A living sacrifice
It is an amazing privilege to be born into a family that is a part of the kingdom of God. Children from these houses are not born into the wilderness of world, but are sons and daughters of the kingdom! The house of God the Father is their house. This is the temple. Like Jesus, they can come to the temple and be about their Father’s business. From a young age they can be learning and participating in the activities of the house of God.
The house of God is also the Son’s house. The apostle Peter wrote that we are all to come to Christ as to a living stone, and be built together as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. This is for the purpose of offering up spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. The teenage years of a young person who is growing up in a Christian home, is a time of transition. They are making a shift from participating in the house of the Father under the faith of their parents, to becoming accountable for their own offering as a part of the house of the Son.
A Christian teenager who is making this transition is learning to present themselves to God as a living sacrifice. This means that they are seeking God’s will for their lives and receiving capacity to live pleasing to Him. They are not perfect. However, they are being perfected in love as they receive and obey the word of God that He sends to them. King David loved the Lord this way and testified that the ‘zeal for the house of God was eating him up’. This can be the testimony of every Christian young person.
Rightly valuing ourselves
Honour is important to God. It is a characteristic of the life of His sons and daughters. The word ‘honour’ means ‘to greatly value, respect and treasure’. In our society, we think of the value of something in terms of the price we have to pay for it. However, we read in the Scriptures that ‘we have been bought with a price’. We were not purchased with silver or gold (speaking of money), but with the precious blood of Jesus. God the Father gave His Son so that we might become sons of God. This is the blessing of sonship, and shows just how valuable we are to Him.
The world values appearances, skills and possessions. People trade with these to gain advantage in life. We can be deceived by these things and begin to value them in the same way as people in the world. However, we must value, or honour, ourselves in the way that God the Father values us. He is delivering us from the world and its fallen value system, and making us His own possession. He is doing this so that we will be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. To properly value ourselves is to recognise that He has made us for this purpose, and to get about doing the works that He prepared for us to do.
If we are seeking first the kingdom of God we do not need to worry about our provision. God knows our needs and provides for us so that we can serve Him. He provides for our physical needs and for our spiritual needs. We can cease pursing value in the world, and stop being envious of the wicked who always seem to prosper. Sons of God are seeking a heavenly and enduring treasure, and desiring to be precious in the sight of God.