VIDEO The Cornerstone – A Diagnosis of the Christ-Rejecters

The Cornerstone

Then [Jesus] looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone’?” Luke 20:17

In the ancient world, when a new stone building was to be constructed, the first stone set in place was the cornerstone. Great care was taken with the carving of the cornerstone since it determined the direction of the walls that were built out from it. The cornerstone was the most important stone in the building.

To the religious leaders of His day, Jesus intimated that He was the “chief cornerstone.” But of what? To what building was Jesus referring when He declared Himself to be the chief cornerstone? He didn’t say, but the apostle Paul did in Ephesians 2:19-22. Jesus initiated the building of what is becoming “a holy temple in the Lord”—that is, the Church of all true believers, also called “the household of God.” Jesus is the chief cornerstone, “the apostles and prophets” are the foundation, and we are the “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5) God is using to build the temple in which His presence dwells.

Everything depends on Jesus; He is the cornerstone that provides direction and structure to the Church. Our faith begins and ends with Him.

Christ is our temple, in whom by faith all believers meet. Matthew Henry


A Diagnosis of the Christ-Rejecters (Luke 20:19-26)

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Homeless by Choice

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:18

 

Keith Wasserman has chosen to be homeless for a few days every year since 1989 in order to grow in love and compassion. “I go to live on the streets to expand my perspective and understanding” of people who have no homes to live in, says Keith, executive director of Good Works, Inc.

I’m wondering whether Keith’s approach to become one with those he’s serving might be a small picture of what Jesus did for us. God Himself, the Creator of the universe, chose to confine Himself to the vulnerable state of a baby, to live as a human, to experience what we all experience, and to ultimately die at the hand of humans so that we can experience a relationship with God.

The writer of the book of Hebrews stated that Jesus “shared in [our] humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (2:14). Jesus was made lower than the angels, even though He’s their Creator (v. 9). He became human and died, even though He’s immortal. And He suffered for us, even though He’s the all-powerful God. Why would He do this? So that He could help us when we go through temptations and bring reconciliation between us and God (vv. 17–18).

May we experience His love today, knowing He understands our humanity and has already provided the way for us to be cleansed from our sins.

By Estera Pirosca Escobar

Today’s Reflection

Have you come to Jesus and experienced His love and forgiveness? If yes, how does this reality affect your life today? If not, will you receive Him today?

Acquiring Wisdom

Proverbs 4:20-27

The most obvious source of godly wisdom is the Bible. There we find the Lord’s principles for right character, conduct, and conversation, which apply to the situations and decisions that confront every human being.

We’re all able to recall times when we didn’t respond wisely. Those incidents can be traced back to one of two possibilities—either we didn’t know a certain biblical principle or we knew the principle that applied but chose to ignore it. To ensure that we’re familiar with God’s standards and the importance of following them, we have to spend time reading and understanding His Word.

For example, suppose that you walk into the office and a coworker verbally assaults you with undeserved blame for a costly mistake. Your flesh and the world would have you respond in kind with anger and malice. But Luke 6:27-29 offers a different approach, that might go something like this, spoken gently: “Is there anything else? Thank you for telling me how you feel about this.”

Knowledge comes from learning biblical principles; wisdom has to do with applying them. The Lord cautions us to keep His Word in our heart and in our head so we will heed His instructions (Josh. 1:8; Prov. 8:33).

In pursuing the Christian life, we acquire wisdom by absorbing Scripture, doing what it says, and observing the result, which is for our good even when consequences appear less than favorable. Special classes aren’t required; God simply wants an obedient heart and willing spirit.

Messages from the Messiah’s Life: The Man Born Blind

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1-2)

The wrong theology the disciples embraced still impacts our thinking today. There is a tendency to assign blame to others or look for circumstances that can give a rational explanation for misfortune. Sometimes, as in this case, the suffering had nothing to do with such conditions, but was so “that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3).

The same was true for the awful suffering of the great patriarch Job. All of the tragedies in his life were allowed by God to teach Satan a lesson. By God’s own evaluation, Job was a “perfect and an upright man” (Job 1:8), yet he patiently endured more suffering and sorrow than perhaps any man in history (James 5:11). Lazarus, too, was allowed to die because “this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4).

Once again, the Lord Jesus, the Creator of heaven and Earth, produced new matter where there was none before. In this case, it was not mere bread and meat or the mysterious power over gravity, wind, water, or distance, but the complex tissues, membranes, vessels, and nerves of new eyes.

Why did Jesus do this? Two results are obvious. The hardened Pharisees refused to accept the reality of what they knew had happened, revealing their evil heart. And the man who had been healed simply said, “Lord, I believe! And he worshipped him” (John 9:38). HMM III

Your Supernatural Energies

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

—Isaiah 40:31

It is possible to work far beyond the normal strength of the human constitution and yet experience little or no fatigue because the energy for the work has been provided, not by the burning up of human tissue, but by the indwelling Spirit of power. This has been realized by a few unusual souls, and the pity is that they are unusual.

Attention has recently been focused upon the fact that ministers suffer a disproportionately high number of nervous breakdowns compared with other men. The reasons are many, and for the most part they reflect credit on the men of God. Still I wonder if it is all necessary. I wonder whether we who claim to be sons of the new creation are not allowing ourselves to be cheated out of our heritage. Surely it should not be necessary to do spiritual work in the strength of our natural talents. God has provided supernatural energies for supernatural tasks. The attempt to do the work of the Spirit without the Spirit’s enabling may explain the propensity to nervous collapse on the part of Christian ministers.   SIZ184-185

Lord, today I pray for that pastor who is about to give up and quit from sheer exhaustion. Give him that supernatural enabling. Amen.

 

Let your love be wide as His

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.—John 3:16.

 

Let your love be wide as His,

With the whole world round His knees;

Gather into your warm heart

All His creatures,—not a part;

So your love shall be like His.

Katharine Tynan Hinkson.

 

God hath made all that is made, and God loveth all that He hath made; and he that loveth all his fellow-Christians, for God’s sake, he loveth all that is.

Juliana.

 

Your God is love; love Him and in Him all men, as His children in Christ. Your Lord is a fire; do not let your heart be cold, but burn with faith and love. Your Lord is light; do not walk in darkness. Your Lord is a God of mercy and bountifulness; be also a source of mercy and bountifulness to your neighbors.

Father John.

 

“Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thysel,” and then go on thy way. The way in which God shall lead thee may be over rocks and deserts, over mountains and oceans, amid things perilous to the sight and the touch but still go on thy way rejoicing.

Thomas C. Upham.

 

Despise Not Your Youth

“Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak; for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” Jer. 1:6, 7

Jeremiah was young and felt a natural shrinking when sent upon a great errand by the Lord; but He who sent him would not have him say, “I am a child.” What he was in himself must not be mentioned, but lost in the consideration that he was chosen to speak for God. He had not to think out and invent a message, nor to choose an audience: he was to speak what God commanded, and speak where God sent him, and this he would be enabled to do in strength not his own.

Is it not so with some young preacher, or teacher who may read these lines? God knows how young you are, and how slender are your knowledge and experience; but if He chooses to send you, it is not for you to shrink from the heavenly call. God will magnify Himself in your feebleness. If you were as old as Methuselah, how much would your years help you? If you were as wise as Solomon, you might be equally as willful as he. Keep you to your message and it will be your wisdom; follow your marching orders and they will be your discretion.