Hey BCU family!
As usual, you are welcome to listen to the podcast (by clicking on the icon), read the written transcript, or both, either way, be blessed through listening and obeying the Word of God!
No longer condemned
Walkers in the Spirit
Sons/Children of God
We are heirs/joint heirs
The called according to His purpose
More than conquerors
Not separated by the Love of God
Then, we looked at I Peter 2:9 (but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people who should show forth the praises of Him who brought you out of darkness into His marvelous light), we covered “a chosen generation”. God calls us CHOSEN! We are chosen for the rendering of special service to God. And that special service included a look at Naomi, (in the book of Ruth chapters 1-4), Moses, (Exodus chapters 2, 3 and 4), and midwives Shiprah and Puah, (Exodus chapter 1). We learned that when God chooses us, He calls us EQUIPPED as well–whether we serve out in front (like Moses) or behind the scenes (Shiprah and Puah), God calls us VITAL!
Next, referring back to our Scripture text from I Peter 2:9, we concentrated on the second phrase, because God calls us–a royal priesthood.
We looked at the function of the priesthood and determined that as such, we are called to serve God in the capacity He directs us to function in, rather than walking around with this air of snobby dignity, expecting to be served. We also realized we are distinctive from the world, we are to follow God’s exact directions and be sure Jesus shows from the inside out (you have to start with Acts 2:38 for that).
Finally, as we were wrapping up last time, we noted that Jesus, who shed His blood on the cross for EVERYONE, took the place of us having to offering up animal sacrifices and needing a priest as a mediator–we can go directly to Him. As all this is true, we still have a responsibility as part of the royal priesthood–we still give our sacrifices and offerings to God–not just money, either.
Romans 12:1 tells us to by the mercies of God to present our bodies as a LIVING SACRIFICE (offering/gift) HOLY and ACCEPTABLE unto God which is your REASONABLE service. Note the burnt offerings in the Old Testament were offered morning and evening that fire never was never to go out (Leviticus 6:13), and rather than it being for sin, it was to give yourself to God humbly. Are we humbly offering ourselves up to God continually?
Also, note that in the Old Testament, the offerer prepared his animal and while it was costly, he brought it willingly. We should prepare as we offer up ourselves willingly to God. Salvation is free, but living this life and be costly–we have to bring the flesh under subjection daily. That may cost you–where instead of telling someone off, you hold your peace. It may cost you the friends, family or relationship you once held dear. It may cost you sleep or money as you minister to someone. But that cost pales in comparison to the peace and blessings you receive when doing things God’s way all while becoming more like Him. That is our REASONABLE service!
Our “offering” of course extends to going to our house of prayer with gladness (I was GLAD when they said unto me let us go in the house of the Lord—Psalms 122:1), on a regular and consistent basis outside of working on Sundays. And when we go, is our living sacrifice (praise, worship and work we do) acceptable?
We need to take a look at Leviticus 10 for further clarification. Aaron’s sons, priests Nadab and Abihu lit a fire and offered up “strange fire” to the Lord, as he had not commanded them. In turn, fire came from the Lord and devoured them. The Word is silent on exactly what the strange fire was, but suffice it to say the offering was unacceptable to God. Are we going because we have to? Lifting our hands in obedience to the worship leader or pastor’s requestor out of gratitude to God? Thinking about what we’re going to do later, why is it taking so long? Talking and carrying on during prayer time? Strange fire.
Additionally, because the burnt or whole offering was continual, think about our lives outside of the house of prayer–and at home. Royal priesthood, are we making sure our living sacrifice of ourselves is acceptable terms of praying and spending time in the Word of God? Yes, I know all about being busy, responsibilities, working, oversleeping, the kids need tending to, etc. It is in our best interest to make time to spend with God. I am a witness He will give you time with Him if you ask.
Also, since the priest served, Royal priesthood, how are we doing in what God has called us to do? Priests did things like serve as consultants on matters–like helping with Temple rebuilds and teaching. In fact, Ezra 7 describes Ezra as a priest and scribe, even a scribe to the commandments of the law. Further, Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, do it, and teach in Isreal statutes and judgements.Yes, the priests were honored, but they served the people. This is what I meant about us taking the royalty to direction of entitlement—we are servants! God called/chose us to SERVE. Are we approaching our tasks with zeal and excitement? Or just fulfilling the obligation because we have to? Strange fire.
Our consistency in offering ourselves covers the workplace, too. While we may be at work, the scriptures remind us we are working as unto God and not unto man. Our reasonable service extends to how we tend to the families and responsibilities God entrusted us with–even when we are tired. What we watch, how we interact and we react to people—all those things tells of our royal priesthood and really reveals how much we’ve offered ourselves up to God. When an offering was done the way God wanted, it was a sweet savor to Him. That’s what we want—to be sure God is pleased.
This is a challenge you, right? To me as well! For our takeaway, let’s commit to asking God if there is any strange fire in any of our sacrifices to Him while we thank Him for grace and blessing us to get it right. Then with God’s help, let’s be conscious of our sacrifice and be sure that we only offer what is holy and acceptable unto God. Amen? Amen!
Join us next time for “The called” part 6—as we talk about a holy nation and peculiar people! Thank you so much for stopping by, God bless you and until we are together again, #StayOnTheWall.