What does it mean to be kings and priests?
Israel demanded a king. “Make us a king to judge us like all the nations”
Scripture 1 Sam 8:6
Revelation 5:10 He has made us kings and priests to our God, and we shall reign on the earth.
God designed us to desire to rule and reign on this earth. Gen 1 says we were created in his image. Fill the earth and subdue it.
It is not a bad thing to want to rule and reign unless it is paired with selfishness. This is why we died with Jesus, we were crucified with Christ, no longer do I live but Christ within me. So that our selfish nature does not rule and reign any longer.
So what does this mean to be kings and priests?
We represent the king of kings in his image and nature: love.
We are ambassadors for Christ, reconciling the world to God.
His kingdom is expanding through us.
Go into all the world and make disciples of all the nations.
Matt 20 Parable of the Vineyard Workers Meaning
The landowner has favor on anyone who works in his vineyard. Regardless of how hard or long they’ve worked.
Because salvation is not based on performance, but on the grace of God.
Right = righteous
Jesus is our reward, wage. All who enter the kingdom receive the same reward: Jesus
Genesis 15:1 KJVS
 After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
You gain the free gift of righteousness regardless of how long you’ve been saved. Your value is the same regardless of time spent laboring.
But if you want to be first in the kingdom you must love.
Anyone can enter the kingdom. But to be great you must love.
John 6:29 NIV
 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Verse 16 is interpreted by the next parable as whoever wants to be first must become a slave in serving others.
It’s not about when you enter the kingdom, or your works to be saved. But if you want to become great or first in his kingdom, you must become a servant/slave.
His command is to lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters. To love one another.
John 6:39-40 NIV
 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.  For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
This week as I was contemplating Christmas and reading through Deuteronomy, I couldn’t help but notice the extravagant blessing God promised the Israelites if they obeyed Him.
You know, in the culture we live in America, we tend to extravagantly bless our kids with stuff. And if we don’t have the means, we tend to feel bad for them that they didn’t get the newest gadget, video game system, iPhone or as much stuff as Johnny, his best friend, got. Like we have failed them in comparison with our friends because we didn’t spend $500 on toys. It’s good to want to bless our kids, but I do wonder how this relates to God. God is our Father and He loves to bless us.
I wonder what kind of blessing is for us today. I mean if God proves his love by giving us tangible things, what about the Christians who don’t have much? Is it because they haven’t obeyed God? Is stuff a sign of obedience? Or today we may say, well, it’s a mindset. And yes, the gospel breaks off the poverty mindset, but I do have some concerns about assuming having stuff equals obedience to God. After really seeing “increase” in real estate, and now working in the church, it’s forced me to question all these physical blessings that we think are a sign of God’s favor on our lives. I mean, sure famous preachers can say they are blessed because they obeyed God. But that’s equivalent to an actor saying they are blessed because they obeyed God.
The Old Covenant was about serving and loving God.
If the Israelites served God and loved him with all their hearts, they would be blessed.
Obedience brought blessing.
It didn’t depend on inner transformation.
Deut 5 shares the story of the Israelites at the mountain with Moses and God and essentially they said, “We are afraid if we hear God we will die. Moses, you talk to God, and tell us what to obey.”
There’s no power in that. Sure they could muster up an outward obedience, and not murder their family, but what about inward?
I wonder if this is where we have gotten it wrong in Christianity. We are still trying to live under the Old Covenant principles of doing good to be blessed. We are trying to obey God under the Old Covenant, mustering up enough obedience to be blessed, while also trying to be a good servant like Christ and have all the Spiritual blessings. We all want peace. We all want joy. We all want stuff.
So as I think it through, and wrestle with this whole Christianity thing, didn’t Christ already do all that?
He fulfilled the Old Covenant and was good for us. He brought peace to the world through his obedience. This is what we just celebrated Christmas for. Peace to earth goodwill toward man, right? So what’s the deal with the blessings of God?
What Christianity is about is having a new heart. Becoming more like Christ to serve more people.
The Old Covenant was an outer obedience and outer reward. What the Israelites didn’t want was a relationship. They only wanted rules.
Christianity is an inner transformation resulting in outer service. It’s an inner transformation of love, and it bears fruit for an outer laying one’s life down. Christianity is all about relationship, not about rules.
What if we’ve been duped into believing Christianity is about what I can get from God, instead of how can I be more like him. We somehow think money is a sign of God’s favor, when the sign was Jesus laid his life down, for us. He already proved his love by laying his life down. Now he asks us to do the same with the power of the Holy Spirit.
It starts with your family. Is your spouse acting a fool? Lay your life down. Do they have annoying habits? Lay your life down. Then believers. Did a Christian do something that hurts? Forgive as you’ve been forgiven. Love the bride of Christ and serve others.
The New Covenant, Christianity, is about us having a new heart to serve and love others.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Is God angry with you?
Good News: You are not guilty (even though…)!
The first few years of working as a REALTOR, it seemed no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t land a listing!
My husband was working hard, but just starting a flooring business, and as you know it takes a while to get a business off the ground. We had 2 toddlers and a baby at home, so I was desperate to make something.
Before the appointment, sitting in my car out front of their home, I’d beg the Lord wiping the tears from my face, “Jesus, please let me get this one. I really need it. Please God.” In the home, I’d take a look around, give them my advice, sit down to answer their questions, and the inevitable sentence would roll off their tongues, “Well, we need to think about it.” My heart broken and time wasted away from my kids, I would cry, “God why are you not blessing me?”
The same story repeated itself countless times as I scored listing appointments, but couldn’t close the deal. (If you’ve ever been in sales, you can relate)
I knew His promises, I read the Word every day! I even went to a faith Bible school! I’d declare His promises out loud and believed He wanted to bless me, so why wasn’t it working?
Have you ever experienced this? The Israelites were wandering in the desert for 40 years. God was so angry with all their complaining and idol worship, they had to die in the wilderness without inheriting the promised land. Even Moses, who was the humblest man in the world didn’t get to inherit the promised land!
I felt like I was an Israelite wandering in the desert knowing the promise of God but never entering the land!
In my desperation to see the blessings of God, I wrote a song, “Let your Goodness pass before me” Get it on iTunes.
So why can we expect the blessings of God when even Moses didn’t get to inherit the promise? What’s the difference?
It’s the New Covenant! Guys, we are not Israelites under the Old Covenant!
Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites had to obey to obtain the promises. They had to offer sacrifices for their sin to remove their guilt year after year.
Under the New Covenant, we believe in Jesus and obtain the promises. God punished sin on the cross! Our guilt is washed away in the blood of Jesus. Jesus paid the debt of your sin, and God will never be angry with you again!
Before understanding the new covenant, even though I knew the promise, I felt unworthy of the blessing of God. When I had listing appointments, I felt guilty for the sins I had committed and sabotaged any success headed my way. God wanted to bless me, but I couldn’t receive it.
But when learning I have favor with God, not because I’ve been good, but because Jesus was good for me, Jesus lifted my chin up, and I began to get clients.
Guys, you are worthy because Jesus paid the price for you! You are free of guilt from all the bad things you have done because Jesus has already cleansed you.
Isaiah 54:9-10 Just as I swore in the time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the earth, so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you. For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
You do not have to walk around guilty of everything you’ve done wrong. God made a covenant that He would never be angry with you anymore! God knew we had a sin problem, and sent the answer by sending his wonderful son Jesus, born of a virgin, born lowly in a manger, to die on a cross for you and for me. He took our guilt and gave us peace. Because of Jesus, God will never be angry with you, and you qualify for the blessings of God because of Jesus’ behavior, not your own goodness.