1 Peter 2:9 NIV “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.”
Joel 2:17 NIV “Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, Where is their God?’”
Deuteronomy 6:25 NIV “And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”
Romans 4:3 NIV “What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’” (Paul quoted from Genesis 15:6)
Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Matthew 9:13 NIV “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Jesus quoting from Hosea 6:6)
Ps. 51:17 NIV “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
Ps 51:17 MSG “Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.”
1 John 1:9 NIV “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Relationships are made up of love, which lasts longest; trust, which is the most fragile; respect, which is most often neglected; and understanding, which takes the most time.
I Cor 13:1-3 NIV “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Therefore, as priests who faithfully minister before God with prayers and intercessions for our families and communities, we must do so in love, building a holy nation through relationships of trust, through respect that is not demanded, and through understanding that comes from listening.