1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Some people go on and on about themselves, about their hobbies or opinions or tastes. Jesus has given you something actually worth talking about. He has called you to be his spokesmen, to do endorsements for him. He didn’t hire a supermodel or the number one rated athlete in the world. He called you. He has not made us all his door to door salesmen, but he calls us to speak from the heart, and tell what we know, when the opportunity presents itself. Nationwide Insurance once claimed to have “the world’s greatest spokesperson in the world” in its commercials. Jesus has called you to be the world’s most important ones.
What we declare are his “praises.” The word Peter uses for “praises” does not refer so much to the act of worship, words or songs that express, “Our God is awesome.” They include the record of his deeds, the accounts of his kindness, the characteristics of his person that make it so. We are talking of the hand he has had in all human history: sending us a Savior, and seeing to it that the message salvation in Jesus has reached you and me.
These are the praiseworthy qualities and deeds of the God we worship, the things that bring him fame and praise. Jesus has called you to tell this story. He calls you to tell people who he is and what he is like. It’s not a hard thing to understand, not a complicated message to deliver. If you can talk about the great game your child had on the soccer or baseball field, if you can describe your favorite qualities in your best friend, you can do this. As a Christian, it is part of your calling. It is one of the reasons that Jesus’ made you one of his distinguished people.
A few decades ago one of my professors was applying to enter a doctoral program at the University of Minnesota. The director of the program scoffed at first. He thought he was just a backwards fundamentalist from a Bible college. “You don’t seem to have the academic background,” he said. “To even enter the program you have to know ancient Akkadian.” That’s a language used in parts of the ancient Middle East and written with a stylus on little tablets of clay. It looks like a collection of triangles. “That’s okay,” said my professor. “I’ll teach myself over the summer.” And he did! Later this program director was heard quipping to a colleague, “The guy knew more than I did.”
My professor had a rare gift, but you couldn’t see it. What distinguished him was real, but it was hidden for the most part. So it is with you. You have a rare gift: your faith, your identity, your calling, your privilege. These impact how you live. They make a difference in your life. But to most people, most of the time, they are hidden. That makes them no less real, and no less important. Own your new identity as God’s people. Know that you are special to him. Then be confident to declare his praises to others.