So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
There is a story that falls under the heading of biblical legend, as it does not appear anywhere in Scripture. However, its profound meaning is woven throughout the pages of Holy Writ from Genesis to Revelation.
The story goes like this: Jesus was walking with His disciples, and He asked each of them to pick up a stone and carry it for Him. They all picked up stones — some bigger, some smaller. Peter picked up a small, smooth stone that would be easy to carry and placed in in his pocket. They traveled together for several hours, arriving at the next town tired and hungry. Jesus promptly turned the stones into bread and said, “Enjoy your lunch.”
Peter was frustrated, knowing that his small stone — which was now a morsel of bread — would only provide him a meager meal. After lunch, Jesus asked His disciples to pick up another stone and carry it for Him. Peter, being a quick study, picked up a large boulder and hoisted it on his shoulder. Jesus and the disciples traveled to the next town throughout the afternoon. This time, they arrived at a river bank, tired and hungry, and Jesus directed them to throw their stones into the river, which they did at once. They looked at Jesus, waiting expectantly for the miracle of their stones being turned into bread . . . or perhaps fish! This time, however, Jesus did nothing. When Peter and the disciples began to grumble, Jesus looked at them with great compassion and asked them gently, “For whom did you carry the stone?”
This story is as profound as it is personal, because we are all like Peter. The first time the disciples carried the stones for Jesus; the second time, they carried the stones for themselves. Are you and I any different? How often, in serving our Lord, are we actually serving ourselves? How often do we serve with an eye toward what we will get in return for our service?
The question we must ask ourselves is this: For whom are we carrying the stone? Perhaps the stone is . . .
- Bible Study
- Church Attendance
- Giving Money
- Volunteer Service
- Sharing The Gospel
This list will vary from saint to saint, but the goal must never change. We are to carry every stone for the glory of our Savior and the expansion of His Kingdom . . . and for no other reason. Is this the confession of our lives?
I have admitted to our congregation on more than one occasion that all too often my so-called “service” is stained by the sin of my own self-interest. I would guess that you have experienced similar moments of conviction. At those times, recall the great compassion of our Savior, and accept His gracious invitation:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!