Journal 1 Pet 2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “As you come to him (a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious), you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house—to be a holy priesthood; to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in scripture:
“Behold: I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone (chosen and precious), and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Is 28:14)
So, the honor is for you who believe. But for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected HAS become the cornerstone” and “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” (Ps 118:22-23)
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Pet 2:4-10
Observation: Believers have a destiny; a destiny that is also a covenant—a responsible agreement between two parties: Jesus on one side and believers on the other.
Analysis: I don’t have the imagination to consider what a living stone is concerning a believer. Jesus, on the other hand, I do have somewhat of an imagination: Without Jesus, the plan of the Gospel is non-existent. I have written before (and it is worth hammering again), Eden was never Plan A; the Cross was always Plan A. Because sinful man could never atone for his sins before a Holy God, God himself had to be the Atonement (once, forever and for all).
But being a priest? That is what Jesus has called me to? Not just any old priest, but a holy one? Also, a holy nation? A people that cannot but talk about and herald His Excellencies?
Being a priest in this context is not having a vocational position, it is having an attitudinal position—cultivating a mindset of a priest not before people, but a priest before the throne of God.
The picture that I switch to is Revelation 4:9-11: “…and whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who is seated on the throne…the 24 elders fall down before Him …worship him. They cast their crowns before the throne saying:
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God: to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things and by your will they existed and were created.”
I think this is the greater portion of what being a Holy Priesthood is about: Ministering not to Man, but to God himself.
And it is maybe the part where I fail the most.
I used to spend a good part of my alone time to specifically praise Him for who He is. This isn’t just declaring thankfulness: “Father, thank you for answering my prayer for this, that and the other.” It is the time allotted to say and extol Him.
When was the last time I spent time praising him for as many points as I can remember of the Gospel? What about Creation? Praising Him as He moves the weather from here to there? Looking back upon His hand in my life?
I don’t remember—which means that I haven’t in a very, very long time.
I planted some Croatan yesterday. I prayed over my plantings, out loud, between my panting’s. I haven’t done that (prayed; I pant a lot exerting myself these days) in a very long time. I remember two specific times about plants: one, about a tree growing from a runt tree, with a balled up root, into a healthy tree, and the other a dream to do something, and it is yet to be answered. I think it was prophetic, and I am waiting…
Hitch up your mind about being a royal priesthood, chosen, a people for his own possession, cowboy.
Prayer: Lord God, holy Father, redeemer, and friend: I pour out my heart and mind in these writings and I so appreciate the opportunity. Hopefully my sharing these things advances your Kingdom in some way. I sit here, casting my crown before you.
Ricky Two Shoes