Living Stones

Peter having spoken of Christ as a living, precious stone, adds, “You also as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

WHAT ARE BELIEVERS? “Stones,” for every Christian has that in him which is solid, durable, and ornamental.

The grace of God gives a man solidity–he cannot be as light, trifling, and vain as he used to be. He has solid and settled thoughts upon high and holy subjects; he has solid hopes and joys. He is not carried about with every wind of doctrine–but becomes established and settled in the faith.

He is durable too. Others fall away–but he endures to the end. Once fixed on the foundation, once really united to Christ, he remains built on Christ forever.

He is ornamental too. Some stones are capable of taking a very high polish, and so is the Christian. The polished stones in God’s temple will catch the rays of His glory and reflect them; and in every stone, the great Builder will see His own lovely likeness reflected.

They are living stones. They are living, each one being quickened by divine grace, and made new creatures. They are lively, made so by divine communications, and kept so by fellowship with Jesus, the life-giving stone.

These living stones are not thrown together in confusion–but each one is fitted for his place before he is put into it. Every separate stone is laid on the foundation, which bears the entire weighs of the whole building. All the stones are united to the foundation, by a cement so strong, that nothing can ever separate them. The Holy Spirit acts as the cement in this spiritual building. He . . .
brings us to Christ,
lays us on Christ,
unites us to Christ, and
keeps us in eternal union with Christ!

These living stones are a holy priesthood.
Being stripped of their natural and carnal coverings,
being washed in the laver of regeneration,
being clothed with the garments of salvation,
and covered with the robe of righteousness,
and being consecrated by the application of the blood of atonement, and the holy anointing oil, the unction from the Holy One–they are prepared and qualified to officiate in this living temple.

These living stones are to offer up spiritual sacrifices. This they are to do continually, the sacrifices of prayer and praise, which like holy incense, ascends as a precious perfume to God.

 

James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860

This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

The Sufferings Of This Present Life

Cheer up Christian, every day you are so much nearer to your eternal home! Never was the end of the journey so near as now; never were there so many troubles behind you, and so few before you, as now. It is all up hill until you reach the celestial city–you will therefore find it more or less difficult unto the end. But,
when you arrive at home,
when you enter into the holy city,
when you see your precious Lord Jesus,
when you enjoy the presence of God
–then all will be well, and well forever!

You will be in your Father’s house–your holy, happy home! You shall know no lack, nor will your desires remain ungratified. There will be . . .
no toil there,
no crosses or burdens to carry there,
no foes within nor without to face there,
no tears or pains there,
no conflicts to endure there.

Five minutes with Jesus–and then what shall you think of all your earthly temptations, toils, trials, and troubles? One hour in Heaven, with the certainty of being forever holy, and forever happy–what will all your earthly afflictions be then?

Then, then, shall you understand the apostle when he says, “I consider that the sufferings of this present life are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be conferred on us!” Romans 8:18

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

Our Own Health, Wealth, And Gratification

By nature, every man is nothing but a mass of selfishness, seeking self-gratification in a variety of ways!

The less we indulge SELF, the better. Selfishness is . . .
the bane of our happiness,
a bar to our usefulness, and
renders us unlovely to both God and others.

One of the most beautiful traits in the character of our Lord and Savior, was His unselfishness. He never seemed to please Himself, or consult His own ease. He was everyone’s servant, and everyone’s friend. Through His whole life, His own testimony was illustrated, “The Son of Man did not come to be served–but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28

We are naturally selfish, and seek our own health, wealth, and gratification, as our grand end. Selfishness clings to us, and appears more or less in our whole conduct.

But the gospel calls for self-denial, and bids us take up our cross, and follow our self-denying Master. The gospel requires dedication to God, that we may live to Him and for Him; and it directs us to seek the good of others–of all that are around us. What the gospel requires–true grace produces; and it will struggle and fight with all our selfish principles until it prevails.

We have lived long enough for ourselves! Would not we be more happy, and profitable to others–if we were less selfish, and more thoroughly imbued with the self-denying spirit of Christ?
Do we not live too much to ourselves? Do we not think too much of our own comfort, and pleasure, and ease?

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3-5 

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

Grace Gems: True Consecration

J.R. Miller, “The Shining Light” 1911

“It is the Lord’s will. Let Him do what He thinks best.” 1 Samuel 3:18

The heart of consecration is not devotion to this or that kind of service for Christ- but devotion to the Divine will, whatever God may ordain. It may not be any form of activity–sometimes it is quiet waiting. Consecration is not bringing a great many souls to Christ, attending a great many religious meetings, or teaching or preaching.

Some weary one, shut away in the darkness, in the chamber of pain, may be illustrating true consecration far more beautifully than those whose hands are fullest of Christian activities in the bustling world.

Consecration is devotion to the will of God. It is readiness to do, not what we want to do in His service–but what He gives us to do.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away! Blessed be the name of the LORD!” Job 1:21

“Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Nevertheless, I want Your will to be done, not Mine!” Luke 22:42

“Let the Lord’s will be done!” Acts 21:14

Your way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be,
Lead me by Your own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

I dare not choose my lot,
I would not, if I might;
Choose for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright!
Horatius Bonar
This is copied straight from a recent Grace Gem. In case you are unaware, Grace Gems are emailed daily and for free from gracegems.org. They are short quotes from past Godly men, mainly puritans, and I highly commend them to your attention and recommend you sign up.

If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

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