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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Learning That Every Christian Is a Minister

In review of 1 Peter 2:5 it says, “You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood”

Bottom Line:
You come to him as a living stone, part of a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood.

What this means to me:
I come to him as a living stone, that is being used to build his spiritual house. In this, I will serve as one of his holy priests, and with the help of Jesus Christ, offer sacrifices that please God the Father.

Today's verse also comes from 1 Peter chapter 2, where Peter was telling us about becoming living stones for God's house. Peter explained that Christ himself was the living cornerstone of God's temple, rejected by people, but chosen by God for such a great honor. As disciples of Christ we are like living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. Part of this is to be his holy priests who point others to him. For the stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone and the stone that makes people stumble and fall (because they do not obey God's word.) For this, they will end up meeting the fate that was planned for them. But we are not like this, for we are chosen, royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. In it, we show others the goodness of God, for he called us out of the darkness into his wonderful life. For once we had no identity and mercy as a people, now we are God's people and we received his mercy. So we are warned as "temporary residents and foreigners" of this world to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against our very souls. We are to be careful how we live among our unbelieving neighbors. Then even if we are accused of doing wrong, they will see our honorable behavior, and give honor to God when he judges the world.

God is telling me in this verse that I am a priest. But what does this really mean?  Peter is telling me that the two benefits that priests of the old testament times had are now available to everyone who is a believer. In the Old Testament, priests 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 needs of other people (serving).

Those are the very two things that became true of me when I became a believer and disciple of Christ.

I now have direct access to God. I don’t have to pray through anybody else. I don’t have to confess through anybody else. I don’t have to fellowship with God through anybody else. I can read my Bible, talk with the Lord, and fellowship directly with him.

The Bible says that when Jesus 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 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.

I have also been gifted for ministry to serve others. Every Christian is a minister, not a pastor, but a minister. Any time I use my talents and gifts to help others, I am ministering.

“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” (2 Timothy 1:9a TLB). Why did God save me? So that I could serve him. A non-serving Christian is a contradiction.

To know what my ministry is, I just need to look at my talents, gifts, and abilities. When I use those talents and gifts to help others, that’s called ministry, nothing fancy or scary about it. It’s just helping others. Any time I’m helping others in God’s name, I’m ministering.

Today’s passage re-affirms some thoughts I already had about serving in some upcoming things being offered by my church. I will look to solidify those opportunities over the next few days.