Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:10
Tunch Ilkin is a fourteen-year veteran of the NFL, a three-time Pro-Bowler, and a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers All-time team. Not a bad résumé. Tunch is currently a Steelers broadcaster and Director of Men's Ministry at our church. As you might imagine, Tunch has some great stories. One he loves to tell took place at an autograph session. A young boy came up to him and learned that Tunch was a former Steeler. The boy looked Tunch over and asked, "Who did you used to be?"
Every believer used to be someone. But our résumés are not as impressive as Tunch's football career. There was a time when we were on our own, headed to an eternity separated from God. As the apostle Paul clearly states, we "were separate from Christ ... foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12). Then, thankfully, God interrupted our journey.
Today we are recipients of God's grace and mercy. In His grace, He has given us what we don't deserve. In His mercy, He has not given us what we do deserve. We are not who we used to be. We are a new creation. Thank God that "the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Father, we're not yet who we want to be, and we are not yet who we're going to be, but thank You that by Your grace and mercy we are not who we were! In Jesus' name. Amen.