07 February 2016

Christ Alone, Cornerstone

"Christ alone, cornerstone
weak made strong
in the Savior's love

Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all"

This song began playing in my mind a few minutes ago, as I thought over the topics that so many I know and love are wrestling with right now. Longing to hear God's voice clearly, seeking His presence, searching for answers, and not finding much success. I've been thinking about how easy it is to hold God hostage over His promises . . . how, when we don't receive what He promised, we find ourselves becoming more and more entrenched in what we've always done, as though that will change our results. If we're not receiving what God promises us, then the fact is--and I offer this softly, gently, with deep kindness and an earnest desire for all to come unto Christ--that it is the mortal in the equation that is in error, blockaded by unbelief. Jesus said that those who believe will receive what they ask for, and will do greater works than he did. If we're not getting answers, if signs and miracles don't follow us, it is not God who is failing to fulfill his word.

We have a God who suffered unspeakably, who lived perfectly, who rose above every obstacle, every temptation . . . who did something utterly unimaginable, completely unattainable, for any one of us to accomplish. And it wasn't easy for him. It simply wasn't. It was hard. So hard. And yet, he did it gladly, forgiving even those who did the worst things to him. He did it so he could forgive us, bless us, heal and save us. The infinite price has been paid, and he is so incredibly eager to pour out the reward of that sacrifice into us. He LONGS to spend time with us. He LONGS to sweep us up into his arms and comfort us. To heal. To encourage. To save.

If you struggle to hear God's voice, if you look around in your life for the promises of God to be fulfilled but receive none, don't give up. Don't lose heart. The answer isn't abandoning God. The answer is in making Jesus the cornerstone of your life. The cornerstone of a foundation determines everything--and I mean EVERYTHING--about the building. If Jesus becomes the chief cornerstone in our lives, it means that every aspect of our lives is in alignment with him, with his will and his word. It means that as we build our lives, we build based on what Jesus Christ has said, what his promises are, and what we learn from his spirit as we search the scriptures and spend time worshipping and praying. And if something isn't in harmony with him--his character, his nature, his desires, his will, his word--we let go of it, refusing it as an unsuitable foundation, and cling to Him.

There is tremendous grace and charity that flows from the victory of Jesus . . . He does not ask us to be perfect all at once, but to follow as he leads, to allow him to show us the things in our lives that are not in agreement with him, and to let them go. He asks us to bare our hearts to him, and let him heal us. And he pleads with us to reject the lies the enemy of our souls tells that steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our peace.

Lord Jesus, you are our chief cornerstone. I know you are the standard, the litmus test, the guide and the ultimate foundation of my life. I pray that anyone who reads this will find a new understanding of who you are and of how you want to bless them, that your love can rush in, new and refreshing, into their hearts and lives. Bring your believers together, Lord. Make divine connections and partnerships amongst those who earnestly seek you, and let us learn from one another, no matter what our differences might be. Let us put you first and foremost in all things, and let the love we all have for you be the foundation for these connections that will strengthen, empower, lift and heal all those who love and seek you, In your beautiful and saving name, amen.

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!