Specific Text - 1 Peter 2:9-10
They are two of the best words in the whole Bible. 'But' and 'so that'. The word 'but' describes game changers: a team was losing by 20 points BUT came back to win the game. We've talked about the phrase 'so that' a couple of times this year; it gives the reasons for why we are to live a certain way or do a certain thing. You need to eat good foods so that you will be strong and healthy.
Peter starts this paragraph with a but, and it's a big but! He had stacked up some verses from Isaiah and the Psalms which described how so many people have stumbled and fallen as they tried to go their own way. BUT, says Peter, But you are different. You have been chosen to be royal, to be holy (set aside - made different), and best of all, you are God's special possession - the best thing He has! This is a massive game changer.
Peter immediately gives the reason that God did this for you. He did it SO THAT you will declare the praise of Him who did this for you - who called you out of the darkness (remember, you've been blessed by being called so early in life that you don't even remember the darkness) and into His light.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, we see lots of awesome things God has made - Mt. Rainier, the Columbia, Ape Caves, Edgar's Rock (up by Camp Calvin), and so many more. All of these things declare God's praises just by being what they were made to be. You are so much more than these things. God would say, yes those are some great things I made, but let me show you the best thing I have... let me show you my special possessions, the people who I've called into the light. People like you!
This is your purpose in life, the reason God made you. To declare His praises just by doing what you do, even if you don't quite know what it is that you do yet. You are part of the people of God, made different from the world which you are now an exile in. This understanding is critical to understand the rest of Peter's letter, and it's critical for how you live your life.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Father in Heaven, thank you so much for working out this game changer in my life. Help me to realize how different I am than the world, and help me to declare your praise by walking in your light. Amen.