WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 9, 2021
TOPIC: MAKE JESUS CHRIST YOUR CHIEF CORNERSTONE
BY T. O. BANSO
“The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 118:22-23 New King James Version).
The Bible mentions some things or uses some words that we may not easily understand today because they don’t fit into our culture. Some practices mentioned in the Bible might be things that we don’t practise today or the words used may not be part of our modern-day vocabulary.
In Bible days, the word cornerstone was part of the vocabulary in building construction. Apart from its usage today that means somebody or something fundamentally important, I don’t think the word is used in modern-day construction. However, the essence of having a cornerstone in building construction is still valid. Masons don’t just get to work and start laying blocks. They build according to the design.
The setting out is first done. The first block is laid and from it, the masons ensure that other blocks laid properly align. They follow their lines as they lay the foundation, which is the substructure, the part of the building that is below the ground level. On the substructure, they build the superstructure, the portion of the building constructed above the ground level.
The first use of the word cornerstone in the New King James Bible is in Job 38:6. It says, “To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone” (New King James Version). You can see that the word cornerstone is in relation to construction – the word foundation is first mentioned and then cornerstone. The cornerstone is the first stone set in laying a foundation and other stones are set in reference to the cornerstone.
Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines cornerstone as “A block of great importance in binding together the sides of a building.” According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, it is “The stone laid at the corner to bind two walls together and to strengthen them.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “A stone in a corner of a building, especially one with the date when the building was made or other writing on it.”
Similarly, Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary says cornerstone is “A stone placed at the corner, or the intersecting angle, where two walls of a building come together. In biblical times, buildings were often made of cut, squared stone. By uniting two intersecting walls, a cornerstone helped align the whole building and tie it together.”
The cornerstone is a stone always positioned at the corner of a building being constructed as the foundation is being laid, to guide the masons and ensure that the building is straight or properly aligned. Without a cornerstone, the foundation will be faulty and the entire building, too. A builder ignores the cornerstone at his own peril. Any serious builder won’t ignore the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22-23 says, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes” (New King James Version). Jesus referred to Himself as the cornerstone after quoting the Scripture.
Concluding the parable of the wicked vinedressers, Jesus said, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42 New King James Version). According to Jesus, whoever falls on this stone will be broken but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder (verse 44).
The chief priests and Pharisees who heard this parable and the previous ones by Jesus on the kingdom of God knew that he was talking to them. In this particular parable, they were the wicked vinedressers who beat, killed, or stoned each of the servants the landowner sent to them to collect his share of the crop. They eventually killed his son whom he sent last (verses 35-39). “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (verse 43 New King James Version).
The parable of the wicked vinedressers is also recorded in Mark 12:1-12 and Luke 20:9-19. In these scriptures, Jesus also referred to the Scriptures that say the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone (Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17). Although Jesus did not specifically say that He was the chief cornerstone, it was implied. It is believed that when the prophet Zechariah said, “From him comes the cornerstone” (Zechariah 10:4 New King James Version), the word cornerstone was referring to the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
However, Peter removed any doubt about who was the cornerstone when he addressed the Jewish Council, the Sanhedrin, over the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate. He said, “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12 New King James Version).
The apostle Paul also referred to Jesus as the chief cornerstone. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22 New King James Version).
Adam Clarke says the stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone is “An expression borrowed from masons, who, finding a stone, which being tried in a particular place, and appearing improper for it, is thrown aside, and another taken; however, at last, it may happen that the very stone which had been before rejected, may be found the most suitable as the headstone of the corner.”
Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone. Have you made Him the chief cornerstone of your life or you’re rejecting Him like these builders (the chief priests and Pharisees) the Bible refers to? The stone they rejected eventually became the chief cornerstone. Don’t be a fool; be wise. If you reject Jesus today as your Saviour, you will one day face Him as your judge. As we have read, Peter said that salvation is not in any other person and there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the chief cornerstone of the church. He is the foundation on which the church is built.
Accept Jesus today. Don’t reject Him. Make Him the cornerstone of your life. As I have said, the cornerstone is the first stone set and other stones are set in reference to it. Make Jesus your cornerstone and He will be the One you will depend on as the builders depend on the cornerstone. Let your life align with Him and with His teachings. Without reference to the cornerstone, the builders construct a building that will be faulty because it is not aligned to the cornerstone.
Your life, home, family, or destiny is like a building. That’s why Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands” (New King James Version). Her house in this scripture refers to her home.
We also see this in Luke 6:47-49. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great” (New King James Version). The buildings in this scripture are not physical but the lives of the two builders.
What are you building your life on? Are you building it on obedience to the Word of God.? Is your life founded on Jesus as the chief cornerstone? If your life, marriage, family, business, ministry, etc. will not be faulty and will endure and survive demonic attacks or the normal challenges of life, you must make Jesus your cornerstone.
Make Jesus the cornerstone. Depend on His teachings and principles. Don’t forget this: “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.” Remember this also: “Whoever falls on that stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”
Don’t reject Jesus. Wise people accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Hear the apostle Peter: “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame’” (1 Peter 2:4-6 New King James Version).
Did you see that the Bible calls believers living stones? Jesus is a living stone but also the chief cornerstone as mentioned in the passage later. You are a living stone. Houses in Bible days were built with stones just as blocks are used in most societies today. The first block is laid as the chief cornerstone and other blocks are laid in alignment with the first block. Believers are being built as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Look at the last portion of the last scripture. It says, “He who believes in Him will by no means be put to shame.” Make Jesus your cornerstone and you won’t be put to shame over your life, marriage, family, ministry, and destiny. David said, “They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 34:5 New King James Version). Earlier in Psalm 22:5, he said, “They cried to You, and were delivered; they trusted in You, and were not ashamed” (New King James Version).
Isaiah 28:16 says, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily” (New King James Version). This was a prophecy about the Messiah, Jesus. If you believe Him, you will not act hastily. In other words, “He who believeth shall not be ashamed” (Septuagint). Paul and Peter also referred to this scripture in Romans 9:33 and 1 Peter 2:6 respectively.
Is Jesus Christ your cornerstone? Do you believe in Him? The apostle Peter said further in 1 Peter 2:7-8, “Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed” (New King James Version).
Make Jesus the cornerstone of the foundation of your life and everything you do as the builders do with the cornerstone in physical buildings. Let your life align with Christ your cornerstone. Obey His teachings. Apply the principles of His Word. Be like that man who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on the rock. When the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against the house but it could not shake it because it was founded on the rock. With Jesus as your cornerstone, your life will be strengthened. Your life will not crumble despite trials and troubles.
Jesus says in John 15:5 that he who abides in Him, and He in him, bears much fruit; for without Him he can do nothing. Abide in Him and let His words abide in you so that you will bear fruits (verse 4).
Make Jesus Christ your cornerstone. He is a firm, tested foundation on which you can build your life, marriage, ministry, business, career, etc. “See, I am placing a Foundation Stone in Zion — a firm, tested, precious Cornerstone that is safe to build on” (Isaiah 28:16a The Living Bible).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Jesus Christ, I make You today my chief cornerstone. I accept You as my Lord and Saviour. I shall depend on You. I shall obey Your Word and apply the principles to my life. Holy Spirit, help me to abide in Jesus and let His words abide in me.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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