“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites. So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, ‘We will do everything the Lord has said.’ So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
All God’s people share a common vocation. We are priests, dedicated to revealing the holy God to all the world. As priest we must accept witnessing, teaching, worshiping, and interceding responsibilities for the nations. Priests should not be self-centered. We are to be God-centered and people-centered.
Our task is to witness and pray until all people know and serve God. Holy living is an important part of that witness. Israel promised to accept the identity as holy priests, but they did not act on their promise. To be part of God’s kingdom we must function as His priests. Clear??
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have been clear to us that we are to be your priests, yet we have not fulfilled the promise we made to You, to act as Your priests. Too often, we have give you “lip service,” with little or no action on our part. Abba, we rededicate ourselves to the promise that our ancestors made to you and also by the inferred promise as Christians, that we would abide by your commandments and be obedient to Your will for us each day of our lives. This we pray in our relationship with You, through Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Be content with what you have but never with what you are!”
“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of Go, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews10:19–22)
All disciples have access to God and are encouraged to persevere because of sure hope in God’s faithfulness. Each disciple is encouraged to minister to others by encouraging them in a life of neighbor love expressed in good deeds. Every disciple has a priestly responsibility in relation to others.
“As you come to him, the living Stone—-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him—-you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. One 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.” (1st Peter2:5, 9-10)
God promised Moses that His covenant people Israel would be a ‘kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ (Exodus19:6). That promise is fulfilled in the New Testament by the church, the ideal Israel. The disciples of Christ are ‘a royal priesthood’ and ‘a holy nation.’ The priest’s responsibility is to represent God before the world and the world before God. Priests present offerings or sacrifices to God. Priests teach the people God’s way of life for them. Priests deal with the sin problem for God’s people. Ancient Israel had a professional class of priests waiting for the day the whole nation would assume priestly duties. Jesus Christ dealt with the sin problem once for all, destroying the need for special atonement ceremonies and breaking down the partition which barred God’s people from direct access to Him in any way. Each believer became responsible to go to God directly to confess and receive forgiveness for sin; to live a holy life representing the holy God before the sinful world; to praise God in word and actions, thus offering spiritual sacrifices since animal sacrifices were no longer needed; to study God’s Word and teach it to others. Through Christ, the church has become the Israel of God, each member fulfilling a priestly role. In this priestly role the individual is to maintain proper ties to the larger body, the church.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Then Jesus said to the crowds: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.’ They ties up heaved loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have man call them ‘Rabbi.’ But you are not o be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father, for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’ for you one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Matthew23:1-11)
All Christian disciples are brothers and sisters, serving one another. No individual disciple or group of disciples is above any other. There is no priestly class because Christ Jesus is the only Mediator between God and us. We are not to seek important titles which distinguish us from or elevate us above others.
Disciples do nothing to parade their own worth and power in front of others. We must be God-pleasers, not people-pleasers. Humble service,, not worldly recognition, identifies the disciple.