Devotional Thoughts for Today
1 Peter 2:9-12
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
During orientation week of my last job, I was given the opportunity to take a work-personality test. Through the results of this test, I was able to better understand how I tend to work, collaborate with others, lead, follow, etc. It was informative. I appreciated how the test recognized the complexity of our personalities, but it also made me think how differently we can think and behave in different departments of our lives. Depending on our position, seniority, comfort level, etc. it is not difficult to adjust to how we put ourselves forward and interact with others.
In our passage today, Peter speaks to believers who are living outside of Israel, in Pontus, Galatia, Asia, etc. (v.1). He tells them they are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation…” (v.9). Prior to this verse, he talks about how they are living stones, “being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood” (v.5). What does this look like in their situation? Peter urges the believers to understand they are “sojourners and exiles” in their current environment and to “abstain from passions of the flesh,” or temptations they may see around them (v.11). Instead, he tells them to conduct themselves in a way that is honorable, so that their deeds speak for themselves and glorify the God they follow.
In different areas of our lives, we can play different roles. At church, perhaps you have been serving and even leading a ministry for a few years. But at your new workplace, you don’t know many people and are learning certain skills for the first time. Peter teaches us that wherever we are, whether it’s home or a foreign land, and whoever we are surrounded by—people similar to us or not—we are God’s priesthood. This means everything we do is an act of sacrifice and worship to God. Hence, let us work onto God and treat all people with dignity and honor.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for calling each and every one of us to be Your royal priesthood and holy nation. Help us to go into this new week, knowing that You have called us to worship You and honor others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 31