“You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:5a GW)
God says that you are a priest. Depending on your background, that may be scary or confusing. Peter is saying that the two benefits that priests have 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 are true of you when you become a believer.
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. Read your 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.
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.
"He 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 1:9 LB). Why did God save you? So you could serve him. A non-serving Christian is a contradiction.
How do you know what your ministry is? 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 bet you 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.
Talk About It
How are you using your gifts and abilities to serve God and others?
How do you take full advantage of your direct access to God?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.