You have Direct Access to God

“You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood” – 1 Peter 2:5a GW
God allows a crisis to get our attention, and then he uses the crisis to develop our character. One 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. They had the privilege and responsibility of representing God to the people and ministering to the needs of 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 long — from top to bottom, symbolizing that there is no longer a barrier between him and us.

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.

“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 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 It Over

  • How are you using your gifts and abilities to serve God and others?
  • In what ways would your life change if you started viewing your job, your neighborhood, and your relationships as ministry and opportunities for service?
  • How do you make the most of your status as a priest? Do you take full advantage of your direct access to God?

Source: Culled from Daily Hope with Rick Warren.

STAY BLESSED

HOW GOD WOULD HAVE US USE MONEY

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain[a] we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. – 1 Timothy 6:6-11

The world attaches far more significance to money than God ever intended it to have. Instead of simply being a means of exchange for goods and services, it has become an object of greed, a source of power and prestige, and a means of achieving status, happiness, and security. With so many false hopes pinned to wealth, we must be careful not to fall for the lies. Scripture not only warns us that placing too much importance on money is dangerous; it also advises us how to use wealth according to God’s purposes.
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Blind and Stubborn

“Yet you said, ‘I am innocent; surely His anger is turned away from me.’ Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’’ – Jeremiah 2:35 NASB

It was an attitude that angered God: When His people refused to humble themselves before Him. When, instead of listening, they eagerly justified themselves. They didn’t seek Him but were confident in themselves and their own ideas.
This is the kind of stubborn, independent attitude many people bring to their relationship with God. It is an attitude filled with pride and arrogance. It even is possible that Believers can have this attitude. How easy it can be for us to feel that we have everything figured out. That we have all the answers.
Jeremiah conveyed the force with which this attitude angered God. He was angry because they did not remember that He was God Almighty. Their Creator. Because they didn’t act as though there was anything they could learn from Him.
Throughout the Bible, God stressed the importance of humility. This was a central truth He gave to Isaiah: “To this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2).
This is the attitude God wants each of us to cultivate. Yes, He is angered by pride and arrogance. He wants us to learn the dangers of having confidence in ourselves. In fact, He warned that “the heart is more deceitful than all else.” How does He know? He is our Creator. But He also has searched and tested us (Jeremiah 17:5-10). But there is a special reward for those who trust in Him.
Make sure that you stay humble before God. Never take Him for granted. Remember, no matter how “intelligent” you may be, there is much more He can teach you. No matter how much you know, He has more revelation to provide.
Submit your way to Him. Let Him direct your path.

Today’s Inspiration Prayer
Father, forgive me for pride and trusting in myself. I humble myself before You. Speak to me. Guide me. Use me for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Source: Culled from SALM’s article in the Chronicle newspaper.
STAY BLESSED

BLINDED BY PRIDE

“All the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, ‘You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, “You must not go to Egypt to settle there.” – Jeremiah 43:2 NIV 
Jeremiah had faithfully delivered the message that God had given. But his audience refused to accept that this message was genuine. They concluded that Jeremiah was not telling the truth, and that he did not speak for God. What was the authority for their conclusion?

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