Monday, September 29, 2008

Earth, Water and Stones

Greetings, everyone. I know it's been some time since my last post and for that I wish to apologize, as I have felt lacking in the inspiration on what to write. Tonight, I do feel inspired to write about something that came to me some time ago.

Some time ago, when going to a study class at church, I had been given a few analogies which have helped me in understanding some aspects of what God wants for us and what value we have to him. Each has grown since it was given to me, in discussion with others. I hope you'll find them as meaningful as they have been to me and others I've shared them with.

The first is the idea that we are living stones - 1 Peter 2:5 says, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

Remember that man was made from earth - Genesis 2:7, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul."

In Exodus 20:24-25, God specifies what is acceptable for an altar: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me" ... "And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou has polluted it."

What then pollutes us, as living stones? Jeremiah 17:1 gives some insight: 'The sin' ... 'is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart'

If we then are hewn, graven, tooled, and polluted by sin, how can we be acceptable? What can smooth out a stone? Proverbs 16:22 tells us, "Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him taht hath it"; Proverbs 18:4, "the wellspring of wisdom as a flowing brook"; and Jesus, in John 4:14, "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

What does flowing water do to stones? It smooths them; the wellspring of life everlasting from God has the power to smooth away the ways we have tooled and graven ourselves, making us whole stones once more. One person I told this to brought up the fact that water does not smooth stones quickly; similarly, we are not remade as whole, unpolluted stones in an instant, but over time in our walk with God. The pastor at the church, after hearing all of that, commented that water smooths stones faster if there's some grit in it; to which I observed that the 'grit' which helps to smooth us are the grains that have been carved from us collectively in sin, as we know that hardship helps us grow in our path with God. Lastly, an observation I took from all of it is that if we continue carving at ourselves until there be nothing left to save, all that would be left is a pile of sand; however, another person replied optimistically to that, saying that, in a sense, even a grain of sand could be considered a stone.

The second was a response to the question that someone asked at study class at the church: 'Why would God care to save us if there's nothing good in us?' (In response to discussion of how all good is God's and from God, and not from us.) The answer: God made us out of earth, so while we may not have any good of our own, we have the potential to be very good soil for planting his seeds.

We are very good soil for planting ANY seeds, however, including those of sin; God will help us to tend our garden, to keep it free from the sin-weeds that will spring up, if we will only accept His help and be willing to work with Him.

Also, I would like to recommend to my visitors here a blog which has impressed me greatly with its message: The Caregiver's Heart at .

In closing, I know that I have not yet written on "how we can put God back into our words and choose to use our mouths to call the blessings rather than curses", like I meant to; hopefully, I will get that written up soon. Until I do, I would like to refer you to Ephesians 4:29, read it and see what it means to you, and try to filter what comes out of your mouth based on it. I started doing this some time ago, and I was surprised by how much change was (and admittedly still is) needed.

As always, intelligent and/or non-negative feedback is welcome, in agreement or otherwise.