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December 16, 2015

Text: “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God living and preci0us, you yourselves like living stones are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” I Peter 2:4-5

Here we have the apostle Peter picturing the erection of  a spiritual structure, the materials of which are Jesus Christ and his believers of all the ages since. This is a metaphor of Jesus as the foundation, builder, and architect,  and believers as stones being each placed structurally in his functional position. Jesus was predestined to build this structure, otherwise known as “the church”.  “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be  put to shame.” I Peter 2:6  Our positions are depicted as materials called  by the gospel to assume our places of service in the structure.  “To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” II Thessalonians 2:14

Saints are described as “living stones” in the church, not inert stones! Thus God empowers and gives us talents to serve actively in the kingdom, supporting the structure and helping to attract others to the kingdom. Let’s meld our text with another passage to augment this concept. “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.” I Corinthians 12:18 Beginning in this chapter verse 14 we see an analogy drawn between the church and the human body. Each of us is designated as a specific part of the body with corresponding talents. God wants each of us to utilize his specific talents to the growth of the body of Christ. We are all expected to use our given talents and are not to shrug our duties.

Notice in our text that Peter quotes the Old Testament as saying that Jesus is “a living stone rejected by men”. What we need to remember is that Jesus informed his disciples: “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute  you.”‘ John 15:20a  Expect that if it is known that you are a Christian somebody is going to lay some hard words on you —– or worse. You will not go through this world as a Christian unscathed if you are helping build Christ’s church. This you must accept. Believe me. I can testify to that! I have found out that not everyone loves a preacher.  So, to be a living stone in Christ’s building you have to buckle up and keep working. Do not be discouraged if someone calls you a “blue nose” or a “holy Joe”. Just forget it and pick up your tools and get to work!

When God calls you to service he will equip you for your given task. “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry for building up the body of Christ…” Ephesians 4:11-12 You are not in this undertaking alone. You may think that you are unqualified, but there are more experienced stones in the structure to teach and encourage you. If it were a matter of getting a job in the secular world you would go to school or just get someone else to train you. Why should the church be different? Reach out to others in the church to teach you. You will be surprised how willing they will be! 

Are you an active, productive stone in the church? If all other stones in the church were as  active as you are, would the church be pressing forward or sliding backward? Step forward and accept the challenge. whether you are a drone or the queen bee matters not. Don’t worry about getting the limelight, recognition, kudos, etc. Just step up to the challenge and thank God for the opportunity!















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