Holy Priesthood #778

4  Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:4–5, NKJV)

God chose Jesus Christ as the living stone – risen from the dead – from whom and by whom His house would be built (Matt. 16:16-18; Acts 4:11-12). Christians are “living stones” in God’s spiritual house, the church (1 Tim. 3:15). We were dead trespasses and sins, but He made us alive, saving us in Christ, the living Son of the living God (Eph. 2:1-7). And so, Christians are priests, composing a “holy priesthood” that offers up spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. Because we are priests, our hearts and lives must be pure, respecting the holiness of God. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). Take your role as priest seriously. Come before God with clean hands and a pure heart to do His revealed will (Jas. 4:8).

“Before they Call, I will Answer” #777

It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24, NKJV)

God is never far from His faithful ones. He has always been “a very present help in trouble” (Psa. 46:1). In today’s verse, Christians have a prophetic reminder that God gives abundant attention to our prayers. God’s ready interest and awareness of His children is one of the spiritual blessings we possess in Christ as citizens of “heavenly Jerusalem” (the church, Eph. 1:3; Heb. 12:22-23). Our Father in heaven is so attentive to our needs that He knows what they are before we ask Him (Matt. 6:8). Rather than this preventing prayer, it heightens our trust that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry (Psa. 34:15; 1 Pet. 3:12). Our faith rests solidly on His unwavering love and care; we are “anxious for nothing” (Phil. 4:6). The Lord is always near. He already knows your need—better than you do. He promises to answer when you speak to Him. So, come boldly before His throne of grace to “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).