For the untrusting it's . . . a stone to trip over, a boulder blocking the way. They trip and fall because they refuse to obey, just as predicted.
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you -
from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.
Friends, this world is not your home, so don't make yourselves cozy in it. Don't indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.
Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they'll be won over to God's side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level;
they are God's emissaries for keeping order.
It is God's will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you're a danger to society.
Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules.
Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
You who are servants, be good servants to your masters - not just to good masters, but also to bad ones.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)