This Devotional message is part of the Clayton Church Value-Based Discipleship series, which was launched on Sunday 23 July 2017.
Passage: 1 Peter 2:1-12
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may group up into salvation – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
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. For it stands in Scripture:
Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believe in Him will not be put to shame.
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone
A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do,
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.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
Without a doubt, the quotes referring back to Psalm on the cornerstone are the standout verses. Jesus is the Cornerstone of our Faith. How can you not then be reminded of the Hillsong worship song Cornerstone? And now I realise this song has yet to be added to my list of song lyrics analysed…
Verse 7-8 also stand out because of current dialogue with those who fit the latter category of non-believer – they clearly reject the Cornerstone and Jesus as the Cornerstone becomes a stumbling block and rock of offense to their world view and understanding.
Retelling the story for someone else (you – my audience).
Since you are called to be Holy (1 Peter 1), ensure that your thoughts and heart remain pure and righteous. As those young in faith, work on your faith and understanding of the Scripture so that you can daily proclaim the Lord’s goodness and claim His salvation for yourself.
When you approach and seek God’s presence, remember that He is alive and risen, although his identity at the time was not well understood, let alone accepted by those around him. As the Living Stone, Jesus was himself secure and intimate in relationship with God the Father. We are also like living stones in that we too can have the close secure and intimate relationship with God – in this way, we grow to become a community of faith, where Christ is the Head and we are new life in Christ. When we claim and accept the words from Psalm, ascribing the role and position of Jesus as the Cornerstone, foundation for the body of believers (Zion/Israel), whoever accepts and follows Jesus becomes a protected member of the wider body, where His righteousness covers us all to restore us to full relationship with God the Father.
So, in joining the community of faith, where Christ is the Cornerstone, our views of Christ shape and influence our actions and attitudes. Whilst we are the security and intimacy, those who reject Jesus as the Cornerstone find His authority and Lordship a stumbling block, something that offends their worldly sensibilities. Their unbelief thus has been foreseen as part of their disobedience and rejection of God and His ways.
However, we as believers have been appointed by God and found worthy before His eyes. We are a body under Christ, belonging to Him. As living stones, our faith and love, not just as teachings commanded by Jesus, but as a natural extension of our intrinsic new nature, are called to testify of His glory and righteousness. We were once lost but now are found and have been drawn to the Light of the World, having received his mercy.
We are reminded that we are not of this world although we remain in the world for this life. In remembering this, we need to avoid temptation daily, keeping ourselves clean in behaviour and attitude. Being able to withstand the ways of the world even when they seek to destroy and persecute you for your faith only reinforces God’s victory and His righteousness.
What I Discovered
Insights revealed by this passage include:
Jesus the Cornerstone of My Faith
The nature of Jesus as the Cornerstone of my faith is reinforced and highlighted. In Him everything is held together. This devotion is so timely – God’s doing of course – because when I reflect on my life experience, I believe it His Lordship and role as my Cornerstone that I can do all things and be all that I am. This started years ago now, and it continues to amaze me how far God has taken me in this journey, where I truly and wholly rely on His Lordship, love, joy and strength to do everything I do. Without Him I am nothing. Without Him, my whole life would fall apart.
That I do so much and appear to have the capacity to absorb so much of life’s pressures and not let it get to me, or even burn out is all because of Jesus as my cornerstone, my anchor in times of storms. I will avoid getting carried away with analysing Cornerstone and save that for its own dedicated Song Lyric Analysis – tomorrow’s writing challenge!
We are Living Stones
I love the poetic description of us believers being “living stones”. The meaning is so true that in Christ, as our Cornerstone, we become alive in him. The analogy and metaphor of “living stones” has so many meanings. The symbolism of the act of baptism, where we die to our old ways and rise through the cleansing water to have new life is one. Another is in the Holy Spirit raining down on us, like fine mist to permeate us and come alive in us. As the Master Builder, God places His living stones just where He wants us to be. As living stones, we are connected to one another in the body of Christ. Our Lord, the foundation Stone, is alive forevermore and will never crumble. He will support us eternally. As living stones, our role to sing the praises of God even gives new meaning to Luke 19:39-40:
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I will be a living stone, crying out the praise and giving glory to God. I will encourage believers that Jesus, as our Cornerstone, is our anchor and foundation upon whom, we can find love, truth and light. I will declare His truth and shine His light.
Threadless Artist Shop Design
Today’s devotion is summarised in the single design graphic above, which has been added to my Threadless Artist Shop under the collection Discipleship Devotionals. Today’s design is the first to add a background behind the text – the latest experiment to see how it enhances the readability.
- Fonts used: Bodoni MT Black (start & end) & Calibri (middle)
- Font fill graphics: 3 stills courtesy of Church Motion Graphics:
- Paint Alive 9
- He Is Risen Blank
- Hot Paint Gradient 01
- Background effect: 50-pt soft edge