Roles. Roles are important because roles define what we are called to do. We all want to feel useful, and so we want to have a role to play wherever we are. But even more than that, roles come with hierarchy, so roles give us a sense of importance and tell us just where we stand in the bigger picture of things. And because we want to feel important, we love it when the role given to us is one that carries with it stature. So have you ever wondered what your role is in the kingdom of God?

“…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? We are His special people, regal and holy, set apart for His purpose and to do His will. In fact, so special are we that we didn’t come free.

We are “…[God’s] own purchased, special people,…” 1 Peter 2:9 [AMPC]

We were purchased, we were redeemed; we were not inherited. We cost God His Son, suffering and dying on the cross for us, that by His blood shed, we receive complete remission of sins and enter into the new covenant with God.

And if you still feel like the titles are insufficient for you and don’t make you feel important enough, well, understand that words are limited, for this is the true intent behind the role you have been given.

“But you are God’s “chosen generation”, his “royal priesthood”, his “holy nation”, his “peculiar people”—all the old titles of God’s people now belong to you.” 1 Peter 2:9 [PHILLIPS]

Yes, you read it right, ALL the old titles of God’s people now belong to you. Each and every one. From the very greatest to the very least; they are all yours.

But at the risk of sounding like an ingrate, I used to have a problem with this verse. You see, while I didn’t mind being called God’s chosen one, I had a problem with the job that I had to do.

“…that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

Proclaim His praises. I had a big problem with this because, let’s be honest, there are some times when we just don’t feel like praising Him, isn’t there? I mean, life isn’t always hunky dory; we are not always on cloud nine. And while I understand that with the role comes responsibility, I hate to feel like I’m called to be a hypocrite, smiling when I’d rather be crying and singing praises when I’d rather be sulking.

So if you are like me, if you have ever felt that you were supposed to force a smile when you are feeling down, don’t feel alone. Let me share with you what I found out.

Truth is, we got it wrong. The English language is very limited in scope and nuance and that is why we should never ever rely on just one translation of the Bible in our study; for this is truly what it says.

“…It is for you now to demonstrate the goodness of him who has called you out of darkness into his amazing light.” 1 Peter 2:9 [PHILLIPS]

We are not merely called to sing God’s praises, we are called to demonstrate the His goodness; to show how good God has been. Now, here’s a question for you, how do you demonstrate if you have not first seen?

“…that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 [AMPC]

We are also called to ‘set forth’ His wonderful deeds and display His virtues and perfections. Now, we understand what ‘display’ means. But what does it mean to ‘set forth’? Well in this context, it means to ‘direct attention to’ and ‘focus on’. So here’s another question for you. How can we direct attention to and have others focus on how good our Father has been to us; indeed how can we even put on display His wonderful deeds; if they have not already been done in our lives?

You see, while we are indeed called to proclaim His praises, we are first called to receive His blessings. For what does it really mean to be

“…God’s “chosen generation”, his “royal priesthood”, his “holy nation”, his “peculiar people”…” 1 Peter 2:9 [PHILLIPS]

Well, it means that our Father,

“…who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:3-5

We have an inheritance that will never fade away reserved for us in Heaven; and while we are here, we are kept by the power of God. And though troubles and trials may come,

“When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.” 1 Peter 1:7 [MSG]
For indeed, “The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.” 1 Peter 1:5 [MSG]

You see, we commonly understand roles as positions that come with a ‘To Do’ list. But with our Father, we need to realize that the positions that He gives come with a ‘To Get’ list. Our Father doesn’t want anything of us, except that we

“…believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:29

And now that we have indeed put our faith in Jesus, we are eligible to receive the inheritance of provision and protection that our Father promises.

So then, what about the proclaiming and displaying?

Well, let me ask you a very difficult question. If your life has been filled with the wonders of God, if your life has been touched comprehensively by the grace of God, do you really need to take any special effort to show it? Won’t it just shine through?

But what about those who can’t see it? Do we need to take special effort to highlight it to them? Well, we don’t, because as our Father has said,

“Look! I’m setting a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone in the place of honor.
Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation
will never have cause to regret it.
To you who trust him, he’s a Stone to be proud of, but to those who refuse to trust him,
The stone the workmen threw out
is now the chief foundation stone.
For the untrusting it’s
. . . a stone to trip over,
a boulder blocking the way.
They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.” 1 Peter 2:6-8 [MSG]

Jesus is our cornerstone. And because in Him we have put our trust, we have been able to receive the blessings and He has come to bring. And because of that, He is precious to us. But to those who do not believe, or refuse to believe, hey, that’s alright. It is ‘just as predicted’.

You know beloved, God has given you a huge role in His kingdom, one that entitles you to receive. And all that He asks from you is that you don’t hide His gifts behind inaction, false humility or pride. If He has given you a gift to use, use it according to His grace and leading. If He has given you a gift to share, share it according to His grace and leading. Just never hide it.

For indeed, you have a big role to play in His kingdom, so start fulfilling your role and receive from Him today.

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