God gave this new life for a purpose –
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[a] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Peter referred Christ as the living stone whose message was rejected by many in his time and even after his death. And like Christ, and many people who followed in his footsteps, we will experience challenges and sufferings in life but also reminded them that God is building them up to become “spiritual houses” which actually refers to men and women who represents him in this world.
Although a lot of people rejected this very message and hope, there are some who have accepted this message and received this hope that comes from Christ Jesus. These people are filled with life, vibrancy and joy that brings a life that honors what the Lord has done in their lives.
The Message Translation speaks of this verse this way:
Welcome to the living Stone, the source of life (which refers to Christ). The workmen took one look and threw it out; God set it in the place of honor. Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God…
What does this mean?
It means that Christ did not just come to save you from your wretched life; He also called you for the abundant life which includes service. He gave us this new life that we may be able to testify of Christ’s goodness that we may also grow in him.
God placed us where we are to become his ambassadors, men and women who will boldly speak of his goodness, of the message of hope we received and declare like Peter and John’s very own words when they were asked to keep silent to the hope they profess in Acts 4:20:
“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
My friend, can you just stay silent to what God has done in your life? Do you keep silent when favor and blessings come your way? Do you keep silent when the Lord took you out from darkness and let you come into his marvelous light?
I don’t know about you, but I definitely WILL NOT BE SILENT AND WILL KEEP ON SPEAKING OF WHO GOD IS IN MY LIFE!
Just to share my short testimony, I was 13 years old when I started my journey as a believer. It was not a smooth road knowing that by the age of 18, there were a lot of things going on in my life. My parents were having issues, I was not sure of my identity in Christ and I was in depression.
In 2002, my sister ran away with her boyfriend and my parents got separated months before that. My younger brother was doing badly as well. But it was in that summer time that I prayed intently to the Lord. I told him that no matter what is happening, I will serve you only and only if you promise to protect my family and you will not lay hold off me.
That was 10 years ago and the Lord has been faithful. God used those situations to build my character and increase my understanding of him. It was through those situations that the Lord was able put in my heart how to deal with other young people experiencing these things.
My sufferings became an avenue to share my testimony of the Lord’s goodness. And I was able to effectively encourage young people, give them hope and challenge them even in the midst of serious situations.
If the priest in the Old Testament time offers sacrifices to God at the temple, we, as the New Testament believers are called for the same calling by offering sacrifices through our life. If you’re a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ at this present time – you have been commissioned to become his representative wherever you are.
The life we live (the things we do to honor the Lord) even in difficult situations – whether at church, in our homes and where we work, this is our spiritual act of worship. This is what the author refers to as our “spiritual sacrifices to God”. It’s bringing thanks to our Lord and Savior because of the good things he has done in our lives.