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Citizens of Character

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.

Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.   1 Peter 2:9-17 The Message*

These Words from Peter were written during the time of the Roman occupation – life under Roman rule was not easy. The point Peter is making is that we, Christians, must be citizens of character. We must do what is right and good. We are directed to respect authority; not break rules but uphold them, peaceably working with grace to change those that need to be changed.

Let us pour out the gifts God has given us to others. In this way, they will know Jesus through us. Do it with grace, mercy, compassion, strength and behavior that will set an example of “right” living. Right living includes reverence of God, respecting the authority and treating people with dignity.

And remember . . . PRAY . . . God hears and receives our prayers. He always answers whether it be a “yes”, “no”, “maybe”, “not now” or “wait”. Our job is to pray without ceasing and believe and trust that the God of the Universe is working all things together for our good. Maybe not what we envisioned as “our good” but what He knows is good.

The effects of our prayers ripple through eternity and never come back void.


*Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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