Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 2:5
I once thought that if there was an opportunity to serve at church, and no one else filled that role, I should do it.
I quickly discovered many downfalls to that sort of Christian life.
It was an empty sort of busyness for God. Though ministries were being managed (barely), my heart was being neglected, and my actions and words toward my loved ones reflected that neglect.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. – Matthew 12:34b
That’s why I came to appreciate today’s Scripture so much.
I Peter 2 uses the metaphor of Christians as part of a house. In this metaphor, God does not ask us to be an entire house, or wall, or even a section of a wall.
According to verse 5, we are to be just one building block.
But each block must rest on the Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ.
Google defines a cornerstone as “a stone that forms the base of a corner of a building, joining two walls.”
Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner. – 1 Peter 2:6, 7
Though we might think of a brick or stone as something inanimate, Peter clarifies that we are “lively stones.” That simply means that our souls are alive, reanimated through salvation in Christ.
When such stones come together, all resting on the right Foundation, and each in its proper place, we can form a church that can work together and minister to each other, and to the world, as God intended.
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. – Ephesians 2:21
Since coming to that realization years ago, I’ve taken on fewer ministries, and I’ve narrowed down my scope of activities in those. I’ve grown to love ministry again, and it has become an extension of my relationship with the Lord.
Now, when considering a service opportunity, I try to ask God what he would have me do, and I consider whether or not a particular activity has eternal value. I evaluate my motives and the condition of my heart, and I adjust my stone’s position in the “spiritual house” accordingly.
How do you balance ministry and your personal walk with God? What is your position as a stone in the house of the Lord? I welcome your comments.