“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” — 1 Peter 2:9
At any Olympic Games, the parade of nations is, without a doubt, one of the most inspiring moments. For a brief time, the world is united through the power of sports — each nation marching into the stadium for the opening ceremony, proud to be among those chosen to compete on behalf of their respective countries. Each nation also has one or two noteworthy athletes carry its flag and lead its athletes out in front of the world.
I’ve always loved hearing how much this particular moment means to those who get to be part of it: the colors of each country’s uniforms, the celebration of culture, the delight on the faces of those who worked so hard to make the team, and the absolute pride in their hearts to represent their nation.
In a similar fashion, the same can be said for followers of Jesus Christ. The moment we surrender our lives to His lordship, we claim our chosen-ness in Him and enter into the exclusivity of a life lived for Him. We are welcomed onto His team, so to speak. From that point on, we are given the responsibility and the privilege of representing Him to a world that needs His love — of showing those who observe our lives what following Jesus means to us. It’s like what the athletes at the Olympics do for those watching in their living rooms back home.
There should be a sense of obligation we feel every single day to honor and glorify Christ in our lives because we bear His image, His standard, His love and His truth to others who need to experience them. This should bring about a sense of humility at being given the opportunity to represent Him, and also a feeling of joy at being called His beloved. In Ephesians 4:1-2, the apostle Paul writes, “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Following Jesus should mean something to you. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes being on His team means you end up in places you never thought you’d be. Pain is still a part of life, and saying “yes” to Christ can be difficult and uncomfortable. But, just like the Olympians will tell you, the reward of pressing through the challenges of the journey is always worth it for the blessing you obtain. The privilege of representing God on a daily basis should outweigh all hardships you’ll encounter along the way.
So, whom do you represent?
Do you pay tribute to Jesus in name only but still try to do life your own way?
Or do you surrender fully to His authority and gratefully accept the privilege of living for something and for Someone greater than yourself?
— Katherine Singer
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