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Posts Tagged ‘Cornerstone’

Isaiah 28:16 – “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.””
Ephesians 2:20 – “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,”

The following dialogue comes from the new Super Secret Secret Squirrel cartoon, which Hanna-Barbera aired as part of the show 2 Stupid Dogs.

Secret Squirrel was locked up in a cell in a straitjacket. A microscopic menace named Quark had made it look like he was crazy so that he would be locked up. Quark was destroying massive buildings, to which Secret asked him: “how could a subatomic speck like you destroy all those structures?”

Quark: “oh, it’s so simple; I just pulled out the bottom atom!” (which he demonstrates by removing the bottom atom of the stool Secret had sat upon, causing it to crumble.)

After bragging about his plan to wipe out North America for his entertainment career, he escapes. Suddenly the wall falls down; there stands Secret’s faithful sidekick, Morocco Mole!

Secret: “Morocco!”
Morocco: “Secret! I knew you weren’t crazy. You’re only crazy about catching criminals!”
Secret: “Thanks, Morocco. By the way, how did you knock down that huge wall?”
Morocco: “Simple; I just pulled out the bottom brick! heh.” (showing Secret the bottom brick as he unties him.)

Now what that humorous cartoon points out is a very simple construction fact: most all structures have a dependent component that the rest of the building is fabricated upon. It’s known as the cornerstone in most buildings. Wikipedia defines a cornerstone as “The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornerstone)

My father, a retired brick mason, always started laying out a building by constructing a corner to build the intersecting walls off of; without that steady corner, the walls wouldn’t be sound enough.

What is Jesus without the church? Well, He is still the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior, God; that doesn’t change. What is the church without Jesus? That’s the point in a nutshell. Without Jesus, the church would be like other religions that eventually cave in and collapse. It would be a shell, a sham, a house of cards that would fold under pressure.

Christian, remember today that Jesus is the Cornerstone of your faith; faith built upon such a Rock can stand up to anything.

Something to think about.

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Verses 8-12: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

A fellow Carpenter for Christ told our group this story once, about how he was building a small rustic building on his property in his spare time. One day he went to put the door frame on the building and went to choose the sturdy beam that would be the main door post. He had several milled posts to choose from; among them was a sturdy post, but it had some knots in it, so he rejected it. He later found what he thought would be the perfect selection— straight, clean, and aesthetically pleasing. He ran out of time for that day, so he placed that post to the side to work on it later. He was delayed returning to the building work by some rain that came into the area. By the time he could get back to the construction, he discovered that this “perfect” post had warped in the rain and the sunshine which followed the storm. No longer good and straight, he couldn’t use it. He searched through the other planks of wood, but they, too, had warped and twisted in the elements. Finally, he came back to the rejected, knotty post. To his amazement, he discovered it was still just as firm and straight—it had not warped under the pressure of the elements. Turned out it made the perfect corner post for his door after all.

Isn’t that just what Peter was telling the elders and rulers who had brought John and him before them? The source of the miracle of the healing of the lame man was none other than Jesus Christ, who those leaders had rejected. What’s more, Peter went on to inform them that this Savior who the leaders had rejected was not just the Source of the healing, but the very foundation, the very anchor, the very cornerstone of the church…and that there was no other Source of salvation but Him! Oh, they could pick someone else, but they’d be wrong. What better message to share during these days leading up to the celebration of His resurrection.

Happy Easter! He is risen!

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Acts 4:11 “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’”

My father was a brickmason by trade. I worked on many a job with him growing up during summers. I’ve been on jobs where we started with a clean slab foundation. One of the first things he would do as he began to lay brick would be to lay the bricks in a corner of the building. He would lay the brick several courses high, spanning both walls it touched, always checking to make sure everything was good and level. He would lay another corner the same way…only then after they were done, would he lay the bricks in the middle. You see, the cornerstone of a building is very important; the rest of the building wall will line up straight and level (or not) depending on how level and set that cornerstone is.

Peter quoted Psalms 118:22 here, talking about how the cornerstone (speaking figuratively of Jesus) was rejected by the leaders of the day, yet became the chief cornerstone of Christianity. Upon Him is everything based and rooted in our belief. The religious leaders of the day did not think the Messiah would come in the form of Jesus; they were expecting a conquering military and political leader. But, as usual, the religious leaders missed it, rejecting the Living Foundation of our faith.

So, for your information, Jesus is the Cornerstone (as the song goes). I can’t say it any better than that.

Oh, by the way, the next verse in Psalms following this one, is verse 23: “This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.”

Something to think about today.

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Verses 20-22: “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”

My father is a retired brick mason; I know of no finer craftsman than him when it comes to laying brick, block, or stone. When I was younger and would sometimes help him on jobs, I noticed that he would always begin laying brick for a wall of a house by starting the corners first. In my childlike mind, I would wonder why he didn’t just start the wall from one end and go to the other, like you or I would draw a line from point A to point B. He wouldn’t do that…he’d lay several courses (rows) of brick to form the corners in a triangular shape (starting the 2 walls that form the corner), and then he’d fill in the wall itself between them. I now understand why: he needed to establish the corner of the wall in order for the wall itself to be anchored and thus able to support the building.

As Christians, we need an established anchor who is strong enough to support the whole body of the church; that cornerstone is Jesus Christ Himself, just as the Scripture says. As the old Bible school song states, “the wise man builds his house upon the rock”. That Rock is Jesus; He is the Solid Rock. Is your household of faith built on the Rock?

Something to think about.

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Ephesians 6:14 – “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS,”

“Acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin” is the definition of righteous. I read those words, and I can’t help but think “what an empowering feeling it is to act in accord with divine or moral law, to be free from guilt or sin”. It would give you a confidence, a sure and purposeful feeling.

I think of Superman (yes, believe it or not, I do have a life outside of comic books, but follow me here…). Whenever you saw Superman on a magazine cover or TV, it was usually in the pose of strong defender: standing tall, confident, in the protective, “super-heroic” stance (chest stuck out, hands on hips, immovable, invincible). You knew that nothing would stop him from protecting people, striving for truth and justice. Having been raised by the Kents, he was grounded in a good moral foundation.

As Christians, we too, are grounded in a good moral foundation…the ultimate foundation, actually…the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. No, He doesn’t wear a super-suit, but He is our ultimate Defender, our Advocate, our Shepherd. Only in Him, living in accordance with His divine law, can we be free from guilt and sin. That’s how it feels to put on that “breastplate of righteousness”.

We may not “leap tall buildings in a single bound”…but all Jesus asks us to do, is go in His Name, and make disciple makers. If we try to do that on our own, you might as well try to “run faster than a speeding bullet”! But when we let go, and let God, and put on that “breastplate of righteousness”…you’ll be amazed at how He can use you!

Have a blessed day!

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