MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 2:4, 5 (ESV)
IDENTITY: YEAH BUT, I’VE BEEN REJECTED
In the seventh grade I (Larry) tried out for the advanced seventh grade basketball team with eleven other guys. There were only eleven roster slots. More than anything else in my life at that time, I wanted to be on that team. I hustled but I just wasn’t an advanced basketball player. At the end of tryouts the coach read the names of those who were selected for the team one by one. You may have already guessed, my name was the only name not read and I was the only one not selected.
That sense of rejection felt so humiliating at the time. Looking back, that event seems small compared to other failures and times of rejection I have experienced. And that makes me even more grateful that I didn’t have to “try out” for God’s family. There is no way I would have made His team. All I did was simply respond to His invitation to be a part of His family.
The Apostle Peter is writing to rejected and persecuted Christians in the book of 1 Peter. Peter is writing to encourage and remind them who they are in Christ and that their identity is not defined by their current or eventheir past circumstances. He reminds them in 1 Peter 2:4 that Jesus, the Living Stone, was also “rejected.” Then Peter adds the “but,” and goes on to explain what our identity really is all about as followers of Jesus. We will spend the rest of this week digging deeper into some of the excuses and realities about our identity in Christ.
In Sunday’s sermon, we were also reminded that times of rejection and failure don’t have to define our identity. What experiences of failure and rejection have had the most negative impact on how you feel about your identity? We were also reminded that we must bring our hurts up to the surface so God’s truth can shine on them and bring healing. Ask God what His truth is about any past failures or rejections that you still struggle with.