New Life

OPENING PRAYER

My Friend, I long to share the intimacy reserved for those who live the “yes” of faith.

 

Read: 1 PETER 2:4-10

[4] As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him- [5] 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. [6] 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.” [7] Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” [8] and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message-which is also what they were destined for. [9] But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. [10] Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 

 

Reflect: WHAT LESSON DOES PETER WISH US TO DRAW FROM THIS PICTURE?

Peter’s imagination now turns to another illustration for the Christian life–that of a building. He is most likely thinking of the Temple in Jerusalem, and he uses that as a picture of the new life we have in Christ.The all-important foundation stone determines the laying of the rest of the stones and gives a firm structural basis. We are like living stones, being built into a new temple with Christ as the important cornerstone. That cornerstone produces two different reactions, however. Some people have totally rejected him (8) and disobeyed his teaching. But those who accept him and his message are totally changed! We are now his very own people: chosen, royal, priestly, holy, belonging to God, recipients of his mercy (9,10). The result of those wonderful changes is that we can praise God even when life is at its toughest (9b). Athenogenes, a third-century bishop burned alive for his faith, went into the flames singing praises to his Lord. His song “O Gracious Light” still forms part of the liturgical tradition of some churches and is a reminder that our calling is to be a community of people who declare God’s praises unendingly (9).

 

APPLY

Declare the praises of God today, in spite of any tough circumstances.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

King of Glory, fill my heart with bold faith as I choose to trust in You alone.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
www.scriptureunion.org