From the moment God called Abram to follow Him, out of the desert of Haran to the land of promise, God’s intention was to have for himself a people. Specifically, God told Abram, “I will make of you a great nation…”
Why did God want a people?
From the moment God rescued the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, and led them to the Promised Land by His presence, they came to believe they were a people because of something special about them. This belief was the seed of their demise from the very beginning of their occupation of the Promised Land.
God has to remind them, in Ezekiel 36:22, that “it is not for your sake that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name…which you have profaned among the nations.”
Israel was intended to be a people in order to attract surrounding nations to the Lord.
Why does God want a people today?
That is a question that must be answered by every local congregation that carries the name, Christian. I don’t think the reason has changed over the last four thousand years.
In my devotions this morning, in Jeremiah 13, I stumbled on to an amazing verse that sheds light on God’s purpose for having a people then…and now. “I made the whole house of Israel cling to me, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise and a glory…”
Be for me!
It is not about us!
Let me connect this calling for the people of Israel to the calling of the people of every local church!
• A people…”Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession…” (Titus 2:14)
• A name…”For this reason I bow my knee before the Father from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” (Ephesians 3:14)
• A praise…”In him we have obtained an inheritance…so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11-12)
• A glory…”We all, with unveiled face, be holding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Why does God want a people?
So that the quality of our lives together, and in our communities, radiate the love and goodness of God and point people directly to Jesus and the coming Kingdom of God.
Glory is all about radiance. It is about shining. It is an irresistible outcome of having a personal and corporate encounter with the living God…a reflection of the radiance of Christ himself.
This is way more than organization, personality, preaching or program. It requires encounter with God.
God’s reason for having a people hasn’t changed from Jeremiah to the present.
I am convinced that when we discover the answer it has to shape everything we do and how we evaluate life in every local church.
We are his people!