God’s Precious and Living Stones - By Jeff Colón
By Jocelyn Hu
And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 2:4-5 NASB)
This inspiring passage of Scripture gives those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ a glimpse into His glorious plan for their lives. If we are truly His children, then we are being prepared and fashioned as a dwelling place for His glory to reside.
But this doesn't just happen by osmosis; we must respond to God's call and enter into His "building-up" process in our lives. Just as a stone must go through a process of being cut, shaped and fitted before it can be placed into its proper place in the building, God also prepares His people in the same way. God's loving discipline is the key instrument used in that shaping process. The word of God tells us, "For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives."(Hebrews 12:6)
Recently a brother asked me why so many Christians are seemingly content with their lives in this world and prefer to avoid the fire of God's discipline in their lives. My reply to him was simply that they have chosen to disregard God's call to accomplish His intended goal in their lives. In other words, they prefer to avoid the discipline, even if it means also missing out on His goal for their lives. It would behoove each of us to ask ourselves, "Am I truly being built up and prepared to fit into God's glorious eternal plan for my life?"
For that to happen, we have to learn to receive the rod of correction when it comes. We must learn to say, "Thank You, Father," for our trials, knowing it is out of His love for us that He does these things. You see dear ones, if you have answered the call of the Master to follow Him, you can be sure that His instruction will come. And when we chafe at His instruction, we must then be willing to see our need to be corrected and dealt with by God. Believe me, this is still true for me in my own walk with God. He is always showing me things that need to be chipped away, carved or otherwise re-shaped in my life.
I find it encouraging to remember that Peter also experienced this when Jesus told him Satan was going to be permitted to sift him as wheat. Peter still needed a lot of rough edges knocked off in order to be "fitted" for God's plan for his life. He was being prepared into a precious, living stone; the first of many to be laid upon the chief cornerstone, which is Christ.
The Scriptures show us that all things flow from our loving Father's hand for His intended end. "For You, O God, have tested us. You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net. You laid affliction on our backs. You have caused men to ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment." (Psalm 66:10-12)
I know it doesn't seem right to us a lot of the time, but God really does allow us to go through trials and difficult situations. He does "lay affliction on our backs" sometimes. However, He also promises to bring good out of it. If we learn to embrace those times and accept them, He will bring us into a place of "rich fulfillment." I have personally learned not to say, "God why are you allowing this to happen to me!" but instead to say, "What are you trying to show me and give me through this?"
Don't run from God's discipline. Don't avoid His chisel or carving tools! These are necessary, so we can be prepared for His glory. Brother Lawrence once said, "Picture yourself like a piece of stone sitting still under the Master's hand and allow Him to shape you."
We all start out like a diamond in the rough, but God knows how to bring us to perfection. All those who are allowing this process to take place "are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit."(Ephesians 2:22) Hallelujah! With this in our sights, we can then learn to rejoice when discipline and trials come, knowing that we are being prepared as His precious, living stones!
Jeff Colón is a minister of the Assemblies of God. He has served as the campus pastor and residential program director since 1996, and is the Executive Director at Pure Life Ministries.
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