That’s not fair, but is it Justice.

images-6It sounds like a protest chant a March through the streets of the capital declaring loudly ‘Justice for all’.   I must admit I have never joined intentionally any protest March, any political chanting in the streets so I may be a heathen declaring the chant.    Last Saturday however I met my daughter and her young man in London, she had relocated to the capital in order to take a Masters in Art at Wimbledon Art School, we met to enjoy good company and a walk around the city.   While chatting it came to light that one of our party had never stood outside Buckingham Palace so we went to put that right.   While walking down the Mall towards Trafalgar Square we were amazed to discover that the Pope was due to take that very route later in the day, continuing toward Parliament along Whitehall as we passed all the Government buildings the crowd began to back up and we were caught in political jostling and shouting, some say around 10 ,000 people, finally being stopped in our walk by a 4 deep line of luminous yellow clad police preventing the protestors against the Pope to go any further, we had accidentally found ourselves in the midst of the protest.  People could walk from Parliament to Trafalgar but who ever you were, innocent tourists or not, if you were coming the opposite way you were included as protesters and prevented from walking along Whitehall any further.

So here we were in the middle of shouts and debate, speeches against the Pope and the Catholic Church and his stance on abortion, gay, abuse by priests and everything else.     It was rather a shock to be numbered amongst the shouts and protesters JUSTICE they cried, men dressed as nuns, and popes, women dressed in nun’s attire with extremely short skirts and stockings to make a point even some walked in their underwear to make the point for justice.

Its makes me wonder what Biblical Justice is?    As people of God who have been commissioned to restore this creation/cosmos to Gods ultimate intention, his initial thought, restorers of creation and society, surely it is necessary for us to grasp justice correctly?

In essence Biblical Justice has to do with wholeness and not rights, seeing individuals, communities and the cosmos whole by upholding the grace of God along with being impartial and inclusive and upholding the goodness of God.

James in Chapter 1:27 (Message – Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world) tells us that it is true religion, a Christ centered life style, a way of explaining the Father to our society and world “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world”.   If this was only said once here, we would have to deal with it, but this whole direction of instruction is found throughout scripture in word and deed Proverbs 29: says “The Righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern”.

As we read the OT we cannot escape the directness and the narratives that direct us to consider Justice to the differing groups found in society, consider this, you can not fail to see that the Father has a heart towards the widow the lonely and the orphan along with the fatherless, all this comes within the justice heart of God.

Read Ruth and watch how provision is made for the widow and see the justice heart of God being made practical.   Not only that but one has to conclude that the provision in the field for the widow has a direct relation to the coming harvest.   No provision and no harvest next season,  practical justice creates, make sure you are a provider of justice and the future harvest is secured.      Consider this theme taken into the NT, is it not that the first account of challenge in the verging church was a widow issue.   The Father brings the issue of provision for the widow, justice in story form into the NT by showing that justice shown still has an impact along with responsibility.    Interesting that the apostles did not depart from their intimacy and involvement of standing the court room of God but did make  provision that the widows saw justice.   Remember these were good Hebrew people with a strong understanding of God and his dealing from OT,. Not people like you or me who read  the story line from a different vantage point.   They understood provision for the widows justice had an implication of harvest.   When provision was made the story line tells us that priest and governors began to be added to the church from that provision being made towards the widows, a different weight of harvest now came to the church.  They displayed the way to live, to show  justice is to show the heart of God.  Justice opens a harvest in relation to widows!

Justice flows from Gods heart and character, he seeks to make the object of his love whole.

The transformation that we have received is so that we can transform society and see communities restored, while we see that morality and immortality flows from the human heart James 3:10-18 justice is centered in God’s heart, and we are to purify our hearts James 4:8 from sin others wise the human heart leads us to sin.   With a transformed life we are not to wait until we get to heaven or be so removed from life and society, waiting for God to do it all, but the transforming work in us must find its way to my neighbor, extending God’s justice to the poor, orphans, widows without any partiality.

Matthew 5 tells us we are to be “…a light on a hill…” “…salt that has a savor…” how can we read that passage and only work to the Church Community.   We are to extend our saltines into the community of non believers showing the Justice of God as  it flows from his character.   The church being the visible manifestation of God’s kingdom, literally to be his nature, his life,  advancing into every realm, every mountain of influence and every circle of life making the whole of creation, society, cosmos whole so that Christ will “…fill all in all…”

A just society is one that is filled with Christ essence, His likeness in every way, his interest, his way, justice!

Justice flows from Gods’ heart,  one of the greatest injustices we succumb to is self-righteousness – the belief we do not need anything outside of ourselves.   I am so amazed at what I hear especially in the business world as well as from people of all walks of life saying “how they are self-made” I am amazed as none of us are.  The Justice of God starts here causing us to see our need of him to remove our sin and bring us to wholeness.    We live in the light of Jesus restoring of all things.

Karl Barth once wrote that we fail to see Jesus as the righteous “judge, judged in our place” to bring the Fathers justice to us and the cosmos.

As we are restored, experience his justice we then carry this justice into our worlds, education, financial, health, political, art, family…..

James chapter 2:1-13

My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. 2 If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, 3 and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” 4 haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted?5 Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. 6 And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? 7 Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms?8 You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” 9 But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. 10 You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. 11 The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.12 Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. 13 For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

James brings attention to injustice being practiced, he opens up the scene and denounces oppression toward the poor, he took by the scruff of the neck the leaders who favored the rich, looking down on the poor or those who were lesser in the society and the shout goes forth to remove and break down these divisions in this restored community as the Father seeks to bring his justice through us into life’s situations.

Even Jesus own words carried the charge to be responsible in the ways of being Just in Matt 23:23 he says “You’re hopeless, you religious scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.” or as the NASB puts it “but you have neglected the more important matters of law – Justice, mercy and faithfulness”

We live in a world that is so different to that of our fathers gone by, especially the days of Jesus and the NT church, we live in a society where many have “rights” and even the ability to influence policies and legislation, we can consider how the justice of God’s Kingdom influences our involvement in matters of community, society, governance.

We cannot read the narrative of Jesus or the people of this new way this restored Kingdom that is restoring and not see Christ like people engaging, involving, ministering to the poor the marginalized and challenging the structures that weigh down on the poor.  Today we are to be those who care, the pastoral ministry of Christ extending to society.   Rather than being concerned about me and me having  a pastor for me, to pray for me, counsel me “my pastor” but being a people who pastor the cosmos, including in this inclusive Kingdom, reaching out with the justice of the King’s domain.

We must not forget that the kind of life, faith, Christ life the Bible advocates, asks for us to demonstrate and explain is rooted in justice that flows from the throne of the Father, and seeks to bring all things into the fullness of Christ the wholeness of the Father.    We are as those justified by the God of all justice in our own experience we are to extend His justice being the Christ citizen and bring about restoration.


Asking the WHY question

images-8We all have many friends that live around our lives, some pass through for a season others stay around for longer.   I begin this blog not with friendship in mind directly buy more to ask I wonder out of all those friends or acquaintances now many helped us on our journey though life.    Who has impacted me and to what extent?    It always amazes me we have friends even that don’t help and well as those that do.     Who walked through my life and is still doing so, being the imprint of wisdom through words, actions.   Who has become the fingers of God working in my life, is this not “every joint supplying”.   I opened up a meeting on Sunday with this thought “…to join my self to any one even to be joined to a people group, a church, cannot be just to attend…” Unfortunately for far to many this is so, the Christ like life degenerate to attending rather a relational joining, a felt joining, even the language used can be ever so relational but do we feel one another?   It’s much more “you are not joined until I feel you, we have not joined until we feel one another”.

I would suggest that Jesus showed this in his own life painting pictures constantly of this, glimpses of joining’s so many times.   One story comes to mind of the woman who had bled for 12 years she came not just to be in the crowed but to join herself to him.   When she did so Jesus felt it, it was not just a healing we are told Jesus felt something leave him.   She was joined he felt it and I am sure she did, a story of order, government (number 12 is always seen as government, 12 tribes, 12 apostles of the lamb, 12 disciples etc.) her life came back into order after 12 years of disorder.    This was a relational touch in story form “she touched him”, actually her  healing came not as she just brushed past his prayer blanket, in her action she joined here self to him and Jesus announced “…who touched me…”, I felt it flow from me.   Is this not “ever joint supplying”?

Back to where I began some people touch our lives and help us to put lenses on that enable us to see bigger picture to get a balance back in life, others to see the detail of all that goes around, some more to put lenses that assist us to appreciate people and circumstance, and there are those that even help us to see with future lenses making sense of past and future along with present.   Few come along and probe strategic questions on how we see , view so that we can prioritize or respond correctly.  Questions that shake but ultimate make secure our journey and the way we live that journey.

Here is my point reading today the Psalmist viewpoint as life is lived around him and as the Message translation brings home some necessary view to consider reading today.   I read a simple word yet major in its consequence if dealt with incorrectly it could shipwreck a life but if dealt with correctly will enhanced and make authentic our faith journey and intimate relationship with the Christ of God.

Psalm 106:1-3 says “…hallelujah! Thank God! And why?   Because he’s good, because his love lasts.   But who on earth can do it — declaim God’s mighty acts, broadcast all his praises?   You’re one happy man when you do what’s right, one happy woman when you form the habit of justice.

My simple word is WHY

What a great opening and a wonderful habit to get into asking WHY?   It’s not any why being asked here, it’s why are you being God focused, why are you thankful focused and why are you both together thanking God?      Don’t just do it as the pressure of the crowed or the church you belong too expectantly expect you to conform in what we call “worship” just do it.   I think God likes the question to be able to cut through the dross of performance to the real essence of you and his relationship felt with us.

The Psalm commences with Hallelujah where does that go to, what is its meaning here.     Praise it starts with in heart and action then we have an abrupt stop WHY?

One sure thing that this WHY exposes is don’t give you self to form the anchor of things that are so emotional, soul issues, gaining ego stuff or position to be included in the inner group the things of life that change and that are insecure, find the unchanging stuff.   Find a WHY that is worthwhile and a WHY that is compelling, a WHY that brings a reason and momentum an advance, that creates a sure foundation.

Praise, thanks, WHY these three may be a good combination for life’s journey a threesome, a coupling that brings a way forward.




Three legs of an expressive disciple, a disciple that turns his her heart to the Lord becomes one of these who God looks for!

That we have a WHY not to undermine but to engaged further, to become personally authentic, rather than to be part with this group I have to do it.    So I need to understand WHY and there is a way to ask my WHY’s even.   How can I ask an empowering WHY, not just a child’s frustrated why or we even a rebellious why, but a why so I can get to know me along with my motivations.

This WHY is to bring and understanding of


My environment

The overcoming power of testimony

An encounter of God

Why I do what I do that the expression comes from an inner well.

That no religion distracts or engrosses

That no unreality destroys authenticity

That we are always aware of the inner man discovering in the wilderness of inner the challenges of motive.


5Whys  question is outlined in Wikipedia as:     The 5 Whys is an iterative question-asking technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.     The primary goal of the technique is to determine the root cause of a defect or problem. (The “5” in the name derives from an empirical observation on the number of iterations typically required to resolve the problem.)    The following example demonstrates the basic process:

  • The vehicle will not start. (the problem).
  1. Why? – The battery is dead. (first why)
  2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (second why)
  3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (third why)
  4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (fourth why)
  5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, a root cause)
  6. Why? – Replacement parts are not available because of the extreme age of the vehicle. (sixth why, optional footnote)
  • Start maintaining the vehicle according to the recommended service schedule. (possible 5th Why solution)
  • Purchase a different vehicle that is maintainable. (possible 6th Why solution)

The questioning for this example could be taken further to a sixth, seventh, or higher level: the “five” in 5 Whys is not gospel, but five iterations of asking why is generally sufficient to get to a root cause. The key is to encourage the trouble-shooter to avoid assumptions and logic traps and instead trace the chain of causality in direct increments from the effect through any layers of abstraction to a root cause that still has some connection to the original problem. Note that in this example the fifth why suggests a broken process or an alterable behaviour, which is typical of reaching the root-cause level.

It is interesting to note that the last answer points to a process. This is one of the most important aspects in the 5 Why approach – the real root cause should point toward a process that is not working well or does not exist. Untrained facilitator will often observe that answers seem to point towards classical answers such as not enough time, not enough investments, or not enough manpower. These answers may sometimes be true but in most cases they lead to answers out of our control. Therefore, instead of asking the question why?, ask why did the process fail?

A key phrase to keep in mind in any 5 Why exercise is “people do not fail, processes do”

Why Ask Why?

Should I never ask, is it productive, should it be part of my life’s cycle, do I have the ware all on managing asking the question.

WHY are you doing what you’re doing, find the answer the Father will bring it, WHY is a powerful a belonging word, it really will cause you to feel your relationship when WHY’s are asked that we will feel one another as we bring form to our WHY’s of life and faith.

See Clearly…its happening

Psalm 97: 6 (Message)        The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right, And everyone will see it happen—glorious!

  • Announcing heavens
  • Set right
  • Non-restricted seeing

All to do with my heavenly Father, he is glorious.I can see clearly now

The NASB translations says it like this “…The heavens declareHis righteousnessand all the people’s have seen His glory…”

A heavens that speak to us is our wonderful gift, a declaring, an announcing heavens, lets listen to what it declares, the coming of “…Let your kingdom come…” the arrival of a King arriving to “…set everything right…”       The order, and rule, the right way up, as it is in heaven, is being declared through and by the heavens, lets listen!   Letting the eternal sound catch our inner person grooming us drawing us to look beyond the moment to see what is still to arriving in God’s economy.

“Setting everything right” is this not the same as your kingdom come, you and I have been brought into asking, praying, for what the heavens and Christ are declaring, the work of a unified voice of all creation people and heavens.   The Fathers order coming, the house of God arriving in all creation, the Kings way a highway through all of cosmos which includes my ‘little’ world.    At the school gate, in the office during classroom time, at home with the toddlers, on the road as I drive, you see it around you as you live it.    Making the far country where my abode is to be that my life is, the far country of the Kingdom of God that has arrived and is still arriving this order everything set right that is the Fathers house.

This setting in order that the Psalmist speaks of is not to be a hidden thing or in a removed place secluded small with drawn place but a place where the seeing is non-restrictive a place that “…everyone will see it happen…”

“And every one will see it happen-glorious” or “And all the people’s, have seen His glory” can this be the glory that is Christ given that is in the process of being reveled, the same that Paul writes to the Ephesus church about in the book of Ephesians that the church is to be “…the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places…” (Eph 3:10) followed by “…to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen…” (Eph 3:21).   The reveling of the church, the called out ones that are the carriers of Gods glory that will fill the earth “…as the waters cover the sea…”?

The called out people of God are the display of His Glory, we are introduced and believe in Christ that is a gift giver to the church, in John 17 we note that he gives to the church two things, one being His Word and the other, wait for it this is mind bending, see now he has given, past tense, to the church……His glory.     Not something to be hunted for or chased after but lived in light of, now read these two scriptures before you stamp all over me:

John 17: 5 “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was…”

V 22 “…The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;”

The glory to make an open display of in the whole fabric of creation – every one will see it happen-glorious.

One of our Western challenges, or where ever there is the hold of consumerism in the culture we live in, that has subtle impact upon all of us in relation to our desire for God our chase of the Holy Spirit which I believe we need to be careful and wise with.   If we do not we will find our journey towards maturity and desire for the Father being put off course.

Firstly let me say, of course the people of God are to deepen their intimacy with the Father realizing that he has made the way possible and it is not us that creates the possibility or means but its his grace that has done it all.   Every blockage has been removed, every meandering pathway has been straightened, every chasm has been crossed by the Father.  In essence there is no reason but for our own self that we cannot be deeply intimate with the Father.    The work has been “…finished…” it is open to us to first enjoy and be one with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The onward chase or search for God must not come from our way of society, from our cultural paradigm.    The society we live in places demands on us daily see it or not its there.   A demand from leadership at the top of every organization, we are expected to increase our results against our expanding changing forms of evaluation, just look at our schooling system let alone the business world.   It’s the promise of unlimited progress with the need of continuous improvement (Japanese concept – kaizen).    Most of our world is competitive, we like to win and beat the competition.    We must not bring this into the world of the Father.

Our world holds up individual liberties as a high goal along with the pursuit of happiness and consumer mentality but this way of life has produced a cycle that has been so below our radar.    In the retail world we see first “customer satisfaction”  as being a high goal and so it should, but here is the subtlety, in order to bring satisfaction we have first have to produce dissatisfaction with where we are, what we are, along with what we have gained.   Paul tells us that had learned to be content with little/nothing and much, I would suggest that contentment was not based on what was still to come but on what has been given and what is available now.

We see our commitments at point of purchase only lasting until the next unit is developed and made available, when the next model or style or fashion comes on the market dissatisfaction moves in.   This has a way of pushing its way into our relationship and pursuit of God which me must become fully aware of, other wise we are wanting more due to societies ability to subtly produce discontentment’s and we want more.

Of course we are to be intimate and enjoy God, for he has made a way.   It’s an overflow and growing of our love that manifests in our desire to be continuously conscious of the Christ and the Father as there is never a moment where he is not present in his fullness.  Which should have an effect on how we live NOW.   Not because I need more as what I have is not enough due to consumer dissatisfaction

Be careful that my cry for more flows from my love and not from this invasion of the society we live in that has a subtle way of producing discontent with a promise of contentment “when I”, “if I”

The psalmist here brings an encouragement to join the declaration throughout the fabric of creation “set things right” we are to declare “Your Kingdom Come make this place the setting of your environment o Lord as we bring your Kingdom in daily life we declare we show the heavens the glory of the Lord.

The heavens and the called out people of God  announce he will set all things right,  a unified voice, purpose and work come about in setting things right with an invading Kingdom that is arriving at every hand

Announcing heavens

Set right

Non-restricted seeing

Be counted in…

“The priesthood of all believers” this was once well taught, Martin Luther in the early reformation took it as a central teaching. Yet after all this time we are still battling with it.     Today we have a professional priesthood or pastors more than ever and with it people are moved into a consumer approach to faith, where we come and get God served to us on Sunday mornings.   We all agree with the notion knowing we are all priest unto God.   The dilemma today is this, do we continue to live as we are, are we ‘consumered out’ and so hierarchically set that we have to live with a priesthood once again and thus remain with a professional priesthood ?

unknownI know this is not our desire.  Today with the great cry for freedom  and liberty all around us, we should  take hold of our position through the love of God.

We have to become a priesthood to all creation, while maintaining a corporate people of God understanding and existence.    Some however have taken it to such an extreme that they have become islands of faith and individuals with no connections,  that is yet another extreme.   We are a community and family of priests unto our God, here to minister to one another and bring explanations of the Father to our world.    This is what  our High Priest the Christ has done before us.

Suppose that you gathered one Sunday morning, and some one stood before the congregation  asking, “Would any priest  here please stand?”   I am sure for some their historical backgrounds would determine the response.  Who would stand and who would you expect to stand?

Some would be comfortable to stand and others wait for those in the vocation or profession to stand.   Before you start looking to other denominations and saying ‘Ah they would….’ What have we slowly and subversively come to?   The question deals with the fleeting issue of ‘Image and Likeness’ and ‘Identity’.  This is central to all dealing with how we see and think of ourselves.  One of Gods central concerns, at this time, is to produce his image and likeness back into his world and humanity, that Christ might have supreme position in all – Restoration.   The Holy Spirit is working to bring about a people of image and likeness to the Father in the cosmos, it is an important issue today.

Heavens resources are working to bring the image and likeness of God back in view to all.

Back to the question on that Sunday morning, how many people do you think would rise? More important, would you stand?

You should! every believer is anointed to serve as a priest.

For the early Christian in the New Testament, the word priest is never used of a church leader; it is only used to characterise the role of all believers.  Imagine how it was received by the early Christians. When Peter wrote, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people” (1 Pet. 2:9RSV), he was writing mostly to people who formerly had nothing to do with Israel and its God. Peter confers on these new Christians both a Jewish heritage (“you are a holy nation, God’s own people”) and the privilege of priesthood (“you are a royal priesthood”). Such a notion would have shaken them to the soles of their sandals.

Perhaps to understand the privilege of being named a priest, we need first to examine what priesthood meant to those who had a history of understanding of the practice of Priesthood.     Why do I write on this, I believe that if we could catch our Image and Likeness, our identity, many challenges would pass and life would be lived very differently, its time to finally realise the goal of the Father in this.

A Favoured Person

Priests were chosen from among the tribe of Levi (one of the 12 tribes of Israel) to serve as mediators between God and His people. God told Aaron, the first high priest,

I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord to do the work at the Tent of Meeting. But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death Num. 18:6-7

It was a tremendous privilege to serve as a priest in Israel—a gift. Priests enjoyed a special relationship to God: They alone could offer sacrifices; they alone had access to the holy portions of the tabernacle and the temple where God manifested His presence; they alone were the guardians of the Law.

Then, in the New Testament, all believers are called as priests. The book of Revelation says that Jesus “has made us his Kingdom and his priests who serve before God his Father” (1:65:10NLT). In a sense, when we are “born again,” we are born into a priesthood as if we were actually privileged descendants of Levi. In addition, with our new birth we receive an anointing, not with oil as Old Testament priests were anointed, but with the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 2:2027). This anointing empowers us to serve God in this privileged and vitally important priestly role.

You won’t have to Kill a cow or a lamb.

Here are five ways we serve Christ as priests.

1. We offer sacrifices. Under the Old Covenant, priests offered animal sacrifices. They slaughtered a lamb on the altar every morning and evening, drained the animal’s blood, and sprinkled the blood on and around the altar. Then they cut the animal into prescribed portions and burned much of the meat (see Ex. 29:38-39). These costly and graphic sacrifices were a constant reminder of the deadly seriousness of sin and the need for cleansing and forgiveness from God. They were inadequate, however, to cover sins; they only pointed to the ultimate sacrifice.

This sacrifice was realised in Jesus who came as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). The offering of His life on the cross was the final sacrifice. None other will ever be necessary: “He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself” (Heb. 7:27).

Because of Jesus’ sacrificial offering, priests no longer need to make animal sacrifices. But God does call us to sacrifice consider Romans 12:1 “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship”.

As living sacrifices, we offer ourselves completely to God to use as He pleases.

In addition, instead of the aroma of a burnt offering, God longs for us to offer the pleasing aroma of praise: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Heb. 13:15). This too is part of our priestly service.   I have mentioned in a number of places remember that worship was not singing but a life of obedience, worship was obedience and there to be a sweet aroma to God.    Singing has a place, it helps us express and confess, yet without obedience it is just a sing along, for the sake of enjoying the music or the celebrations of songs

2. We read, interpret, and proclaim God’s . One of the extraordinary blessings of the New Covenant is that we have direct and immediate access to the Word of God. This truth led Christian leaders such as John and Martin Luther to translate the Bible into everyday languages so all people—not just the clergy—could read it, interpret it, and delight in it. God calls all of us to be like the priest Ezra, who devoted himself to studying God’s , practicing it, and making it known (Ezra 7:10).

3. We intercede for others in prayer.    We also have direct access to God—through our relationship with him.   Developing and deepening our intimacy with him.,  Because of our close relationship with Jesus, the great high priest, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Heb. 4:16). At that throne, we believer-priests can serve others by interceding with God on their behalf.      God is still looking for those who will become the one ‘mankind’ who will stand in the gap, intercede and rule in the cosmos on his behalf.

4. We serve according to our giftedness. Not all priests will serve in the same way under this new priesthood. When God poured out His Spirit upon us, He gave us different abilities. God also has provided the church with a variety of gifted people (none of whom constitute a special order of priests) who encourage and prepare their fellow believer-priests to do the ministry. The Apostle Paul says that Christ has given gifts to the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service” (Eph. 4:12NASB).     That the people of God transform the cosmos around by their empowering priesthood.

5. We mediate God’s presence to the world. Ultimately, we are channels of God’s blessing. One of our priestly sacrifices is to serve others: “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb. 13:16). We represent God’s presence to those living with us, those in line with us at the grocery store, serving us in restaurants, working next to us, or sitting across from us in our small groups. As we talk, pray, and live with them, we are fulfilling our priestly role as Peter described it:

1 Peter 2:9 “You are…a royal priesthood…[God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

Knowing your true identity and role can have a powerful impact on your life. God has called you to a priestly position and has anointed you with His Spirit for this privileged assignment.