Posts Tagged ‘Church


Our Cornerstone

Peter says that Jesus is the One on whom the foundation of our faith is laid. Not only that, but Jesus is the One on whom the church is built. When Peter confessed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, Jesus told him that His church would be built on that confession. Jesus is the Cornerstone. Peter wrote in his first letter:

 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.” – 1 Peter 2:6 (NIV)

Peter was quoting the prophet Isaiah and pointing to Jesus as the fulfillment of that prophecy. God said that He would lay this foundation for our faith and the church in Zion, or Jerusalem. It was in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. Everything hinges upon this event. The death and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ is what it all boils down to. Jesus died and rose again and this is the foundation of our faith and His church.

Living Stones

Jesus is the Cornerstone of our faith. He is the rock upon which His church is built. Peter describes Him as a “living Stone.” That’s a real contradiction in terms. How can a stone be alive? Yet, Jesus is the living Stone who was chosen by God the Father. Peter writes:

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. – 1 Peter 2:4-5 (NIV)

Not only is Jesus the living Stone, but we who follow Him are like living stones. God is building us into a “spiritual house.” This house has Jesus for the Cornerstone and generation after generation of living stones are built upon one another. Let us remember that we are all in this together and Jesus is our foundation.

God’s Presence In Us

How do you know if God is living in you? How do you know if His presence in you is real? The evidence of God’s love and presence in our lives is when we love one another. The Apostle John wrote:

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12 (NIV)

It is so incredibly important that we love each other in the church. Jesus said that everyone would know that we are His followers when we love one another unconditionally. It’s not enough to sit next to someone at a pot-luck. It’s got to be more than just shaking hands and exchanging pleasantries on a Sunday morning. We need to go deeper with one another and truly reach out in love to one another. Even if we disagree on so many topics, we can agree on one – Jesus is the risen Lord. If we can agree on that and love each other in spite of our differences, we can show the world the love of God.

Do You Really Know How To Love?

When it comes to love in the church, we can talk a pretty good game. We can say that we love God. We can say that we love our brothers and sisters in Christ. But do we really know what that means? The Apostle John wrote:

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

If we do not love our brothers and sisters in the church, then we do not know God. It is utterly impossible to truly know God and not love others because God is the very definition of love. God is the very source of love. Love has to be more than words. Love has to be put into action as well. If we do not love with actions, then we don’t truly know God because God not only says He loves the world, He proved His love for us by sending Jesus to take our punishment for our sins. In your relationships with your brothers and sisters, focus on how you can put love into action and not just give it lip service.

More Than Words

It’s easy to tell someone that you love them, but much harder to show them that you love them. We can wish people well and tell them that we are going to pray for them when they are going through hard times, but are we willing to do something about their hard times? We’ve got to take the next step and put love into action. The Apostle John wrote:

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18 (NIV)

We’ve got to show love and not just talk about it. Love has to be more than empty words from the lips of God’s people. Is love that is not demonstrated really love? We can talk a good game about loving our brothers and sisters in Christ, but what are we doing to prove that we love them? If we’re not willing to do something to show love to people, then we don’t really love them. Love is more than an emotion. Love is action.

It’s Not Our Stuff

True love is love in action, not just empty words. In the church, we need this kind of love for one another. We need the kind of love that reaches out to people in their times of need instead of just hoarding our stuff all to ourselves. John wrote:

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? – 1 John 3:17 (NIV)

If we don’t love and care for one another with compassion in the church, have we really experienced the love of God? After all, God’s love is an action kind of love. He has blessed us with the things that we have as far as material possessions are concerned. He saw our greatest need and sent Jesus to bring forgiveness. He has blessed us with material possessions on top of that, too! The stuff we have is not our stuff to begin with. Our stuff was given to us by God for the purpose of blessing others. The action love of God is not in us if we don’t use our blessings to put love for others into action.

Love Is Action

One of the themes of Scripture is love in action. Perhaps the most famous Bible verse, John 3:16, tells us that God put love into action. He GAVE His one and only Son. The Apostle John also writes about love in action in 1 John 3:16:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. – 1 John 3:16 (NIV)

Jesus laid down His life to show us what love is and what love does. True love is sacrifice. If we want to demonstrate our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we have to lay down our lives for them. On a practical level, this means looking out for and meeting the needs of others. Whether they are emotional, spiritual or physical needs. We are to sacrifice our own desires and preferences to do what is best for someone else. That is love in action because love IS action.

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