RELIGIOUS COLUMN: God builds his temple with living stones | Columnists
As a Christian writer, I am blessed with God providing me with ideas and spiritual considerations to pass on to others. He creates opportunities for me to share, however, what I do is nothing more special than how millions of other Christians serve Him, and I humbly acknowledge that most are more talented and effective than me. I am only a small piece of a big puzzle, one voice among many others that points to the one who has all authority, who created everything and who knows everything.
I can honestly say that I am engrossed in writing about God and the Christian life, and my testimony includes that I did not pursue or plan this way of life. I know this sounds unusual, but writing came to me through a spiritual experience when I was younger and ever since has been a sacred part of my life. I received two prophetic encouragements which were confirmed and I am very grateful to God for his call. Writing is the first thing I think about when I wake up, and at night I have a notepad and pen on the table next to my chair to jot down my thoughts while our English bulldog Teddy snores in my lap. Scott Fitzgerald reportedly said, “You don’t write because you want to say something; you write because you have something to say. I am a seeker of truth and must spend part of my day meditating, praying, reading and writing. If I ignore a thought and plan to write it down later, it’s often like a dream that fades and will eventually dissipate. I’ve learned over the years that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I have to write it down or risk losing it.
Throughout my professional career (yes, I’ve been a bi-professional pastor), I’d jot ideas down, because often I’d hum a tune and a song complete with verses and chorus would suddenly come to mind. Later at home, I would play and sing this new song as if I had known it all my life. I typed them up and saved them at home as demos so I could remember them. Many of these original songs were recorded in professional studios as the Lord has helped me create several full CDs as well as YouTube videos which are available for those who wish to listen. Over the next few years writing music evolved into writing devotionals and sermons and became the foundation of what I do today. I’ve been playing guitar since I was a kid and have ministered in churches, nursing homes, prisons, homeless shelters, weddings, funerals, revivals, etc. throughout my life. As a former worship pastor in several churches, I have always enjoyed leading others into the presence of God.
So what drives every Christian to serve God? I believe he gives his people spiritual gifts and receives inspiration from the Holy Spirit to empower him to do his will. Everything the Father has placed in the hearts of his children is to accomplish a divine purpose. I Peter 2:5 says, “You are like living stones built up into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Christian pastors, teachers, singers and evangelists are messengers of the gospel of Christ which is the power of salvation for all who believe. When we confess that Jesus is our Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, as explained in Romans 10:9-12, we all become “living stones” in God’s eternal temple.
This analogy of God’s family as stones or bricks in a wall reveals that no one is considered more important than anyone else. As each stone supports the structure, they individually become unified with the body of Christ. Listen to Ephesians 2:19-22: “Now then, you are no longer strangers or strangers, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of the house of God. Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you are also built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. “Jesus, thank you for shedding your blood and for being resurrected so that we may be transformed into a living stone for your glory. Amen.”
Billy Holland is a licensed and ordained minister. He is also a teacher, writer and singer. To contact Holland, visit billyhollandministries.com.