second nature, a natural result of what we hear and know to be right. And the best part of responding to God’s call, is that His mercy reigns. Thank God! It makes me want to stand and shout! God is good, and His mercy endures forever!
Prayer – Oh thank you God for Your mercy and steadfast hand that guides and loves us no matter where we are or what place we find ourselves in. It’s Your kindness that leads us to You and your voice is easy to respond to. Thank You for never giving up! Thank You for the hope we find in Your word! Amen!