Tim Douglas: Building the kingdom
In 1 Peter 2:5 (NIV), you, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
We moved here from Aberdeen, S.D., in a snowstorm in mid-November 2010.
There were not as many rocks in northeastern South Dakota as there are here. I drive around town and see rocks used for landscaping and in many other creative ways.
It seems Craig has no shortage of rocks. Most of the rocks in South Dakota were in piles in the fields that the farmers had gathered each spring when the ground began to thaw and the rocks had been pushed to the surface because of the freezing winter ground.
God’s word calls those who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, living stones.
Unlike the rock piles in the fields of South Dakota, we as living stones are being used for a specific purpose – to build a spiritual house. However, to be useful to the builder, a stone must go through some changes.
The builder must examine the stone and determine where it fits or if he needs to shape the stone some way to make it useful in the building.
This shaping may be difficult and tedious work involving chiseling away at rough edges or sanding the stone with an abrasive material in order for the rock to be useful.
I believe one of the key phrases in 1 Peter 2:5 is “being built.”
I am in no way where I want to be in my spiritual journey and growth. The Holy Spirit is still shaping me and I am part of a spiritual house that is “being built.”
So why is this spiritual house being built with these living stones? Verse 5 continues, “To be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
The Holy Spirit is continually chiseling, grinding, and sanding away and shaping the believer in order to create within us a holy example to others.
The Apostle Paul even wrote about himself in Philippians 3:13 that he had not yet apprehended or attained everything God desired to do in his life.
Another phrase that jumps out at me in this verse is “acceptable to God.”
God calls us living stones for a reason. We are to be more than a rock, like those in the piles in fields that just take up space. We are to be active in building the kingdom of God.
There is a contemporary Christian song that refers to “going through the motions.”
A true disciple of Jesus will not worship out of routine or habit, just taking up space, but will go deeper and worship in spirit and truth.
A true disciple will allow the Holy Spirit to work on them and allow the Holy Spirit to work through them to touch lives.
I am here to help build the kingdom of God and look forward to working alongside other pastors and congregations that preach and believe that Jesus is the only Savior and Lord.
I believe God is ready to do great things in our community.
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UPDATE: The West Fire is now burning 2,403 acres Monday afternoon, after only about 700 acres were burning late Monday morning.