“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” – 1 Peter 2:4-5
So often I equate the abundant Christian life to simply my personal relationship with Jesus: saying no to sin, yes to the freedom I have not to sin, turning toward Jesus in prayer and His word, serving Him and worshiping Him.
These are all good and right but my eyes were opened a bit during the sermon at church yesterday. Sometimes I forget about the bigger picture of what is happening as I…we…collectively live out our days here on earth.
We, like Christ, are living stones and are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Christ is building His spiritual house with you, me and other believers. He’s adding to this house daily.
The abundant Christian life isn’t just a personal relationship between Christ and myself, it is a collective relationship with Him and all of His people.
What a calling and identity! I’m not just another face on Twitter, Facebook or the blogosphere. I’m more than a mom, wife, writer and homeschooler. I am part of a people for His own possession, part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. I am part of a people who have been called out of darkness and into His marvelous light in order to proclaim His excellencies.
And so are you.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people, once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
We have received mercy and are His people.
Notice the word doesn’t just say You are now His person. It says you are His people.
We are being built up into a spiritual house together. We are not just priests but a priesthood.
A few hours after church, my family took a drive out into the country. We came across the beautiful stonework that made up this house. Though each stone is different, the builder arranged them together perfectly to fulfill his purpose. Some stones are small and some a big. Each stone has an important role in keeping the house together. A beautiful picture of the reality of those who are in Christ being built up into a spiritual house. We came across this just a few hours after hearing a sermon on The Family Home and how the purposes God has for us in Jesus are to be received through the community of believers that he builds up, the church.
So I’m asking myself today…
How can I use the time and resources God has given me in order to proclaim the excellencies of Christ fulfilling my calling to be a part of this royal priesthood? How am I doing this with God’s people?
How am I turning toward or away from (mentally as well as physically) other believers? Am I valuing our being connected together as living stones ultimately connected to THE living stone? If I do truly value this, how would that play out in my mind, heart and life? How would that impact the lives of other believers and myself?
1 Corinthians 12:12-26
“12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”
May we be blessed and bless this week as we suffer and rejoice together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Linking up this week with these inspiring ladies: