The priests of the Old Testament held a special and privileged position among their contemporaries. They lived as those who were granted an exceptional depth of access to God’s presence and God’s blessings. As such, they were held to a higher standard as compared to the rest of those who lived in the nation. In the New Covenant, while there may be distinction in roles and honor among Christians, there is no distinction in the privileged access we have to knowing God and experiencing his blessings. In fact, the entire band of Christ-followers is designated “a holy priesthood” (1Pt.2:5). Every Christian worldwide is held to the high standard of showing our respective nations that we know God intimately and that we, by his grace, daily walk instep with the Creator of heaven and earth. Understanding our high calling allows us to feel the weight of responsibility that the Old Testament priests must have felt when the prophets exhorted them to live to a higher standard than the rest of the nation. Consider Malachi’s words, “And now this admonition is for you O priests” (2:1). The concern throughout the book of Malachi in general, and chapter two in particular, was that the priests lived as the benchmark for the rest of the nation by “setting their hearts to honor God’s name” (2:2). It was a daily decision for them as it is for us. It begins in the recesses of our soul each morning. Will we resolve today to honor his name? Will we live for Christ? Will we demonstrate that we know God and walk instep with his Spirit? Set your heart today on honoring the God with whom you have been granted special access through Christ.
- Pastor Mike
Horrific acts of violence and persecution toward Christians in the Middle East have been filling the news headlines. Extraordinary testimonies have demonstrated the courage of these men and women who are being called upon to pay the ultimate price for following Jesus Christ. We are living in a time when real faith—ambitious faith—is absolutely vital. We marvel at these modern-day martyrs, yet the Bible proclaims that each of us can have this kind of faith as followers of Christ.
For a gift of any amount, we’d like to send you a classic book that has inspired and strengthened many followers of Jesus over the years. Fox’s Book of Martyrs tells the dramatic, true stories of men, women, and children who, in the face of indescribable persecution, gave their lives for the sake of Christ. From the Apostles of the first century to the beginning of our American foreign missions, this book illustrates the kind of faith that commits itself utterly to the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a timely resource for encouraging you today.
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