Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright. When you pray for people, pray as one who knows who you are. You are a priest of the Most High God.
That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, The Elect Exiles, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. Now, if you're not able to stay with us throughout the entire program, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It could be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries.
So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org. Or call 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program, but right now, let's get started with today's teaching. Here is Alan Wright. How are you righteous before God? And the answer is only by a true faith in Jesus Christ. That is, though my conscience accused me that I have grievously sinned against all the commandments of God and have kept none of them, and I'm still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of mine, of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ, as if I had never had nor committed any sin and myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept such benefit with a believing heart.
There's the gospel. That's who you are. And if you're going to live with peace and joy and effectiveness of witness in this world that's so full of confusion, darkness, sin and hate every single day, remember who you are.
It would do us well to get up in the morning and say, OK, I'm part of a chosen race. I'm a royal priest, part of a holy nation. That's who I am.
Because the day that the superhero forgets what his or her powers are, then he begins to feel powerless and reactive in the culture. This goes far to explain the old covenant promise that you are the head, not the tail, regardless of what's happening in your life. Spiritually speaking, you are the head. And Peter is talking here about whose you are, not just who you are, but whose you are. Look again at verse nine. A people for his own possession that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into life. Once you were not a people, but now you're God's people. Once you did not receive mercy, but now you had received mercy. This is a reference to Hosea and the naming of Hosea's children, not mercy, not God's people. As that whole drama played out of how God would then bring mercy and make us his people, except for his grace, except for his mercy, we're not his people.
And yet we are. So you remember who you are and you remember whose you are, because when you remember whose you are, then you walk in the spiritual authority of your sense of airship with Christ. So important. I'm talking about real life when you're getting frustrated with the person who's not understanding you and just everything within you wants to drag you down to that level. Remember who you are and remember whose you are. You have no ordinary authority about who you are.
Spiritually, you're God's. Brian Chappell in his really good book, Holiness by Grace, uses the analogy of remembering when they first started putting the credit card machines on the gas pump. I remember when that happened. You know, it used to be you had to go into the gas station and tell them I get $10 of regular. And that had to get you one gallon.
But. But when we do that, you have to go in. And and then when they took credit cards, you go in, give them the credit card.
You know, and then they came the time they put them out. And Brian Chappell said it was so good because then he could start sending his teenage son to go fill up the car with gas. Just send him his credit card and the son just pull up to the tank and just swipe the credit.
And what Chappell's point is, is clear. He said it's not actually his credit. It's my credit. But he's mine. He belongs to me. I belong to him.
And so he's using my good credit to get the gas. That's what happens when you know whose you are. What I'm saying is that in the first place, God wants us to walk with a confidence in who we are and an assurance of whose we are. Because when life didn't go in the way that you want it to go, then people aren't treating you the way you want to be treated.
You're still OK. Don't forget who you are. I'm being like when the world mistreats us or misunderstands, we don't live with an arrogance about who we are. We live with a simple assurance and confidence of who we are. That's the only way you can have joy. How could Paul have joy in prison? How could Peter be saying these things under Nero's rule?
How can it be possible? It's the quiet confidence of assurance of who you are and whose you are. But also he's saying, remember where you are. Says at verse 11, your sojourners and exiles, you could use other words here. These words in Greek can be translated aliens and strangers. And at verse 12, he said, you're among the Gentiles.
Now, here he's not talking about Gentile as opposed to Jewish issues as a metaphor of everybody that's not Christian. That's where you actually are. You're in this fallen world. And this world is not your ultimate destiny. There's going to be a new heaven and a new earth mystically united in which we, the people of God, reign with Christ with fullness of joy forever and forever. God put Adam and Eve in this world and said, have dominion and be fruitful and multiply. And God is not thwarted by any level of evil or sin. He will see it to its completion. So he sent a new Adam, made a new race of people. That's us. And said, there's going to be a new heaven and a new earth and you're going to have dominion in it.
It's going to be incredible. That's where it's all going. But that's not where you are right now. Right now you're in a fallen world.
And that's why it just feels weird. Accept the fact that you're both elect and exile. Accept the fact that you're both chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation and strangers and sojourners in this world. If you expect the world, this fallen world, to feel like home to you, then you'll constantly be frustrated. But if you understand this is a fallen world and I'm holy unto the Lord, then you'll know that's why you feel so different.
That'll help you. And what it'll do is it'll also make you become from love. I'm praying this for myself and I'm praying it for you. But from a position of love, not arrogance, but inward confidence about who we are in Christ. It would cause us to want to build more bridges to this culture that we do not understand so that we can tell them of the love of God and Jesus Christ. That's that's that's what missionaries do. You go and you don't hate the people who don't know Jesus. You love the people that don't know Jesus.
And you go and you build bridges and try to understand their language and understand their culture. Not so you endorse any sin in it at all, but so that you can relate. I was reading last week a story I'd never heard of about Carolina legendary coach Dean Smith. So many good stories about Dean Smith. What you love or hate him. There's so many good stories about Dean Smith.
And but this one might have taken them all for me. Kenny Smith, who was a star point guard at Carolina, went on playing the NBA and now is an NBA TV analyst, was interviewed recently and told the story that while he was at the University of North Carolina, there was a transfer student. Mokhtar Jai, big guy who transferred from Michigan, and he hailed from Senegal in Africa, first player from the continent of Africa to play for the Tar Heels.
And he was a good player, went on playing the pros some. And one day at practice, Mokhtar was having a difficult day and assistant coach Bill Guthridge was having to kind of stay on him. And it just wasn't a good day for Mokhtar Jai at that practice. And afterwards, Coach Smith, head coach Smith came to Mokhtar and said, Is everything OK? And Mokhtar looked down at the ground. And Coach Smith said, Mokhtar said, I'm talking to you. He said, it's important you look me in the eye. I said, I want to know, is everything OK?
Things didn't seem right with you today. Mokhtar kept looking at the ground. Until finally, Coach Smith was a little frustrated and said, Mokhtar, I want you to look at me.
I'm talking to you here. And finally, Mokhtar Jai said, Coach, he said, in my country, it is considered a sign of disrespect to look a man in the eye. Well, the next day, assistant coach Bill Guthridge wasn't at practice. And Kenny said he and other players were going, where's Coach Guthridge? You know, did he get suspended here because he wasn't treating Mokhtar right?
What's happened? The next day, he wasn't at practice. The next day, he wasn't at practice.
The next day, he missed a whole week of practice and nobody knew where he was until later. And Mokhtar told him that several days after Guthridge went missing, Mokhtar's mother called him from Africa. And she said, there's a man here at my door who says he's one of your basketball coaches. She said, I know it's not Coach Smith. He says his name is Guthridge. Is he actually your coach?
And Mokhtar said, well, yes. She said, he said he came here because Coach Smith said he had to come to our village and learn our culture. I love that. That's Alan Wright. And we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. In the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Make your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment in the moment every day of your life. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. Maybe you're frustrated with somebody not looking you in the eye and they just don't know your culture.
They don't know. We're sojourners. We're we're we're trying to insist that everybody act like Christian when they're not Christian and they're not going to. Remember who you are, whose you are, where you are, and beloved, remember where you will be one day.
Citizen of the kingdom of heaven. If you say, well, this is all there is and I'm stuck with it, it'll lead you to despair. But if you are a person instead who no matter what you're going through, go, this is not all that there is.
You can have joy in the midst of it. Sort of remind me of the way it would be during final exams in school. I remember about day four of final exams. I'm just like, I want to do it. I drop out of college. I want to do anything other than this. And you have to stop and tell yourself, I'm not in final exams for the rest of my life.
I am right now. Or maybe you've been in the hospital and you know what it's like when you're going through a painful time. And the thing that keeps you going is you go, I'm not going to be in this hospital forever.
And this is the way we live our lives with an expectancy of where we're going because of who we are and whose we are. Beloved, therefore, he says at verse 11, I urge you as sojourners and exiles abstain from passions of the flesh. Urge here is a beautiful word in Greek, parakaleo, which interestingly is the root word of Jesus's favorite term for the Holy Spirit, the parakletos.
It means to call alongside to help. And therefore, it came to mean to win you over to a certain position. I urge you, Peter saying, I want to win you over to this way of looking at it. As sojourners and as exiles, don't cave in to the passions of the flesh. And here he doesn't mean just the lust and drunkenness and all those things. He means what your flesh wants to do when the world is mistreating you, when the world is acting lost or ugly. He says at verse one of this chapter, put away malice and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander. And he says instead, honor. And we're going to learn some more about this in a couple of weeks. I'm going to address that tricky text about honoring the emperor and honor being honoring of those you're subject to. And how in the world do we do that? I'm just going to say here's the sneak preview. The principle is honor, which means to value highly, not necessarily endorse, but we're to act honorably.
Why? Because he says on the day of visitation, this is not judgment day he's talking about. I believe and most commentators agree, this is the day of the visitation of the Holy Spirit when someone is ready to be born again. That on that day, they're going to remember something about who you are.
And that's what it means to be a Christian. You're like a superhero or maybe my wife had a good image. She said, you know, it's like being an undercover boss. You ever seen the TV reality show Undercover Boss?
It is a really fun show where if you've never seen it, presidents and CEOs of companies will get a disguise and go and work at the lowest level jobs in their company and try to figure out how to do what some of the people on the front line are doing and watch their interactions. And it's really fascinating because sometimes, you know, they're just not very good at doing those things. They've been in a corporate office and they're just not very good. One of the cutest ones, the Family Dollar president, Mike Bloom, is trying to learn how to ride the forklifts and other things in the warehouse. And he's real scared of the machines and he's dangerous with them.
And the trainer who's been trying to train them all day, at the end of the day, they got him on video. And of course, he thinks he's just speaking to a prospective employee here. And he just said to him, be very nice about it, but he said, I am not comfortable with you operating these machines and the way that you are.
He said, I have to let you go. He's firing the president of the company. The president's like, I'm fired just for that?
He said, I'm sorry, but yes. And it would be ridiculous for the undercover boss to go, oh, no, I'm fired. Go back to corporate headquarters, pack up the coroner office and quit.
That'd be ridiculous. No, you're still the president. This guy didn't know it and you're not doing everything perfectly, but you still are the president. It's also, you're like the undercover boss because at the end of the program, I mean, if you want to just have a good, joyous cry, just go and Google best moments on Undercover Boss and watch the end where they have had a heart for their employees and they start giving them stuff. They unveil, I'm actually the president of the company.
You know, I'm actually the CEO and I want to do this for you. Oh, you just sit there and you just cry. And like Moe's Southwest Grill, the president, Paul D'Amico, who got to know an employee named Damon, who was a single dad who was caring for his daughter, just go watch it. You know, at the end he said, I'm actually the president of the company and I know that you really care for your daughter and you need better transportation, so I'm giving you a new car and I want to give you $20,000 for childcare and also I'm setting aside $20,000 for a college fund. And Damon's over there just crying and you're crying watching it.
It's just great. Fast Signs CEO, Katherine Monson, who gets to know one of her employees who's facing eviction and had prayed for a miracle, said that his goal is a strong Christian. His goal was just wanting to help others. And so she unveils, I'm actually Katherine Monson, I'm the CEO of Fast Signs, and she says, I want to give you a full week of the best training we have at our corporate headquarters, all paid, and said, and then you've got to love her for this.
She knew how much he loved his church. She says, so the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to give you $15,000 for you to give to your church, and he burst into tears. That's the way everybody ought to be, right there.
And secondly, she said, I want to give you a new car, and then she said, and I'm going to give you $50,000 so you don't get evicted from your house, and he cries and then we cry. And I'm just saying, you're Spider-Man, you're the undercover boss, you are the one who's secretly in charge in the spirit. Act like it. With humility enough to learn the culture, live with self-control, because the boss doesn't go undercover in order to lord it over somebody.
Spider-Man doesn't become Spider-Man in order to show off. And so you can help save the world. You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of God's own possession who is destined to reign forever with Christ. And that's the gospel. Alan Wright, our good news message today, the joyful sojourners from the series The Elect Exiles.
Stay with us. Pastor Alan is back in the studio sharing his part in good news thought for the day in just a moment. Unlock the power of blessing your life. Discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing. If you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement, get Alan Wright's daily blessing.
It's free and just a click away at PastorAlan.org. With so much worry about yesterday's failures and so much hurry getting ready for tomorrow's tasks, sometimes it's hard to focus on the moment that matters most, right now. In a hurried, worried season, God invites you into the present.
Every life coaches call it mindfulness, but it isn't a new psychological program and it isn't rooted in Eastern religion. Mindfulness, living in the present is God's idea and the Bible unveils the way. Pastor Alan Wright invites you to savor life each day. When you make your gift today, we'll send you Pastor Alan's eight messages in an attractive CD album or through digital download as our way of saying thanks for your partnership. Get your gift today and learn how to savor the textures and flavors of God's grace each moment, in the moment, every day of your life. The Gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support. When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries.
Call 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Back here to share Pastor Alan's parting good news thought for the day and the joyful sojourners. We have been set apart. We have been called his own and that we're here for a purpose.
If you're going through a difficult time right now, let me just speak these words again to you. You are in Christ. You are a chosen race. You are part of a new breed of humanity, that which is redeemed and made new and guaranteed love of God now and forever.
Not a literal ethnic race, but spiritual, a whole new category of humanity. You are a royal priest, a priest for the king. You've been washed and clothed in the priestly garments of his righteousness, anointed and powered to handle the holy things, to mediate between God and people. You're a priest and you're part of a holy nation set apart unto God. You're his.
You belong to him. That's who you really are. I know this world has so many challenges, difficulties, disappointments, and sometimes outright adversity and persecution. May you, by the grace of God, in the midst of it, remember who you are. Today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries.
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