16 February 2019

Jeremiah 17:1-4, 2 Timothy 3:1–9, 1 Peter 2:4–10, Luke 3:7-8
 
Imagine having a heart so hard that you need an iron needle or a diamond point to put a mark in it. That is the hardness of the human heart, not just toward , toward their fellow man as well. The Israelites were completely and utterly ually lost. The diamond point and the iron stylus were engraving the loss of that which they valued. Their idols and treasures were taken away. Their was taken from them. It wasn’t that didn’t offer a choice, did. They chose to ignore it. Whether it was pride, stupidity, ignorance, or poor training, we will never know. It could be a combi of it all. This was not the last time either.
 
When writes to Timothy, there are already difficulties. They are under Roman rule. From a Jewish , they are almost at the same level as their forebears that suffered previously. Instead of writing something positive, warned Timothy that it was going to be worse. The list of issues that writes about is really nothing new. How they form in people’s lives, how they are reinforced, how they are lived out may look different, but the basic reality is that there is nothing new under the sun. There will always be deceivers, whose hearts are hard. still uses an iron stylus and a diamond point on our hearts.
 
Yet not all hearts of stone are equal. Jesus Christ is the heart of our . Peter called Jesus a stone that people tripped over. As the “rejected” stone, Jesus also became the cornerstone of our . When Jesus is the heart made of stone, it solid, firm, and the basis of our . There is a transformation here. The original heart of stone is one that rejects . The new heart of stone is . Weird isn’t it? There is a time where John warns the Jews that can make a whole new from a bunch of rocks. We are the rocks; we are the .
 
1) Normally we think of hearts of stone as bad. What do you think of it now?
 
2) Engraving on stone is difficult. One generally does it if the value of the stone is high, or the contribution of the stone to the greater whole is high. Why do you think sps so much effort engraving on hearts of stone?
 
3) We are quick to point at regarding their “hearts of stone” toward . Reread Jeremiah and Timothy. Where is calling you to soften your heart toward him?
 
FD) What is a cornerstone? What does it mean when we say that Jesus is our cornerstone?
Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.