When you think of the word “priest,” what image comes to mind?
Let me tell you what shoud come to mind. Go look in a mirror. If you are a Christian, the picture of a priest is you!
1 Peter 2:9-12 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Following the old covenant image, our role is to represent God to others. God calls us to His priesthood, to declare and display Him to the people He’s sent us to.
Duty: Nearly every job requires taks we don’t like. We all attend events out of obligation. Everyone does things we have to. But we can’t view mission through that lens. Mission can’t be a “just enough” pursuit, an empty obligation.
Earning: In this trap, mission becomes an attempt to earn something from God or prove something to Him. But mission is not atonement. Mission cannot be a way to please God or avoid some punishment. Do you pursue mission to prove or earn something?
Self-glory: Mission as a way to improve self-worth and “how many people I’ve saved.” We aren’t responsible for the success of His mission, so we can’t use mission to build ourselves up. Do you do God’s mission to promote yourself?
Doing “good” things: Mission is not truly mission if it doesn’t involve Jesus. “Empty moralism” is doing nice things for people. It doesn’t require or point to Jesus. It lacks eternal weight and stems often times from poor motives. We must both display the gospel by our actions and declare it by our words.
- Politeness: It’s a greatly needed trait in our world today unless it slips into people-pleasing.
- Introversion: Introverts make great missionaries! They may have fewer conversations than extroverts, but those they have are usually deep. They tend to be good listeners.
- Shyness: Shy people need to discover a point of connection, like a common interest or shared acquaintance or something to focus on like a project or activity.
Introverts, go make a disciple. One at a time if that’s what it takes. Shy? Take your time and give yourself grace. Polite? Great! Just make sure you fear God more than man.
Our identity is who we are. These aren’t hats that we wear when we want and take off when we don’t feel like living them out.
My identity is ultimately tied to Christ. Without Him, I’m still a father, husband, American, Kentuckian. But I also play some roles in day to day life like pastor, coach, etc.
In nearly every one of Paul’s letters he explains “who you are” before he tells us “what to do.” He starts with our identity before he explains our roles and actions.
Because of God’s work in us, we are sons and daughters of God. We are followers of Jesus.
Before Jesus intervened in our lives, we were each, among other things, “a sinner…idolater…of our flesh…in darkness…slaves…children of wrath…and dead.” In Christ, we’re now “children of light, a new creation…alive in Him.” Nearly every reference to salvation in the Bible speaks of a transfer of identities: we were THAT; by God’s grace, we’re now THIS.
Whatever we do in life, we are first and foremost disciples of God. We are members of His family. And we are missionaries to His world.
Scripture refers to the breadth of time as CHRONOS and the depth of time as KAIROS. In Ephesians 5 Paul is speaking of KAIROS. Most in this world sees time only in terms of CHRONOS. They are obsessed with CHRONOS and how to get more of it all while failing to see the bigger picture of KAIROS.
We each have a limited number of days on this earth before the Lord Jesus calls us to our eternal home. What needs to be done today to make the best use of the CHRONOS given to you by the Lord? Don’t begin your day by asking, “How much time do I have and how can I maximize the time I have?” While time is not a bad question, it’s a one-dimensional, chronos-only question. Begin each day by asking the Lord Jesus to fully redeem the time He has set before you this day.