Dear Fellow-Disciple:

"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 marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9).

A peculiar people. It really means to have a characteristic exclusively our own; separate; to belong particularly or exclusively to One; chosen by God because we have accepted as true, the incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of our decision, we are set apart by God as a type of priesthood, called to glorify Him.

God doesn't even bother to clean us up before using us. He takes us, flaws and all, and He actually depends upon us to accomplish His work, though we still have a sinful nature. As He works through us, He works in us (He never wastes anything) and gradually we take on the mind of Christ.

But it's a slow, painful process. We know that Christ is the Head of His body and that only the Head can determine the true needs of the body. We realize also that obedience determines the usefulness of the body. But our response is corrupted by our selfishness, greed, intolerance, pride, etc. The problem is not in the Head, but the Head receives the humiliation, because we resist being recognized by the world as His peculiar people.

In spite of this, He still calls us His peculiar people and He insists upon working through us. What He did with the original disciples He is willing to do with His present day disciples. In Luke 10, He sent seventy disciples out on a practice run, and when they returned victorious, He was their strongest supporter.

We please Him when we do as we are told because we take another step toward spiritual maturity andour obedience always causes Satan to come out on the short end.

We are fortunate that Christ is our Head and we are peculiarly His. He is a Head who never sleeps, He is always accessible and responsive to our slightest petition.

We serve as His hands, His feet, His eyes and His ears, and He is sensitive to every move we make. To move on our own without asking Him, is as dangerous as crossing a busy street with no thought to the rushing traffic. We jeopardize our lives because the enemy always lurks on the sidelines, waiting for us to take a step into his busy kingdom.

But when we petition Jesus before stepping out, He gladly responds and directs our paths in a way that keeps us safe and enables us to glorify the Father.

To simplify communication, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to reside in us (John 14:16,17). There is no limitation in spirit; therefore, the Holy Spirit resides in a timeless, limitless way in every part of the body of Christ. He is vital, in that He has the capability to keep us in a spiritual environment, and He is our direct contact with the omnipotence of God.

The Holy Spirit keeps us peculiar...perhaps strange to the world...but peculiar to God. Many Eastern religions make contact with the spirit world, but only Christianity makes contact with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

We are to fellowship with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14). He brings a quality of communion with God that takes us above the ordinary. Only through the Spirit of God can we attain the unity Jesus spoke about in His prayer (John 17:21).

We are a diverse people, from a multitude of different backgrounds. To become unified through our fleshly efforts is unthinkable. The one way to unity in the body of Christ is through submission to God's Word, under the revelation and direction of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit helps our weakness and makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26). God has thought of everything. We need only to trust Him so He is free to work His perfect will in our lives. He doesn't wait for us to become Christ-like before using us, but as He uses us we are transformed; peculiar to Him.

As disciples of Christ, we are willing to be identified with Him, regardless of the circumstances in our lives or the outcome of our decision. This is a good time to renew our commitment to discipleship. Are we truly ready to belong exclusively to Jesus Christ? If the answer is yes, we are part of His peculiar people.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: How do I know I belong exclusively to Jesus Christ?