A Priest in God’s Kingdom

I would ask that Your hand be upon my shoulder this day, Father, as I prepare for our worship services Sunday. Help me to be attentive to detail and most importantly to listen as You guide and direct me. Amen.

Revelation 1:6 (<<click green)

So what does it mean to be a priest in Your Kingdom, Lord? The idea of Your people being “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” goes all the way back to the beginnings of the nation of Israel. (Exodus 19:6 NIV) There were individuals who carried out certain tasks for worship but Your intent from the start was for us all to priests – not just the person standing behind the pulpit.

While poking around in regards to this verse I came across an article that Dr. Kelly Kapic had written for Ligonier Ministries. He makes some excellent points pertaining to our responsibilities as priests. Here is a majority of what he had to share,

“When God called Abraham, He made it clear that from this man a great nation would arise… the goal was gracious inclusion rather than hard-hearted exclusion… God’s people are never to forget that they are blessed in order to be a blessing (Genesis 12:1–2).”

All believers carry out two vital ministries as part of the royal priesthood.

First, in our priestly role, all Christians are to live sacrificially for others. We are people of the cross. Jesus laid down His life for sinners in desperate need of grace and love. As imitators of the crucified Lord, we now offer ourselves to Christ through sacrificial acts of love done in behalf of our neighbors, even the neighbors who consider us their enemies. We can be truly “honorable” through our works of grace and mercy, hoping that these very people may one day “glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12). We do not make atonement for others, but through our lives, we point them to the Lamb of God who alone can bring reconciliation between a holy God and sinful humanity (v. 21).

Second, we are faithful in our priestly role as we offer intercession on behalf of others. Paul makes a similar point when he urges Timothy to offer “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings” for ”all people, for kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:1–2a). Part of living as the chosen people and a holy nation is that we are set apart to be instruments of God’s grace and reconciliation in this world. And this begins with prayers. We pray not just for those we love, nor even just for God’s people, but for the world, including dangerous emperors (1 Peter 2:16–17). How do we love our neighbor? We intercede for them, asking for the light of God’s mercy to overcome the looming darkness. Jesus did this even as He hung on the cross (Luke 23:34). You and I cannot change or save our neighbor, but the triune God can.

Jesus is the perfect Mediator who makes intercession on our behalf, offering Himself as the perfect and final sacrifice so that we might enjoy peace with God. We who have received mercy (1 Peter 2: 10) are now His chosen vessels to be instruments of His grace and love to the world. This is what it means to live as part of the royal priesthood.”

June 8th, Thurs, 8:45 pm