Last Sunday, we talked about the DTR (Define The Relationship) conversation God had with the Israelites. He laid it all out there for them, telling them that He is the “Lord Your God”, that He “saved them from Egypt”, and that He carried them “on eagles’ wings”.
Then He calls them into the covenant with Him, telling them that He wants to turn them, among other things, into a “Kingdom of Priests”.
It’s an interesting phrase, and very specific.
Peter echoed the same sentiment when he wrote in 1 Peter 2:5, “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.”
Priests in the Old Testament did two things:
1- They had the right, privilege, and responsibility to go directly to God. They could pray and talk to God, worship, and fellowship with God. Everybody else had to go through a priest.
2- The priest had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people, and ministering to the spiritual and practical needs of other people. In other words, they served.
God tells the Israelites, “I want ALL of you to be priests.” God wanted each and every person to take on the authority and responsibility that comes with the priesthood, not just a select few while the rest sat idly by. He really did want a “kingdom of priests.”
Beloved, the same holds true for us today! In fact, those two things that Old Testament priests did are pretty much EXACTLY what He desires for you today!
First, you now have direct access to God. You don’t have to pray through anybody else. You don’t have to confess through anybody else. You don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else. You can read your Bible, talk with the Lord, and fellowship directly with him.
When Christ died on the cross, there was a veil in the Temple that separated the Holy of Holies, where God’s Spirit was, from where man was. Only priests could go behind that veil, and only once a year. When Jesus died on the cross, God ripped that veil — about 70 feet — from top to bottom, symbolizing that there is no longer a barrier. We now have direct access!
Secondly, you have also been gifted for ministry to serve other people. Every Christian is a minister — not a pastor, but a minister. Any time you use your talents and gifts to help others, you are ministering.
2 Timothy 1:9 says “It is He who saved us and chose us for his holy work, not because we deserved it but because that was His plan long before the world began.” Why did God save you? In part, so you could serve him. A non-serving Christian is a contradiction.
So, how can you serve? Easy. Two ways:
1- Look at your talents, gifts, and abilities. When you use those talents and gifts to help other people, that’s called ministry — nothing fancy or scary about it. It’s just helping others. Can you be a priest in a sales office? You sure can. Can you be a priest as an accountant? Of course. Driving a truck? Sure. Any time you’re helping other people in God’s name, you’re ministering.
2- Look at the biggest need around you. It could be your neighbor, or your children, or your spouse, but SOMEBODY near you has a need. Also, your church has needs too! You can serve at one service a month, filling whatever need the church has. That’s the beauty of having two services every Sunday, so you can serve at one service and enjoy the other one. And if you’re unable to serve, then you can always be an encourager, a cheer-leader, an exhorter, every Sunday. Believe me, there’s always a NEED for that!
You’re a priest. We’re a Kingdom of Priests. We have special rights, and we have special responsibilities. What a God we serve!