But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possessions, that you declare praises
of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:6
Remember Who You Are
Remember who you are. Growing up in a minister’s home, these words were often to spoken to me as I would go out with friends or when I would be out with my family. Those spoken words meant behave yourself, use your manners and know that people are watching you. In other words, my identity and reputation would be defined by my actions and by the words I would say.
In 1987, I became a mom to a precious little boy named Drew. As I began to raise him and send him out, I soon heard my mom coming out of my mouth as he would leave the house. Remember who you are I would say to Drew as he would head out the door. These words were spoken even more often as he began to drive, date and do more things without Jim and I around.
One evening, Drew asked why we kept repeating this phrase before he would leave the house. Jim and I explained that when he is out and about he is representing our home and what we stand for and what we don’t tolerate as a family. We also explained that we live in a small town and chances are we will know where he had been before he got home. Yes, we did know where he was and who with before he returned home on several occasions. Jim and I also explained that it is important of being mindful of how one acts and what one says because it also shows his heart condition and what he believed.
Drew is now grown with his own family. He and his wife have just had a precious baby girl, Campbell over a month ago. As Jim and I watch Drew and Megan with Campbell, we can’t help not only hear the words of what we said to Drew as we raised him but also the voices of our parents are even stronger. The words, remember who you are seem to be even louder for me these days.
“The cross before me, the world behind me.”
As of recent Jim and I watch very little “new” programs on television. Not long ago Jim and I had tuned into a sitcom we thought would be entertaining. After about five minutes into it, we looked at each other and said, what is this world coming to? As we spit these words out of our mouths, we looked at each other and there was a moment of silence. Needless to say, we turned the program off.
Jim and I began to talk about how the world is so much different from it was when we were growing up. We were both born in the mid 1960’s, grew up in the seventies and graduated high school in the early 1980’s. Back then our grandparents thought the world was going crazy. Yet, I look back now and see how much simple life was than it is now.
It seems we have forgotten who we are, whose we are, what is right and as Christians we are facing intolerance of our faith. Not only are Christians facing intolerance of their faith but they are facing pressures to conform to this world. As I write this I am reminded of Romans 12:2
Do not conform to this pattern of this world
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Turning From The Faith
As I write this post, I recall being a participant on the study of Daniel. Daniel 1:1-7. In this passage we learn of how God has handed King Nebuchadnezzar Judah. In the process of this siege, Nebuchadnezzar has ordered for the young men from the royal family and noble families of the Israelites to be brought to serve in his court. The qualifications of these you men were they had to be good-looking and who would most likely conform to his instructions and way of life.
It was the King’s plan to change these young men to conform to his rules, his lifestyle and to forget who they were meaning to take God out of their lives. Nebuchadnezzer expected these young men to bow to his gods. He went as far changing the names of these young men. Their current names were names that represented God thus the need to change their names.
Through this process, the King ran into a snag. The snag was Daniel. Daniel refused to conform to the King’s ways. He refused to eat the same food as the King and to bow down to the King’s gods. As you read the book of Daniel, you will see where God showed up, used Daniel to turn the King’s heart around.
There Will Be A Day
In my NIV Life Application Bible, Matthew 24’s sub heading is Jesus Teaches About the Future. In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus comes out of the temple and the disciples call Jesus over to admire structure of the temple. They are impressed with the architecture. Yet, Jesus tells them the building is only temporary. As Matthew 24 continues Jesus warns the disciples ( including us) about there will come a time of false prophets, deception, Nation will rise against nation, and there will be famines. Jesus went on to explain to the disciples that they and we as Christians will be hated because of Him. Then in Matthew 24:13 he says what I believe is the most pivotal and important phrase, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
It seems these days there is so much going on. People doing things out of greed, out for themselves, no concern for fellow-man, and manners seemed to be a thing of the past. I see families against one another and the list goes on. If you are on any type of social media you see such things every day. Our television shows and news also reflect this culture that has been created. Thus, all the more reason that we as Christians need to stand firm in what we believe. Each morning when we rise, we need to pray for wisdom, guidance and discernment. Just as Daniel stood firm in his faith we must stand firm in ours.
Remember Who You Are
Yes, as a child my mom would remind me each time I left the house to remember who I was and how my actions spoke loudly to those I would encounter. Today, as I go out and about my business, I realize even more so the importance of remembering who I am and who I represent. I don’t just represent my personal home and family but I represent God’s Kingdom.
1 Peter 2:9 tells us that we are a chosen people and a royal priesthood. Each one of us made the decision to step out of darkness and ways of the world to step into the light of Christ and represent His kingdom. It is my prayer as we journey in the days ahead that we remember who we are and whose we are and our words and actions demonstrate what we believe. Let there be no question of who we are in this world.