Pastor in the Pasture Wendell Elliott: Privileges of The Believer
Like quite a few folks in ranching and farming, I grew up in a large family. I am the youngest of five brothers. Not only was I the youngest but I was a number of years behind the others that had been born closer together. It was great growing up in their shadows. Being included in the regular routine and chores made me feel a part, more grown up, and important. There were times when tempers flared as with all siblings. They would call me the usual “mama’s boy” or “big baby.” You know the typical stuff. They would think that I was somehow privileged. However, I don’t think that they stopped and fully appreciated their situation. When they were all together that made for four pairs of hands to make light of hard work. Then one day they grew up and left, leaving me by myself. One pair of hands to do chores or help out with ranch work, working on windmills, or fixing fence. Now don’t get me wrong I know I had it good. It makes me wonder about who, really, was the more privileged?
You know that word “privilege” has been thrown around a whole bunch lately. Here in the United States we’ve heard it used to create division and arguments between different groups. However, when someone uses that term here in the U.S. to attack others do they really understand their own situation? I did a quick search and found a study in 2011 from Pew Research that stated that 56% of the U.S. population lives in what is considered the high income bracket which is living on more than $50 a day. That is leaps and bounds with 7% of the global population that lives in the same bracket. The study further showed that 56% of the global population lives on $2.01 – $10 per day. Just think of that! The average person in the U.S. probably has more change in their pocket or purse than over half the global population for that particular day. People here in the U.S. need to understand their position with a little more clarity before they spout off.
We as believers and followers of Christ live in a privileged state. Sometimes we lose sight of that fact and need to be reminded ourselves. What privileges do we have in Christ? When does this take place or how do we attain it? In 1Peter 2 we find, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1Peter 2:4-5 NASB)
First, we must come to Him, the Living Stone. When we come to Him in faith that puts us in the position of privilege. “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst… All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:35, 37 NASB) So coming to the Living Stone puts us in the position of privilege, however what are a couple of these privileges?
One such privilege is being made alive in Christ. “You also, as living stones,” we are alive in Christ because we have come to Him. We are no longer given over to death and destruction we are alive and will be alive in eternity with Him. Acts 17:28 says, “for “‘In him we live and move and have our being…” (Acts 17:28 ESV) Can you think of another religion where the one that is worshipped becomes the life of the worshippers? Only Christ can and does do that.
Another privilege is, we have a firm and solid foundation to be built up as a spiritual house. Peter knew the physical make up of the Jewish Temple. He had seen the stones that it was made of and how they fit together. However this house, you and I – The Church, that is being built is spiritual. We are that spiritual house that is being built on the foundation of the Living Stone. We have Jesus as the foundation and each other as fellow believers to help.
Have you forgotten the privileges you have in Jesus Christ? It’s a good exercise to list more of those privileges and express thanks to God for them. Let us be His people that is grateful for what He has given and use it to reach others so that they can be living stones as well.
I’ll see y’all out in the pasture!
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