Hey there BCU family!
As usual, you can enjoy the audio podcast (by clicking on the icon below) read the transcript notes or both! Either way, be encouraged by the Word of God and share this with a friend! God bless you!
Okay everyone, let’s hit the series highlight reel!
We talked about being grounded (attached to The Foundation–Jesus) and ROOTED (having deepness) in WHO God says we are, rather than being tossed about with what the world, the advasary, TV, “Bubba and dem” and anyone else says contrary to Word of God. We explored Romans 8 gave us the foundation:
Walkers in the Spirit
Sons/ Children of God
We are heirs/join heirs
but we are
More than conquerors
“The called ” Part 3:
Brought us to I Peter 2:9-10—>But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people that you should show forth the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Which in times past, you were not a people, but are now the people of God which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
We focused on “a chosen generation”. God calls us chosen!!!
God chose NAOMI!!!! Ruth saw something in Naomi. Ruth felt compelled her to leave the comfort of her country, familiarity of her worship, take on a mother-in-law, exchange certainty for uncertainty, face poverty and possible rejection and assault in a new land…all because Naomi lived in SUCH a way that Ruth WANTED to serve NAOMI’s God (Ruth 1:16)—who we know is the ONE and ONLY true God! Naomi was CHOSEN to bring this one soul out of the darkness of idol worship and into the marvelous light of ONE God.
God calls up equipped
God chose Moses (Exodus 3 &4) —even with his checkered past, shaky faith and through all the excuses (who would believe me, who shall I say sent me, I’m not eloquent, send someone else). God was not accepting excuses! He chose Him anyway and used Moses mightily.
God chooses and equips behind the scenes folks as well, you know. Exodus 1 tells of two mid-wives, Puah and Shiprah, who defied the king’s order to murder Israelite baby boys upon delivery. As a result, the Bible does not record ONE death of an Israelite boy due to the king’s order—the actions of these women allowing THOUSANDS of Israelites to flee from Egypt with their families at the appointed time.
Royal means a kingdom where a king sovereignly rules (that is Jesus and we are His children as Romans 8 says. We are priests in the sense that like then we are chosen to serve God and the people in a special capacity with gladness! He trusts us to follow His directions to a tee and offer ourselves up as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service. Otherwise like the disobedient priests in Leviticus 10, we may get caught up in “strange fire”—and that can KILL you. This ROYALTY has RESPONSIBILITY!
This brings us to part 6!
A Holy nation and peculiar people—God call us set apart
Let’s look at a holy nation. Holy means set apart by (or for) God, holy, sacred. Nation means a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.
And peculiar people: In modern English the word peculiar has morphed into meaning “extraordinary or strange”. While those outside the nation may think so, (there is still room –Acts 2:38 is the place to begin), the Latin peculium means “private property”. Another derivation of peculiar comes from the Latin word, “pecus” which means “flock”. Basically believers in Christ are the unique possession of God — we are His flock.
This verse is referring to fact that believers are a “special people” because they were chosen from before the foundation of the earth to be “God’s own possession.” Those who are born again are different from the world around them because we have Jesus down on the inside according to Acts 2:38. Also we are different because we are chosen, standing as the adopted children of God, joint heirs with Christ Jesus, (Romans 8:16), and God’s own possession that is particularly prized by Him, that make us “peculiar.”
So this called, chosen, royal priesthood, set apart, special possession of God’s people unified by culture of inhabiting a commonality—that’s our adoption into the family of Christ we talked about in “The called” part 1 & part 2. So this holy nation is a melting pot of different backgrounds, circumstances, tones, situations, physical location, language, style of worship and praise—all of us UNITED by adoption into the Body of Christ through HIS spilled blood, and offered salvation through repentance, water baptism and the infilling of the Holy Ghost according to Acts 2:38. Ya’ll know my Scripture—LET THE REDEEMED of the Lord say SO—who’s been redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 107:2).
What do the citizens of any nation do? Look to the government officials for a handout? Run amok creating havoc and mayhem wherever they roam? Go out looking to be served? No indeed! Ideally, the citizens of a nation obey the leader and the laws set up by the government, work collectively and individually to be an asset to that nation. Think about how we see various statistics on the news about how nations stacks up against each other in terms of productivity, working, education, how elderly are taken care of… and what have you. We are all expected to be obedient, productive, contributing members of the nation in which you reside and be shining examples to those outside of the nation. I know when I’ve seen news articles or visited other nations, it sparked me to try, adopt or learn more about things I saw or heard that appealed to me.
As a chosen generation and royal priesthood, the peculiar citizens of this Holy nation, headed by our King Jesus—we are expected to obey Him as our leader, His laws He set up to govern us (The Word of God) and be productive, contributing citizens, working collectively and individually to His glory in the nation in which we “reside” (or to one another), be an example and draw people to those outside of the nation (unbelievers) knowing we’ll receive the blessings of God here and after we God home to be with the Lord where get to reign with the King!
So we all have specific gifts and talents that God has put into us that we are expected to use to His glory and produce fruit. Moses offered up ALL types of excuses but God still required Moses’ service. Think it’s any different that we are under grace? Check out Matthew 25:14-30. The man who went on the long journey gave each servant talents 10, 5 and 1—verse 15 says he gave them in each proportion to his own personal ability. So the master knew who could handle what. God created us—He told Jeremiah in chapter 1:5, before I formed you in the belly, I KNEW you.. God KNOWS what we can do—He is the one who put the talents and gifts IN us, He won’t force us, but He TRUSTS us with what He put assigned us to.
When it was accounting time, the first two servants were rewarded for their investing and return on investment. The unprofitable servant said he was AFRAID (v 25). Maybe it was of people, failure, he got scoffed at —I don’t know, but that did not cut it with the master. The wicked, slothful (v 26) unprofitable (v 30) servant was cast out into outer darkness where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth. NO ONE wants THAT report. Pray for clarity on how God wants to use your talents and gifts to His glory and operate in them as He directs you.
Romans 12:6-8 lists seven gifts of the spirit (the number 7 representing spiritual completeness, divine fulness):
I Corinthians 12:4-11 gives us nine gifts, (the number 9 represents finality/completeness):
- The Word of Knowledge
- The Word of Wisdom
- The Gift of Prophecy
- The Gift of Faith
- The Gifts of Healing
- The Working of Miracles
- The Discerning of Spirits
- Different Kinds of Tongues
- The Interpretation of Tongues
Ephesians 4:11 lists five (5, representing God’s grace) ministries:
Notice there is not singing, playing an instrument, drawing or anything like that because those are talents/abilities God gives. We use gifts and talents interchangeably, but biblically the gifts are listed in the Word. Now maybe you gift of healing in connected with your singing—we just want to clear about talents vs gifts. In any event check with God on what He has called you too and how He wants it done. Remember, He wants to do well, so He will guide us. We may stumble like Moses, but we can repent, learn from the issue and keep being used.
How are your actions working in the body of Christ? Did you recognize what God called you to in the listing. And please, do not get hung up on the crowds. If you have the gift of teaching, you may get an auditorium, stadium or at your home “emporium” where it’s just you and the kids. That’s okay—you are operating your gift in the nation as God has instructed and are perfect where you are.
You can’t walk into what God called you to do until you know who He says you are. Moses had to learn that.
Being chosen, called royal, peculiar citizen of a holy nation we have WORK to DO in front of or behind the scenes. In John 14, Jesus said that His disciples bear MUCH fruit. That cannot happen if you are not letting your gifts bless the Body or drawing other “members” (through lifting Christ up) into the Body. Any tree will get it’s share of sunshine, rain, food, and adversity (lack, storms effecting the branches) pruning—and those hurt, but help you to grow. Likewise, we are going to be more effective in what we are called to do, if we’ve had some adversity.
This concludes our series, “The called according to His purpose.” I certainly pray that God’s Word continually blesses, encourages and challenges us to walk worthy of the vocation God has called us to. We’d LOVE to hear all about it, so please leave a comment on the BlenCouragesU.com and visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, SoundCloud, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Instagram. Whew! 🙂
God bless and thank you for tuning in and until the next time we’re together, #StayOnTheWall!