November 21, 2017

Cornerstone

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My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly trust in Jesus’ name

Christ alone; Cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour’s love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

When He shall come with trumpet sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless stand before the throne

Singer/Songwriter: Reuben Morgan along with Hillsong United

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Ever have God drop just a part of a song into your thoughts…and it keeps echoing through your mind repeatedly?  That’s what happened to me with this song.  As I was praying one morning “ ♪♬♪ Christ alone, cornerstone ♪♬♪ ” popped into my mind and hasn’t left yet.  (I figure there is a point God wants me to understand here.)

I found several definitions of ‘cornerstone’:

  • at the tip of the angle
  • capstone that holds the whole structure together
  • the most important stone in the structure
  • the one on which the structure’s stability depends

I also found the following Scriptures:

Therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed [shaken, ashamed]
Isaiah 28:16 NASB

…with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:20b HCSB

Look!  I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame!
1 Peter 2:6 HCSB

As I was researching this song, I found this quote by Ben Fielding of Hillsong United:

“Jesus is the cornerstone…He is the centerpiece of our hope and compass for all our endeavors. Jesus is the firmest of foundations. Jesus is the reference point for all we have and all that we are. He is the One who holds all things together.”

Jesus laid the foundation with His very life.  He is what holds us together.  He is the one on which our stability depends.  I knew that Jesus was the cornerstone of my salvation but I had never thought of it in this way.  Not only is He the cornerstone of my salvation but Jesus is also the cornerstone of my relationship, the foundation of my life.  So what does that look like?

1 Samuel 15:22a tells us “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice”.  And in Mark 12:30-31 (NLT) Jesus shows us what is most important:

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.
No other commandment is greater than these.”

With Jesus as our cornerstone, our lives should be a reflection of Him.  Our greatest challenge is to bring our lives under obedience to God and love as Jesus loved.  Being submissive to Him is a choice we make; our obedience brings glory to God and shines His light of love on those around us.  We may occasionally fail but, when we trust solely in Jesus’ name, we are met by God’s unchanging grace.  Though we are weak, Christ’s love is our strength.

Christ alone, cornerstone…for He is Lord of all.

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Father God, thank You so much for giving us Jesus as our cornerstone.  Thank You for the stability He brings to our lives, and the strength we find in His love.  Help us be a reflection of Him in our daily lives.  Thank You for Your unchanging grace when we fail.  We love You.  Amen – It Is SO!

 

 

You Are My Strength Psalm 71

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I will come in the strength and with the mighty acts of the Lord God;
I will mention and praise Your righteousness, even Yours alone.
O God, You have taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared Your wondrous works.
Yes, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, [but keep me alive]
until I have declared Your mighty strength to [this] generation,
and Your might and power to all that are to come.
Your righteousness also, O God, is very high [reaching to the heavens],
You Who have done great things; O God, who is like You, or who is Your equal?
Psalms 71:16-19

You are my strength
Strength like no other
Strength like no other
Reaches to me

You are my hope
Hope like no other
Hope like no other
Reaches to me

In the fullness of Your grace
In the power of Your Name
You lift me up
You lift me up

Unfailing love
Stronger than mountains
Deeper than oceans
Reaches to me

Your love O Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness
Reaches to the sky

Singer/Songwriter – Reuben Morgan with Hillsong United

CHRISTLife — A Quiet Time (Part Three)

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Each Saturday recently we have been looking in-depth at a few of the most important aspects of having a quiet time—or as some folks call it—a devotional time.  Already we have talked about two very foundational aspects of a quiet time—Bible reading and singing praises.  This week we are remembering the importance of being thankful and expressing our gratitude to our Father.

Truly, is there anything else that you can think of that can so change your heart’s attitude more than thankfulness?  I don’t think it presumptuous to say that every one of us has had times of worry, sorrow, despair, grief, anguish, pain in which we turned our hearts to seek God and found ourselves praising and thanking Him for His goodness and kindness towards us.  True?

Before we go any further, let’s stop for just five minutes and worship our God voicing our thanks and our praise!


~  Thank You  – Hillsong / Songwriter – Reuben Morgan  ~
Thank You for Your kindness, thank You for Your mercy
Thank You for the Cross, thank You for the price You paid

Thank You for salvation, thank You for unending grace
Thank You for Your hope, thank You for this life You gave

There is no one like You…There is no one like You, God
All my hope is in You, Jesus Jesus

To Your name we give all the glory
To Your name we give all the praise
And You’re alive—Our God everlasting—let Your face shine on us

Thank You for Your promise, thank You for Your favor
Thank You for Your love…everything You’ve done for me

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The Psalmist, writer of many, many songs of thanks and praise, had this in his heart:

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
Who can put into words and tell the mighty deeds of the Lord?
Or who can show forth all the praise [that is due Him]?
Psalms 106:1 and 2 AMP

Who can speak forth enough words to tell all the wonderful, mighty things that God has done?  Or who can utter all the praise that is due Him?  Clearly the simple answer is ‘No one.’  But that doesn’t mean we don’t still thrill to voice our gratitude and thankfulness to our Great God!

I checked out Webster’s definition of thankfulness:

THANK’FUL, adjective.
Grateful; impressed with a sense of kindness received, and ready to acknowledge it.

• The Lord’s supper is to be celebrated with a thankful remembrance of His sufferings and death.
• Be thankful to Him, and bless his name (Psalm 100).

I think Mr. Webster’s definition clearly shows that thankfulness is both thought and action—you ‘sense’ having received <God’s> kindness AND you ‘acknowledge’ it. Here’s a great example:

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come before His presence with singing!
Know that the Lord is God!
It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]!
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
and a thank offering and into His courts with praise!
Be thankful and say so to Him,
bless and affectionately praise His name!
For the Lord is good;
His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting,
His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
Psalm 100

The Psalmist was confessing—remembering—just a few things he was grateful for, AND voicing his gratitude.  We can—we should—do the same! We have oh-so-very-much to be thankful for, amen?  We definitely ‘sense’ God’s abundant goodness and kindness to us, true?  And we acknowledge it through our words of gratitude and thankfulness.

I will thank Yahweh with all my heart;
I will declare all Your wonderful works.
Psalm 9:1

I cried to You, O Lord, and to the Lord I made supplication.
Hear, O Lord, have mercy and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!
To the end that my tongue and my heart
and everything glorious within me
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalms 30:10, 12

So in your quiet time (but not ONLY in your quiet time!) may I encourage you to tell Your Father how very grateful you are for His goodness, for His protection, for His healing, for His deliverance, for His provision, for His calling, for His admonition, for His guidance, for His love, grace and mercy!  And give Him much thanks!  (Perhaps you might share with us something you have thanked Him for just today…?  Leave your comment below; thanks!)

Keep worshipping Him and enjoying your quiet time with your Lord!  As you seek Him, He will be found…He promises!