The word of God has much to say about God’s people. However, there are a few characteristics that will be highlighted in this article, which come from the Old Testament and the New Testament.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14. If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 14 IF MY PEOPLE, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
In this passage of Scripture, verse 14 is an all-time favorite, frequently quoted by many. However, when read in context, we see that verse 14 is God’s direct answer to Solomon’s prayer (recorded in 2 Chronicles 6:12-42). After finishing the temple of God, Solomon prayed on behalf of Israel and dedicated the temple to God before them all. Then God appeared to Solomon and answered his prayer in verses 13 - 14. God was simply saying yes and repeating back to Solomon what he had already petitioned of God. So, verse 14 gives a snapshot of how God’s people should look and behave. They should: (1) HUMBLE themselves; (2) PRAY; (3); SEEK His face; and (4) TURN from their wicked ways. WHAT?!
You mean God’s people have wicked ways? YES! But when they do the above, they untie God’s hands to: (1) hear from heaven; (2) forgive their sin; and (3) heal their land. I can only imagine that as God looks on us in the earth, His most disturbing question is: Where Are My People? Does He need to put an APB out on His people to find who’s abiding by 2 Chronicles 7:14?
1 Peter 2:9-10. 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: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
WHEN READ IN REVERSE ORDER, THESE TWO VERSES ARE REALLY PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE:
Verse 10 shows there was a time when we were not “a people.” We were without God, without help, hope and mercy! We didn’t have a name, identity, or family to call our own. But now, we are the people of God, with an identity, a new name, a new identity, and a new bloodline.
Verse 9 shows that God’s people are chosen, royal, holy and peculiar. And “peculiar” doesn’t mean strange. It means a preservation, possession, one’s own property in the Greek Lexicon (G4046 – Peripoiesis). It also means purchased possession according to the King James Word Usage. Therefore, we are a “preserved” people, a “purchased possession” of God—His property. We are NOW somebody—His people!
This is why His people should also SHEW FORTH THE PRAISES… We might not, but we SHOULD, considering all He has done! We owe Him praise! Some are in debt to God—not to a bill collector! If God came to settle the PRAISE DEBT with us, many of us would be found OWING Him! Our PRAISE accounts would be in the red—bankrupt! Would God be saying once again, Where Are My People? Or would He find us humbling ourselves, praying, seeking His face, turning from our wicked ways, and showing forth the praises?
If God was a bill collector or the repo man, some people would be required to return all the blessings because they haven’t paid their debt (of praise). What if we had to give back that healing, or deliverance, or miracle? What if He did us like creditors do us—since you can’t pay your bill, I’m coming to get my stuff?
Every chance we get, our mindsets should be to pay our debt (of praise). Not when churches open again—Now.
God is asking the question, “Where Are My People?” What is your answer?
Jenise “Sandy” Blake is pastor of Feed My Sheep eMinistries (formerly SONLite Ministries of Pine Bluff.) Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or fb.me/feedmysheepemin .
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