Carve the very nature, the very heart of Jesus into me, Lord
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
“…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a HOLY PRIESTHOOD, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (v. 5 NIV)
With the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, Father, You set in motion many changes to the way You relate to us as Your people, Your created and chosen ones. In the past, You selected certain ones to serve in the roles of priest and high priest–those who made sacrifices for the sins of others. But when Jesus came and allowed Himself to be nailed to the cross, He became both our High Priest (Heb 4:14-5:10) and the sacrifice for all sin, for all time, for all people (Heb 9:11-28). That major change brought another as You began, with Him as the cornerstone, building “a spiritual house” in which Your people each serve as a priest, set apart to minister.
In this new priestly order, You bring a fresh perspective and new expectations. First, every believer has immediate and direct access to You. Each of us can approach You at ANY time for anything — no more barrier! Second, each follower serves You personally. Everything I do is a direct expression of my service to YOU. Third, each of us ministers to others. By serving the people I encounter, I’m truly serving YOU, allowing You to use me as Your means of touching their lives. Finally, each person belongs to Your Spirit within us, so that we are each equipped to fill a particular role in Your kingdom. You’ve designed me for a purpose in Your plan for redeeming the hearts in this world. This passage reassures the fact that through Jesus, each one of us is able to worship and serve You in a manner that pleases You.
“But You are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you–from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.” (v 9-10 MSG)
You have described in this passage the way in which You have designed Your Church, Your people, to be living. You’ve given us this purpose: “that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” You’ve used these phrases to describe us:
- “CHOSEN PEOPLE” (v 9) –reminding us of Your immense love at work to bring us to Yourself
- “ROYAL PRIESTHOOD” (v 9) –(or “royal house”) Since Jesus is King, Your Church has the dignity of royalty because of her union with You. (Some versions say “body of priests,” which emphasizes the togetherness we have as we worship, interceding in prayer, and minister to one another.)
- “HOLY NATION” (v 9) –shows that You’ve set us apart for Your use.
- “A PEOPLE BELONGING TO GOD” (v 9) –reminds us of the price You paid through Jesus’ blood in order to set Your seal ownership on us.
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices, [though they accuse you of doing wrong (NIV)]. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when He arrives.” (v 11-12 MSG)
Thank You, Father, for calling me out of the dark life of sin. Thank You for making me part of Your household. Keep shaping me to be the kind of vessel that serves others and draws them closer to You. Carve into my heart, my mind, my life, the very nature of Jesus. Amen.