Rejection is a part of our lives these days. An inevitable fact of prefield. Truly, it is also an inevitable part of working on the mission field and being obedient to the Great Commission in general.
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.
(1 Peter 2:4-5 ESV)
This verse follows one I think of often for our ministry in Spain. It is our desire to see Spaniards taste the goodness of the Lord and His word. But the next part, quoted above, applies more to our life right now. God always uses rejection to make us more like Him. Persecution is endurable because we are chosen and precious in His sight and He endured it so that we might be acceptable to Him. Rejection on prefield (which I know is not real persecution) also makes us more like Him. We learn patience, how to wait on the Lord, how to trust in His timing, or to humble ourselves before Him when we have needs that only He can meet, and endurance for the long haul. All characteristics of Jesus, all doubly needed on the mission field compared to prefield.
But we are “being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy preisthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
I think what Peter refers to here is much bigger than good deeds on the mission field.
Before Jesus came along, God had strict rules regarding His spiritual house, the tabernacle. Once, someone unauthorized by God to touch the tabernacle died because he tried to stop it from toppling over (see 2 Samuel 6). Following through on a consequence He warned about in Numbers 4:15, God also used the incident to remind King David of the importance of worshiping on God’s terms – bringing an acceptable sacrifice, acting like the chosen and precious treasure God called them.
I see in this passage that because of Jesus, I am not rejected. I am a living stone, a chosen and precious gem to God. Because of Jesus, when I come to God, I am acceptable; I am accepted.
The old way was to worship according to God’s revealed instruction. Under the New Covenant, we worship according to our faith in God’s revealed Son because of His death and resurrection.
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