December 24, 2020 THE MMA TEAM

I have something that has been stirring in my heart over the past couple of days. I finally had a chance to sit down and put my thoughts together...cause life continues to fly past me.

Before I get to what God has put on my heart I want you to know that you are set apart. You are chosen by God and He loves you deeply! I know that it can be hard to accept these facts...but it is true!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had conversations about living in God’s purpose for my life. It has made me think about being set apart. The phrase set apart has become a life-changing phrase that God spoke over my life. It has changed the way I see myself and how I live my life. He has set us apart, not just me.

I wrote another blog on 1 Peter 2:9-10 but I want to dig into it again. This time to gain a new understanding of being set apart. In 1 Peter 2:9, it says, ​“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession”

Peter is naming a specific group of people. “A royal priesthood” is referring to the men God had set apart to perform the religious sacrifices and minister to the people.

They had a different way of life than others of their time, and were the mediators between the people and God.

A beautiful part about our lives is that because of Jesus we have access to God without a mediator. We do not have to have a priest to go between us and God anymore. We have Jesus who bridges the gap and the Holy Spirit who is our advocate.

Peter is saying in this verse that we are also called to live set apart group. An important piece of information to know is that the priests had to accept the call to live this way.

As believers, we are also called to live a life that is set apart from others.  

From since I can remember I have always felt very different:  I was the tall, chubby white girl who seemed to wear braces for ever amongst the other mainly Hmong and Laotian students.

I had always been able to talk to adults better than peers growing up. I wasn’t as carefree and funny as Matthew, my older brother, or perfect as Michael, my younger brother. This may seem silly to some, but all these little things made me feel different.

Feeling different didn’t change as I got older.  My life seemed to always go in a different direction than the average.

It became a joke in the family that if it was gonna go wrong or weird it would happen to me. I had my gallbladder out at 13, which usually happens when you’re in your 40’s!

I got a parasite on a ski trip to Colorado in High School. I didn’t play sports or have a ton of friends in high school. My friendships were never the best until college and that changed my life forever but that’s another story for another time

“Not normal”. I have always held this as such a negative view about myself. I allowed the enemy to use something God had called me to be against myself.

That was until I had a holy moment with the Lord.

I was worshipping at my church when the phrase from one of the songs just hit me like a ton of bricks. The song goes, “you’ve entered my life you’ve set me apart. I love you, Lord. I love you, Lord.”

When I heard the words, “you have set me apart” it hit me so hard I sat down and was surrounded by silence. God spoke straight to my soul. HE said: ”Megan, I have called you to be set apart. Will you accept it? Will you live it out? You were meant to be different...set apart for me.”

I don’t know about you - but when it is so clearly the Lord speaking, I know to listen!

He had been chasing me for years through difficult times and bad decisions to realize that He has made me to be different, to live set apart, and 
He has made you to be set apart too.

The parts of you that you wish were different or more “normal” - He made you that way for a reason. The question is will you accept the call to live set apart? Or will you continue to fight to be what the world considers to be normal?
Peter started chapter 2 urging the believers to live holy. Especially in 1 Peter 2:15, he says, ​“As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” T​his is a call to live set apart - to live holy. This can seem daunting in the world that we live in.
But take heart! Because Matthew 19:26 tells us that, “​all things are possible with God.”

Peter continues in chapter 2 verses 11-12 telling us, ”Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

What I want to focus on here is the part where he is calling us to abstain from the passions of the flesh.

At times we think the word passion means just lust, but the reality is that we have many different passions of the flesh which include greed, status
anger and self -centeredness.

When we abstain from them, it allows our lives to be a reflection of Him: Living holy because He is holy.

It is on my heart to say to those who feel like they will never be able to live this way because they already “messed up.” that there IS freedom in Christ.

You are a new creation! The enemy will use your past to shame you. But in Christ, there is freedom from shame and you become a new creation.

I know this because I have been there. I have chosen to follow the passions of my flesh and not live the life God called me to. I lived in guilt and shame for far too long. The enemy would tell me that it was a lost cause...why try to live right now? But that is a lie! The truth is...Jesus died for me...for you. He shed his blood to wash all those mistakes away. 1 John 1:7 reminds us that, “​Jesus’ blood cleanses us from all sin.​”

You are not too far gone. You are not your bad choices or mistakes.
When you step out into life with God you are washed. You are a new creation. You are made whole. You are chosen and a dearly loved child of the King. You are in Jesus and that is your righteousness. You are forgiven. You are His precious possession...a priceless treasure.

Now it is up to you.
You have a decision to make...will you live set apart? Will you choose to live a life that reflects Him? Will you reject the lies the enemy is throwing at you and live in truth?

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