Work and rest seem to be at odds with one another, but they are actually two complementary halves of a single life lived for God’s glory. Only when both are shaped by Scripture and based on the grace of Jesus Christ will either be fruitful and satisfying.
Despite having been called and chosen by God, not even the tabernacle priests were ready to serve until they were ransomed, washed, and anointed. In the same way, God’s people today are not ready to serve until we have been ransomed, washed, and anointed through the blood of Christ and His life-giving Spirit. Once humbled, renewed, and empowered by His grace, we are fully equipped to live for His glory in unexpected and powerful ways.
The New Testament contains a number of passages which instruct us how we are to live in relation to one another. In Ephesians 4, Paul teaches that in our union with Christ, we have a new status before God. Our new status demands that we now think and act in ways consistent with who we are in Christ. This new identity forms the foundation for specific ways we are to treat one another as brothers and sisters in Christ’s family.
The tabernacle’s altar of incense showed that intercessory prayer for the nation was a key part of Israel’s worship. Today, God’s people continue to pray for the nations in which they live, but do so through an infinitely greater High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Christ, we find limitless grace to help us in our time of need and abundant wisdom to live faithfully for Him within a rebellious culture.