Posts Tagged ‘foundation’

cornerstone[Peter said] “. . . then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’” [Acts 4:10-11, NIV]

This is the gate of the Lord
    through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
    you have become my salvation.

The stone the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone; . . . [Psalm 118:20-22, NIV]

gateOriginally, a cornerstone was foundational to the construction of a building because all other stones would be laid out in reference to it. Later, this stone became more ceremonial with inscriptions and time capsules and the like. I am sure that both Peter and the Old Testament writers were referencing the Messiah as a cornerstone to the faith in its most traditional sense. For the disciples, Jesus was the cornerstone for something very new upon which believers would build a church–a force of change. For the psalmist, the prediction would be that the One Messiah would be rejected (unrecognized for his assigned role to humanity) and despite being a way to God, the way would be closed. And yet, despite rejection, the foundational stone would remain and the “building” would grow.

We are living the outcome, for good and for ill. The “house” is still standing, rooted and grounded by the cornerstone. And inexplicably, this structure is also a gate. As soon as anyone links up with the cornerstone, that person becomes a “gate” for the next person to enter, to connect.

holdinghandsIt’s a strange metaphor when combined, and yet, I get it. In this picture, the gates (the people) are transparent but linked up. We are transparent because we want people to be able to see inside, to behold the glory as it were, the spark and flame of life.

Jesus, the cornerstone of the Church as it was meant to be. Jesus, the cornerstone of my life as it is meant to be as well. Come in. The way is open; the gate is open.

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One of my favorite worship songs is “Refiner’s Fire” by Brian Doerksen. It’s an invitation. Funny, so many people get hung up on “hell fire,” forgetting about “God-fire.”

I Corinthians 3:13
” . . . [the] work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”

There are several scriptures that refer to the cleansing power of fire. I know it and I understand it and yet, when the fire comes, the testing, the trials, I’m crying bitter tears.

It’s simple really. As a Christian, I profess building my world on the foundation of the Messiah, the redeeming Christ. Anything that is built on anything else will not last. Sometimes that “anything else” is wrong motives or secret desires or lies or even denial.

When the things (ministries, churches, missions, schools, productions) humankind builds in the name of God fail, be assured, the foundation was compromised.

Some people claim it was the power of evil that broke through their plans and perhaps that’s true. But, I maintain that God is sovereign. And no power can stand against God. No, it is not God that is the problem nor Satan, that great enemy. It’s just us. We build too quickly or too soon. We are impatient beings. We are impatient believers.

I trust the fire of God. I must. I will. I do.

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Luke 20:17b-18
‘The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone’…Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.

As I meditated on this scripture this morning, I took a long time trying to figure it out. I didn’t even know who might the builders be or what are they building. Then I compared this reading with the Matthew version (Matthew 22:42-44) and it is quite clearly stated: it is the Kingdom of God being built. So, if Jesus is the foundation, the cornerstone, of that Kingdom, then those who fall on Him (trip over Him, ignore Him, try to cover up the reality of Him), will break. Bottom line, the Kingdom of God will not fail. It is not something that can be destroyed. Those who try, will break. And if someone tries to put something else as the foundation, that will be crushed, whether it be person, place, idea, or concept. The Christ is the true foundation whether one accepts/believes/understands Him or not… like gravity, a law.

Matthew 20:43 says, “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” We are the builders. And if we do not build on the cornerstone, we will fail and the kingdom will pass to those who do build upon the Christ. What is this kingdom? Where is this kingdom? It is broad and wide. It is small and deep. It is within. It is without.

We must first place the cornerstone within and from there, the kingdom of God that is uniquely me or you, grows and touches the unique (sacred) buildings of others and eventually, encompasses our world.

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