“But 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, NKJV)
Walking into a dark room brings with it just a bit of apprehension … especially if you have been watching a scary movie or show on TV … which for the record, I do not do! PERIOD!
I remember to this day the first scary movie I ever saw at the theater on May Avenue in Oklahoma City. I got so scared, I went out into the lobby, bought a large dill pickle and listened and waited until all the screaming, etc. was done!
Now, I know some would say it was just pretending and they would be correct! Some would say it is just entertainment and I would not deny that either!
But there is a world of difference between make-believe and reality! And the fact is we live in an evil and corrupt world that seems to be becoming more immoral with the dawning of each new day.
Facing severe persecution … the reality that their very lives and those they loved could be taken because of their faith … they needed to be encouraged! These early brethren who had been sent the Letters of 1st & 2nd Peter needed to be reminded of just how precious they were in God’s eyes!
I would make the point that in our day … living in our culture … facing a rising tide of opposition to truth, God, His Book, and even His people … we need to be encouraged! We need to be reminded of just how precious we are in God’s eyes today! But with blessing comes a corresponding responsibility!
The Apostle John, by inspiration, penned the Books of John, 1st, 2nd, 3rd John, and Revelation. As he did so often in his writings, John used contrastive terms (life and death, light and darkness, love, and hate to name a few) to make his inspired points.
John’s main objective was to highlight just what happened when Jesus Christ, the Son of God left the joys and peace of Heaven … came down to this evil and needy world … and offered Himself on the Cross to pay the price for our sins (See John 3:16).
God has always wanted us to view this world from Heaven’s perspective … not this world’s perspective … and to live as we believe it because we have professed it! And we must be diligent to ensure right thinking! He expects those who are “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8b) … to live like it!
It can be easy to be influenced by the pressures and allurements of this world to go back to the way we were before, as Paul states, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord …” (Ephesians 5:8a)
The Bible teaches with great clarity that the difference that following Jesus Christ makes in the hearts and lives of those who choose to love, obey and follow Him completely (Romans 12:1,2) … should be obvious!
Yes, as Jesus said so clearly in the early portion of His mountainside discourse (Matthew 5-7), those who are His followers are viewed by Him as “… the salt of the earth and the light of the world …” (Matthew 5:13-16)
To the eyes and yes even the ears of others … to our friends … to our family … even to our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to be different, not for the sake of just ‘being different’ … but for the sake of following in the footsteps of Jesus!
Keep on shining! Keep on “holding on to the faith!” Keep on “seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness …” (Matthew 6:33)
There is one last thought that needs to be expressed. There is a very sobering and haunting passage of Scripture that has been preserved for our consideration. Here it is: “When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.” (Judges 2:10, NKJV)
Just one generation after Joshua successfully led the nation of Israel into the Promised Land and it became their home … the people stopped serving and listening to God! I’ve thought about that a great deal and have been reflecting over these words more and more!
My friends, we are the ones with the awesome duty, privilege, and honor of remembering and passing on to our children and even our children’s children what we have come to know about the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness that comes from Him who made us and will one day judge us!
If we don’t accept this assignment … who will? Let’s not be the generation who stopped remembering! The darker the room … the brighter the light!
“This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” (Psalm 102:18)
Bill Fairchild, Jr