2019-06-04 The Cornerstone

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalm 18:2

Yesterday, we looked at a list of things Jesus commands us to do, things we are to do individually and together as the body of Christ. Let’s break these down.

Wait & Watch for Jesus to Return.

Matthew 24:42-47 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

Folks, who of us would not want to be so blessed? This attitude of eager anticipation should be at the forefront of our minds. There is more to this passage. Use it to be encouraged and to warn.

Equip and Build.

Ephesians 4:11-16 to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Listen, this command is probably one of the strongest arguments for smaller congregations. We are required to think alike, to be eager to obey Christ. The bigger the congregation, the more diversity of thought. Soon, you have too many opinions that teachings become selective. What a tragedy that is! The depths and riches of Jesus will never be exhausted. Why limit our mining of this precious resource? Dig deep, I say. Let the hungry rule the teaching; the fair-weathered fans will disappear on their own. So be it. Isn’t it apparent from this passage, and many others, that this is exactly what Jesus intends? The work to be done is far too important to get shackled by and to those who want to drag us down.

Be Holy as God is Holy.

Colossians 1:22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,

1 Peter 1:15-16 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Ephesians 5 (This entire chapter is directed to this topic)

All too often, we claim passages like these are proof that we cannot live a pure life. True enough, but that certainly does not excuse us from not trying with everything we have. Yes, we are absolutely dependent on Jesus to rid ourselves of sin, and we must cooperate with the Holy Spirit. We have drowned out his voice. We must attune our ears. It is said by many that holiness is God’s primary attribute, above even love. This would be a worthwhile topic in itself sometime. And guess what? God requires us to be like him. So, set yourselves apart in your conduct, my friends.

Do not even these three commands show us that there is something far more than we are experiencing now in church? Imagine what could happen if we truly submitted ourselves to a spirit-filled life! Imagine surrounding ourselves with a group of like-minded people who were determined to give this Jesus stuff everything they’ve got? I tell you what, Jesus himself says this:

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

That’s the kind of stuff I’m looking for!

Father, keep it coming!

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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