A-1 - Encouraged by What You Read?

Belonging to Christ is a great privilege. As members of the body of Christ here on earth, we share a collective identity. We are His people, and together we have a transformed identity.

In 1 Peter 2:4-11, Peter illustrates six facets of our collective identity in Christ.

First, we are living stones (v. 5). Like physical stones, each of us has our own unique set of qualities. Through these unique spiritual gifts and purposes, the Lord shapes us so that we fit into the perfect place within the body of Christ—a place that no one else can fill.

Second, we are members of a chosen race (v. 9). We, the elect of God from every nation and every generation, are now God’s chosen race regardless of our physical descent. We are those who have been adopted by grace.

Third, we are a royal priesthood (v. 9). As children of the King, we are commissioned to be His messengers to the world. As we offer a sacrifice of praise, worship, and adoration to God, we intercede on behalf of others.

Fourth, we are a holy nation, made up of people from every tribe and tongue on the face of the earth (v. 9). As citizens of this heavenly nation, we are to be holy as God is holy.

Fifth, we are God’s own treasured possession (v. 9). Consider your own most treasured possession and how much love, time, and care you pour into it. Now, allow yourself to wonder at the fact that this is how God feels about us.

Finally, we are sojourners and travelers in this world (v. 11). For those of us who love Jesus, a great home awaits us once our earthly tour is complete: eternity with our gracious heavenly Father.

Before we come to Christ, we are dead in our sins. We have no real spiritual identity. But now we are “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [we] may declare the praises of Him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). Hallelujah! We are the people of God. Therefore, let us love Him with all our hearts, worship Him with all our strength, and serve Him with all that we are.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the body of believers who together represent Your Kingdom on earth. Thank You for these friends in the faith. Unify us in Your Truth, that we may shine Your light to a world in darkness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“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” (1 Peter 2:9). 


Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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