We Are…

9.1.23 Devo Image

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”—1 Peter 2:9–10 (NIV)

Race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, political beliefs, careers . . . 

Many categories exist to describe us, but we better believe that these don’t define us.  Oftentimes, we cling on titles and we claim them as our identity when that solely rests in our Creator who made us in His image and has claimed us as His chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.

A title that once belonged to the people of Israel has been graciously given to us because of the blood of Jesus. Not only have we obtained a new identity in Christ, but let’s add a new life principle as the chosen generation, a new access to God with royal priesthood, a new government as God’s holy nation, and a new master as He calls us His special possession.

Peter wrote this chapter with a construction analogy and addressed Christians who were at the time being ridiculed, slandered, and persecuted by their neighbors. He wrote it with the purpose of encouraging them and reminding them they were being built up like living stones in a spiritual house by the cornerstone Himself. Jesus knew we would experience resistance, rejection, and humiliation like He did. But as His children, we learn from His example, we get back up, we pick up the hammer, and we keep building knowing that without the cornerstone the house can and will fall apart.

The truth is, we can’t build something this majestic without the uniqueness of the body of Christ (1 Peter 2:5). We need Jesus, but we also need each other. We’re called to be like-minded, unified, and mature, but we’ve all been blessed with different gifts to offer and that diversity of talents must be shared and celebrated. This is why Ephesians 4:11–13 (NIV) says, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

The expression “to equip” was to describe setting broken bones, and it’s meant to say “to put right” like when the chiropractor adjusts your back. With this in mind, we’re to be strong, mended, and fit Christians. Like the body of Christ, which is to also provide support, create movement, and protect each other, even the tiniest bones in our hands serve a purpose. Bones mature over time and get stronger as we grow older and take care of ourselves. We’re not just called to evangelize to sinners, but we’re commanded to equip each other to complete and mature our body for its edification with the purpose of expanding and strengthening for His glory. We’re better witnesses to the world when our body has strong bones, when we’re united under Christ, when “the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:16 NIV). 

Pause: What did you claim as your identity before Christ? Do you still struggle now?

Practice: Become an active listener. Have a conversation with a Christian friend who thinks differently than you. The purpose of the conversation isn’t to argue but to listen so you can find common ground and unity.

Pray: Heavenly Father, I want to lift up your church, the body of Christ, to You. I pray for unity. I pray for forgiveness. I pray for peace. I acknowledge I haven’t always been walking together with the church. Thank You for Your example of love and sacrifice. Continue to teach me grace so I can give it freely to those who hurt me. I’m thankful I serve a God who reconciles all things to Himself. I will rejoice because I belong to one body, one spirit, one hope, one Lord, and one faith. Amen.

About the Author

Alessandra Velsor

Alessandra (Ally) Velsor has been part of the Calvary Chapel staff since 2009. Because her family owned various restaurants growing up, she determined to do something else and got a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication. But… never say never…

She served in The Grill at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale for 14 years as a server, restaurant manager, and catering manager. She’s currently serving as the cafe supervisor in the Plantation campus. She met her husband, Kenny, working at The Grill and married him in 2011. They have two amazing children Joshua and Sunny.