1 Peter 2:4-10 says: 4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” 8 and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
One summer during my high school years, I landed a job in the construction field framing homes. I worked with a crew of guys, and for eight hours a day we would work out in the hot summer sun. Since I didn’t have any experience in this field of work, I had to go through a pretty important learning curve when I first started. There were some important principles of framing homes that I had to learn before I could be trusted to not burn down the house or much less become an asset to the company. These basic principles seemed obvious to me at the time but I now know that sometimes the most obvious things can be forgotten, and when forgotten, can be detrimental. So what were the principles that I learned? I like to call them the 3 P’s:
When I was framing homes that summer, one of the first things I needed to know was that the placement of the structural design formed the home to its intended design. If even a single wall, window, corner, or a myriad of other things were attached wrongly or misplaced, the entire home would become disjointed, losing its intended shape and with it, its strength. However, all of this is meaningless unless the foundation is laid correctly.
As the foundation goes, so goes the home.
Much in the same way, Jesus is not just any stone He’s the cornerstone. Only Christ has the qualities and characteristics to fulfill this role. We can try substituting other people and things but they will fail us. He’s the one piece that’s strong and trustworthy enough to build your life upon. Only Jesus can provide the support, strength, and security in the role of the cornerstone in each area of our lives. It can be harmful to us individually and corporately if we misplace Him. He’s the cornerstone of our faith and therefore He’s the cornerstone of our lives as well. He can’t be one or the other. Jesus needs to remain where he belongs as the foundation of every aspect of our life. Financially, relationally, spiritually, and any other area of our lives are susceptible to destruction when we remove the cornerstone. Likewise, when
we allow Jesus to be the cornerstone of these areas of our lives, we can enjoy the benefits of doing so. So lets never forget who’s God, who’s not, and that the correct and prosperous way to build our lives and our church is solely on Christ.
The purpose of the foundation is to provide stability and shape to the house. Once the house is built, it will have a variety of functions including shelter, safety, and security just to name a few. The purpose behind the work is a major influencer of one’s motivation to do the work in the first place. In my situation, knowing that one day, a family would be able to create a life filled with happy memories made the process enjoyable and worth the hard work.
In much the same way, the Kingdom of God is built in order to provide salvation to the lost, strength to the weak, safety for the disenfranchised, shelter for the broken, mercy and grace to the sinner, and love to the unlovable and forgotten. His kingdom is worth being a part of and worth working and sacrificing for. The beautiful thing about this design is that God’s purpose isn’t just to build his kingdom, but to build it through His people. God chooses to work through us to show others His love, grace, mercy, etc. Lets fulfill God’s purpose together! Which brings me to the third P…
You’ve probably heard the saying, “you’re only as good as the weakest link.” One thing I noticed right off the bat at this construction job was that some people worked faster than others. I know, shocking right. But unlike some jobs, I noticed that when just one or two people didn’t do their part it put a kink in the entire process and brought the construction to a halt for everyone else. The speed and effectiveness of our crew was defined by how well we all worked together.
In the same way the Father didn’t just make Jesus the Cornerstone in order to be disconnected from other stones. That’s why he calls us living stones as well. When we connect ourselves to the person, mission, and vision of Jesus in our every day lives, we find ourselves actually fulfilling our true calling. It’s only when we can believe, accept, and walk in this new identity and purpose that we experience the impact we were created to have. Just as each stone is shaped differently and has irreplaceable purposes, we are all wired and equipped to do something unique to our talents and skill sets. God’s kingdom is massive and it’s not only our opportunity but also our responsibility to play our part in the construction and purposes of His kingdom.
Remember that only He is the true cornerstone. When we place Him correctly, align with His purposes, and venture out in participation, we will begin to see things we’ve never seen and live a life we never thought we’d live!