Peculiar people

Deuteronomy 14: 2

For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His personal possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

God chose the Israelites to be His chosen people. That choice has now been extended to us, the believers in Jesus as the Christ. This verse is important in a couple of ways. First, so that we understand that we are a chosen, holy people unto God. Second, that this selection means things are different for us than for others.

First, the key thing to understand about being a chosen people is that we have been set apart. God has opened the gates to all who will believe in Him and accept Him as their God. This confuses people because it sounds like everyone is part of His personal possession. God has determined that those who will come into relationship with Him shall be set apart as a Holy people for Him. We have some say in this determination when we give ourselves to His lordship. After that event, He sets us apart from other humans to be His special and chosen people. There is a clear delineation in god’s sight between those who have been set apart and those who have not. He sees His chosen as a distinct group, clearly different from others. We are a Holy People, a Royal Priesthood, serving the Lord God.

Second, the King James Bible’s translation for this verse calls us a “peculiar” people. Peculiar reflects the “set apart” status. It also shows a difference between God’s people and others. The Israelites looked different, ate differently and had other habits which were unique to them. God gave them a set of practices which improved their hygiene and kept them safe. He has done the same for us. The “rules” God gives us are meant to keep us safe and to aid us in being successful. These rules, when we follow them, tend to make us different too. We don’t look the same, act the same or speak the same as non-believers. So, if someone thinks you are odd, you might be right on track.

As a reminder, today is Giving Tuesday. Ivey Ministries has a charitable project going on that you can give to. We are raising money for Deneen and Mike. Please find the details Here. And don’t forget Ivey Ministries in your giving. Click Here to donate to Ivey Ministries. Thank you.

No Worms Please

John 5: 19

Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself.”

Jesus said he was nothing without God so consider me, as David said, a worm (Psalm 22: 6). Who are we if Jesus could do nothing without the Father’s assistance? Before Jesus’ ministry began, Father sent him to be baptized by John the Baptist. When John baptized Jesus in water, God baptized him in the Holy Spirit. The text from Matthew says that the Spirit of God descended from heaven and rested upon Jesus (Matthew 3: 16). Everything Jesus did from then on was done in the power of the Spirit of God. So again, I ask, who are we that we can do anything apart from God’s Spirit?

Jesus would have known the scripture from yesterday, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts,” (Zechariah 4: 6). He knew that his ministry was dependent on working with the Holy Spirit. In fact, did you know that even the Father relies on the Spirit’s power? Look at the account of creation from Genesis. The Spirit was hovering over the void. Then when God spoke, the Spirit made it so. He is the power part of God. So, if God operates by the Spirit and Jesus operates by the Spirit, it would seem imperative that we learn how to work with him too.

Of course, this isn’t natural for us but truly, we aren’t supposed to live in the natural anyway. We are part of the super-natural family of God. The natural realm was what we had before Jesus. Now, we are above natural having been adopted into God’s family.

Does this sound a bit far-fetched? I think so, but that is an indication of how far we have slipped. It certainly was not far-fetched or unusual for Peter, John, or Paul. This wouldn’t have even sounded implausible to Doubting Thomas. Remember, he was one of the people who fed the five thousand. They would think our existence is strange. Few miracles, healings or manifestations of the Spirit. And do you know that these people continued to walk in the miracles after Jesus exited? Why? It wasn’t Jesus performing the miracles. It was his Father’s power through the person of the Holy Spirit.

Because of the Holy Spirit, you can lay hands on the sick and they will recover (James 5: 14 – 15). There is no reason you cannot change water to wine, walk on the water and feed the hungry. In fact, Jesus said that you should be doing greater works than he. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father,” (John 14: 12). That scripture has bothered me for some time because I am not doing greater either. I think the first step is for us to wrap our minds around the fact that we are supposed to be supernatural people living in the supernatural world even as we traverse this physical earth. That is what Jesus did and we Christians are all the time talking about walking in his footsteps. Well, this is what it means. We are to partner with the Holy Spirit as he did and believe for the manifestation of God’s miracles everywhere we go. We are too complacent though. It is comfortable to settle for the natural. We don’t want to be weird and frankly, it takes some faith to live in the supernatural. It takes faith to be like Jesus, no doubt. Still, that is what distinguishes us from those who are not under his lordship. We aren’t called to be natural. In a way I guess I am asking you to be unnatural. We are called to be peculiar, unique. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2: 9).

Be anointed by the Holy Spirit as was Jesus and walk out into the world as he did. Sure, it’s a challenge but we have the highest and most holy calling. Let’s honor it.