1 Peter 2:4-6 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.
I visited my nephew’s monument in Wurzburg, Germany a couple years after he was killed, in the last hours of Operation Desert Storm, the first Persian Gulf war. I went to see the monument on a Saturday and while driving back to my hotel in Rammstein on Sunday, I excepted Christ into my heart. When I first saw the monument, I wasn’t impressed, it was just a rock with my nephew’s name on it. While driving back to my hotel that Sunday night, I started thinking about that rock and my nephew Alan. I started thinking about how Alan was a rock of honesty, he was a rock of integrity, he was a rock of courage, He was a rock of kindness and he was a rock of gentleness. I then thought, how appropriate that his monument, is just a rock. Being ignorant of the things of God at that time, I was not aware of the significance and symbolism associated with a rock/stone in the Bible. Shortly after I returned home from Germany and started going to church, a young child, who is now a worship leader in Florida, and who back then was in the Caravan class that my wife and I taught, passed out little stones to members of the congregation. I have kept that small little stone in my pocket for the past 35 years. It serves to remind me of that night, when the Living Stone revealed himself to me, forgave me of my sins, and took up residence in my heart, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Just like my nephew Alan gave his life to help insure our freedom, and the way of life that we all enjoy so much. That Living Stone gave His life so that Allen, and one day we, will be able to spend eternity in heaven in the very presence of Almighty God. Like I said, I have now been a Christian for approximately 35 years, and from day one I have attempted to use my gifts, talents, and abilities for God’s purpose. You might recall that the apostle Paul was given a thorn to prevent him from becoming conceited. I also have had a thorn in my side for the past 35 years, which I believe God removed today. Even though I have been in ministry for over 35 years, I have seen little fruit. This has always bothered me, especially when I see the condition our world is in. God removed the thorn from my side today by reminding me that we are not all called to be a Billy Graham, John Wesley, or the apostle Paul for example. God gives us all certain gifts, talents, and abilities, and we must operate within those gifts. I for example, have the gift of encouragement and service. Encouragement by testifying about what God has done in my life. Service, just like the person who cleans the church floors, to providing meals to the homeless and most important, to care for my wife who has MS and is bedridden. All of us together make up the church. All of us together, with the gifts we were endowed with by God, are being built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I do not know how effective I have been in ministry, but as an encourager, maybe I’m not supposed to know, else I too might become prideful and conceited. One day however, when we get to heaven, we will all know how effective we were. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the great cathedrals built in medieval times in Europe, or Lakewood Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, or my Internet ministry called WhisperArt, or if we’re talking about you and me, We all were created for God’s glory! Let us each sacrificially use our God-given gifts, talents, and abilities to build God’s kingdom, his spiritual house, his church, with Jesus being the chief cornerstone. Praise the holy name of Jesus!
God has given to each of us,
Different gifts, talents, and abilities.
To be used to build His kingdom,
That will last throughout eternity.
We are being made into a spiritual house,
Unlike the tabernacle in ancient times.
This house is made of flesh and bone,
Where God inhibits your heart and mine.
God would have us do our part,
Using our gifts to convince others to join in.
And tell others about this Jesus,
Who gave His life for our sin.
We are a holy priesthood,
And we are never alone.
We place our faith and trust in Jesus,
For He is our Chief Cornerstone.