A Summer Diving Expedition - Belonging (Dive #1)

Summertime is in full swing in my hot-n-humid little corner of South Carolina. Kids are out of school, and teachers are in their final hours of packing up their rooms, final meetings, and saying their goodbyes to faculty who will not be returning in the fall. 

But nothing speaks to the lazy days of summer more to me than a refreshing dive into a pool or lake. 

As soon as my fingertips hit the water I immediately feel I've left all the cares of the world behind me. As my head breaks the surface coming out of the water, I exhale the breath held before diving in and inhale a new one - one that rejuvenates and replaces the stale air just released from my lungs. 

Then, I swim to the ladder, climb up, and prepare for another invigorating plunge.

Today's blog is an invitation for you to join me on a diving expedition this summer. Not the kind that requires jumping off of a boat, decked-out in a diving suit, flippers, and an oxygen tank attached to our backs. I'm talking about a spiritual diving expedition below the surface and into the treasure trove of God's Word. We'll be examining nuggets of truth about who Christ says He is and who He says we are in Him. Spiritual diving can be so refreshing for our minds, bodies, and souls. 

Our first summer dive takes us into the depths of God's Word, searching for understanding into what Peter meant when he said we are called out of darkness into His marvelous light from 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV).

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Since this treasured verse begins with “But you…", we must first take inventory and grab what's missing. (As my village of Believers preaches often, “To study the Word of God well, we must remember context is king.”)

So, let’s not swim any further until we have the equipment needed to dive properly. Here's what precedes the “But you...” in verses 7-8 (NKJV).

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, 
“The stone that the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,” and 
“A stone of stumbling 
And a rock of offense.” 
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

Now we have some context to build on. 

“But you” in verse 9 refers to those who believe in Jesus Christ, and “They” in verses 7 and 8 refers to those who do not believe. They are the ones who stumble [through life] over the cornerstone [Jesus Christ] whom they have rejected and are offended by. As a result, they who do not believe are without hope.

With that bit of distinction between You and They, we can now explore our designated treasure. 

Peter very clearly states who we [Believers] are according to Christ Jesus our Lord.   
You are a chosen race.

This kind of race has absolutely nothing to do with the color of our skin, or what part of the world we come from, or even our heritage. It has everything to do with anyone who has, by faith, trusted in the Savior, Jesus Christ.  

When God looks at us, His chosen race, He sees past the temporary covering of our skin and into our eternal souls. He sees, with divine clarity, our hearts of faith, which are not covered with anything temporal, but robed with the eternal righteousness of Jesus Christ, His Son, through the Lamb of God’s perfect blood sacrifice.

Hearts of faith are what solidify our belonging to God’s chosen race. We are adopted into His family by grace through faith into a sealed relationship by the Holy Spirit. A forever-relationship that can never be broken

Now that's a nugget of truth to hang on to!

Okay, time to surface! Take in a deep breath, exhale, and let's rest in God's promise of belonging.

Until the next dive...

My Pleasure,

Each week, a prize will be added to the list below. To have your name entered into the drawing you must leave a comment on the blog post. You may leave one comment per Summer Diving Expedition post. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 26.

Treasure Chest Prize List: 
- a $10 Starbucks Gift Card