What does it mean to be living stones? – Your Daily Bible Verse – July 31

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What does it mean to be living stones?
By Rachael Adams

Today’s Bible Verse: “As you come to Him, the Living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him—you too, like living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. For in the scripture it says, “Behold, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and he who trusts in him shall never be ashamed.” 1 Peter 2:4-8

Recently my family and I spent a day at the lake. We pulled our boat to shore for our kids to explore, and soon after they started jumping off the rocks. As I watched them having fun and enjoying nature, my eyes started to wander to the shore. I was drawn to the beauty and variety of rocks, layered and altered over time. If only these rocks could talk, oh the stories they could tell.

Later, I decided to learn what the Bible says about stones and found that the Bible referred to them quite often. The majority of mentions relate to altars built for the Lord. An altar is a memorial built to symbolize a place where God met a person or a place to offer a sacrifice. While studying this subject, I discovered three main types: an altar of sacrifice, an altar of remembrance and an altar of faith.

An altar of sacrifice

In my opinion, the most notable example of an altar of sacrifice was when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his long-awaited son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). Abraham obeyed by making the journey, arranging the wood, and laying his bound son on it. However, at the last second, God stopped Abraham and provided a ram instead of Isaac.

This unfathomable act foreshadows God sacrificing his only son Jesus, the Lamb of God. In the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus offered himself on an altar in the form of a cross. Because of His sacrifice, we no longer have to offer sacrifices like they did in the Old Testament. However, we can offer ourselves to the Lord as living sacrifices and offer the altar of our hearts. In our lives, it feels like daily setting aside our own desires to follow Him, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal, and trusting Him to guide us.

An altar of remembrance

One of my favorite examples of an altar of remembrance comes from Joshua. If you remember his story, he was leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and they had to cross the Jordan. But they needed a miracle from the Lord to do so – the river was in flood, making the waters turbulent and unnavigable. The Lord came forward and helped them cross safely.

But before they crossed all the way to the Promised Land, God wanted them to go back to the Jordan River and gather 12 stones to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. He ordered them to build a memorial to commemorate the miracle. The altar was to serve as a reminder to future generations to learn what God had done for them (Joshua 4).

Reading Joshua’s story convinces me when I think of how many times I prayed for something and God showed up and answered my prayer and I just moved on to the next prayer. I want to remember, but how often do I forget how he showed up and provided for me.

It prompts me to consider building metaphorical memorials in our hearts to thank Him for being present and answering our calls. What would it be like to symbolically lay a memorial to remember his faithfulness? Could we build a figurative altar of remembrance to tell our children and our children’s children what He has done in our lives?

An altar of faith

I only found one Altar of Faith in my research and it was built by King David. Israel was experiencing a pestilence, so David built an altar to the Lord and prayed on behalf of the land. God answered his call and the plague stopped (2 Samuel 24). What faith he had to first build the altar expecting God to meet their needs. As a result of his active belief, God showed up and performed the miracle.

I am inspired by that kind of faith. There are many areas in my life where I need God to come forward and act on my behalf. I guess it’s the same for you. Could God ask us to first lay down stones with active faith, as David did, so that He could act on our behalf?

1 Peter 2:4-5, inspirational image

Our altars

Like those rocks along the shore of the lake, we are living stones, unique and weathered. Our stories of sacrifice, remembrance and faith overlap generation after generation, emphasizing the presence of God and showing evidence of his work in our lives.

Peter writes, “When you come to Him, the Living Stone, you are like living stones built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5).

With Christ as our cornerstone, I pray that our collective stones will tell a great story for his glory along the shores of this world. Together, the altars we build to him also build a holy priesthood for him, so that more stones can be added to the beauty of the shore. If only these rocks could talk, oh the stories they could tell – the great story of God that we are privileged to play a part in. What a glorious sight to behold.


Rachel Adams is a writer, speaker, podcaster and founder of The Love Offer. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women to fulfill their God-given purpose of living our faith together by loving God, loving others, and learning to love ourselves. Rachael and her husband live in Kentucky with their two children. Connect with her online at rachaelkadams.com or @rachaeladamsauthor on social media.

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