By Leonard Lauriault
Religion columnist 

Chief cornerstone or stumbling block?


September 16, 2020

For my annual devotional plan, I alternate between reading through the Bible during the year and reading two or three devotional books.

While this isn’t necessarily a recommendation of either book, this year I’m reading “The Best of the Bible — 365 Must-Read Bible Passages” (NLT, Tyndale House, 1996) and “365 Ways to Know God — Devotional Readings on the Names of God” (Elmer Towns, Regal Books, 2004). The passages used for Sept. 2 were Matthew 21:28-46 and 1 Peter 2:7-8 for the former and latter books, respectively, and presented a common theme of Jesus — the Chief Cornerstone, which many reject and then stumble over.

In the Matthew passage, the Jewish religious leaders questioned Jesus about obedience and were told they were the disobedient ones who had rejected him as the foundation upon which everything was to be based — the Messiah/Christ. The devo writer accurately stated that pretended obedience is very dangerous because God always knows our actions and the intents of our hearts (Psalm 139:1-2; Proverbs 21:2; Jeremiah 17:10; 29:11). Love for God and obedience to his will, which includes love for him as the first and greatest commandment and love for our neighbor/enemy as the second commandment, is the only way to please God because God is love and acts only in our best interests (John 3:16-18; 15:9-14; 14:15-21; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 1 John 4:7-12; 2:7-12; 3:11-24).

First Peter 2:7-8 brings out the point that after rejecting the Chief Cornerstone, people stumble over it. They couldn’t get that Rock out of their way because he’s ever-present and omni-present (Genesis 21:33; 1 Chronicles 29:10-13; Psalm 139:7-12). He’s been here, there and everywhere, and always will be. They remain blinded in the darkness because they love the darkness (John 3:19-21; 2 Corinthians 4:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Luke 6:39).

It’s in our own best interest to base our lives upon Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone [Luke 6:46-49; Matthew 16:15-18 (Peter’s name is Greek for rock/pebble; the rock/boulder upon which Jesus would build his church is the foundational statement that he is the Chief Cornerstone, the Messiah/Christ); 1 Corinthians 3:9-15; Matthew 7:24-27]. Jesus is the light in whom there is no darkness to cause one to stumble and even when we do stumble because we’re human and take our focus off the light, he’s still there to help us get back on our feet (1 John 1:5-9; Hebrews 12:1-11).

Christians have answered the call to stop stumbling around in the darkness and come to the Chief Cornerstone becoming living stones themselves that are part of God’s building — the city set on a hill — also shedding light to those still in darkness so they can see the Christians’ good deeds and be drawn to the light (Acts 17:24-31; 2 Corinthians 4:5-7; 3:1-18; 1 Peter 2:4-6, 9-12; Matthew 5:14-16). We are the city that cannot be shaken no matter what becomes of the world because we’re built on the Chief Cornerstone (Hebrews 12:22-29).

Are you built on the Rock or stumbling over it?

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected]


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