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Your Mission: Be a Kingdom Priest

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 30, 2009

My cousin, Deana Cardenas and her husband Anthony have just started a new web site http://www.kingdompriestworship.com, and when I went there to check it out, I noticed 4 scriptures at the top of the page that got me thinking about the job of a priest and how that relates to the believer today. Whenever I read Scriptures I usually ask 3 questions right off the bat, Why? What? How? I have posted the scriptures below for you to read, then we shall evaluate:

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. – Exodus 19:5-6

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. – Revelation 1:6

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth. – Revelation 5:10

These passages have two common strings, kingdom/nation and priests, and what got me thinking was, “Why a priest? What are their duties? What is this kingdom/nation? How do we get there?”

Why a priest?

I’m not sure that we humans see the function of a priest the same way that God sees the function of a priest.  Normally, we see the priest as a person that is a mediator or intercessor between all the followers and deity.  They can offer offerings on the follower’s behalf for sin and perform the work of the ministry.  It is also usually limited to a few select individuals.

I think God sees this slightly different.  Yes, in Israel, there were a tribe of Levities that supplied the priests that served the tabernacle/temple, but the Exodus passage above suggests a more expansive approach to the priesthood. The nation would be a “kingdom of priests” a “holy nation”.  This suggests that it wasn’t just the responsibility of the Levities to be “priests” alone, but that it was the responsibility of the entire nation to be a priesthood before the Lord and the rest of the world.

What are their duties?

The duties of a biblical priest are really three-fold:

  1. Worship before God – this is the priest’s primary function. Everything else they do revolves around this crucial activity. It is essential for each believer to worship before God because it produces a connection to God that nothing else matches.
  2. Minister to the followers – this is the ministry task given to each of us.  Paul calls us a “body of Christ”. Each member ministers to one another.  In this priestly fashion, we build the church by building one another up in the faith.
  3. Light to the world – If the nation of believers is a priesthood, then our mission is to be priests for the world.  We intercede for them, praying that God “sends out laborers in the harvest field”, “that the Holy Spirit will work on the hearts and minds of the lost so that they will turn and repent and be saved”, and “that we will show the way to all who cross our path”.

I really get tired of hearing people say, “my faith is a private thing” or “I don’t want to push my faith on others”.  No one is asking you to “push” anything on anyone else, but you do have a responsibility to show the way!   You have been given a gift of life. If you believe, and if you are going to just sit there and watch your brothers and sisters eternally die because you aren’t willing to tell them the way out, then you defy the very heart of Christ who said, “Go into all the world and tell everyone the good news.” (Mark 16:15)

What is this kingdom/nation?

For Israel, it was their calling as a nation to be priests.  For the believer, it is the calling of the church.  We are a kingdom people, a royal priest hood, a people set apart by God, for God’s ministry.  None of us can escape that calling. The kingdom of God is an eternal kingdom.  In fact, the last passage above suggests that the believer will reigning on the earth at some point in the post apocalyptic future.  We will in some way become priest/kings as it were.  That’s a whole different study, but the fact is that God’s kingdom is not limited to this life, but is an eternal kingdom that has always been and always will be. It is a growing kingdom and one that has one primary mission – to Glorify God!

How do we get there?

Scripture is pretty clear, you must believe in the one God sent – namely Jesus, to be part of the kingdom.  But once there, the growth of this kingdom takes each and everyone of us actively participating in the kingdom work using the gifts and callings God has placed on each one of us. If you don’t know what your calling is, there are plenty of ways to discover it; however, might I suggest a default for you – a starting point as it were. These points apply to you know matter what your calling is, and it will help in your search.

Learn to worship.

Worship will be the primary function in all aspects of kingdom ministry.  Break out of your preconceived mold of what you “think” worship is and challenge yourself to go deeper…. much deeper.

There are ministries around this nation that have a deep heart for worship. Some like the International House of Prayer devote themselves to 24/7 worship.  Even they will admit after years of 24/7 worship that they have not “arrived”.  They are constantly seeking a deeper relationship with God through worship. If you think you have arrived in worship, you have just begun your decline.  Worship cannot plateau; it must be ever increasing and never content.  Worship is not a byproduct, it is a passionate mandate from God and the most important thing you do as a believer and as a “kingdom priest”.

Learn to Intercede

If your prayer life is consumed with praying for your own needs, then you have a ways to go to become an intercessor.  Interceding means that you stand in the gap for others.  A priestly duty for each of us is to stand in the gap for our fellow believers.  To pray for them, encourage them and build them up.  An intercessor also has a heart for the lost – praying for those that need Christ in their lives. If everyone approached prayer in this manner, then nobody would need to spend time even praying for their own needs.

Learn to Share Jesus

Sharing Christ with others is a critical part of every believer’s life.  You can start by learning a few basics:

Know your Testimony – Remember the day you were saved, and learn how to share it in under a minute.  Keep in mind these three pieces What was your life before Christ, what was you salvation experience, and what has it been like since you were saved.

Learn to show the way – Surprisingly few Christians can tell someone how to be saved, or walk them through scriptures that would help lead someone to Christ.  You need to know how to tell someone to be saved.  I know, it’s a “duh” thing, but I have to say it.

In the end, a kingdom priest is a lover of God.  He/she lives life for God in every way so that God will get the glory in all things.


One Response to “Your Mission: Be a Kingdom Priest”

  1. Anthony & Deana said

    Wow! Thank you for the input Jeff !
    I pray the Lord bless you & keep you and your family.
    Anthony & Deana

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