10/16/S – Living Stones

Ezekiel 46:4-24; 1 Peter 2:1-10; Psalms 119:25-32; Proverbs 25:17

NT: “As you come to him, a living stone — rejected by people but chosen and honored by God —  you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame. So honor will come to you who believe; but for the unbelieving, The stone that the builders rejected — this one has become the cornerstone, and A stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word; they were destined for this. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2:4-10‬ ‭CSB)

Through out Paul’s epistles, he talked about our lives being the temple of God and our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit. In this passage, Peter paints a slightly different picture. As we, individually are the temple of God and the temple of the Holy Spirit, God also makes us into living stones that are built together into a spiritual house and a holy priesthood – the church of the Living God.

Jesus Christ was the stone that the builders rejected who has now become the chief cornerstone of God’s church. When we come to faith in Christ and walk obediently according to His word, we to – like Jesus – are often times rejected by people. However, in our rejection by people, we are chosen and honored by God. Just as Jesus was the chief cornerstone in God’s building, we are the living stones built on that cornerstone that construct God’s building.

Stones are not considered living things. They are made up of dead minerals and have no life or capacity for life. However, Peter wrote that we are living stones. We were once dead and lifeless. However, when we came to faith in Christ, we were made alive in Him. We have been grafted into the life-giving vine and now course with the life of Christ and the prophetic calling and promises of the people of God. All who are in Christ by faith become the called and chosen people of God. In Christ, we are part of God’s chosen race. We are part of God’s royal priesthood. We are part of God’s holy, set apart and called out nation. All of this is for a grand and glorious purpose: to proclaim the praises of God and His Son Jesus Christ, bring glory to them on the earth, and lead others to receive mercy and life through repentance and faith in Him.

Psalms: “My life is down in the dust; give me life through your word. I told you about my life, and you answered me; teach me your statutes. Help me understand the meaning of your precepts so that I can meditate on your wonders. I am weary from grief; strengthen me through your word. Keep me from the way of deceit and graciously give me your instruction. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set your ordinances before me. I cling to your decrees; Lord, do not put me to shame. I pursue the way of your commands, for you broaden my understanding.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:25-32‬ ‭CSB)

The psalmist knew that true and vibrant life came from faith and obedience to the word, will and ways of God. Therefore, He wanted to understand and know God’s word, so that he could be strengthened by God’s life and taught to walk in God’s ways. Verse 32 in the New King James Version is written like this: “I will run the course of Your commandments, for You shall enlarge my heart.” As a former runner, this verse means a lot to me. Running actually increases the capacity of your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The more you run, your lungs are able to take in and process more oxygen and your heart becomes stronger and able to pump more life-giving blood through your body. The same is true with walking by faith according to the word, will and ways of God. The more we do it, the more we understand and the greater our capacity grows in the things of God. We become more alive and more able to sustain life. It all comes through faith and obedience.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you that through my faith in You, you have taken this once-dead person and made me a living stone – chosen and called for a glorious purpose. Your word is the word of life, and Your word has brought life to me. As I continue to run the course of Your commandments by grace, grow my understanding and increase my capacity to walk obediently in the things you have called me to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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