DAILY DEVOTION - MAY 15
Listen to excerpts from today's daily devotion on this video.
This Daily Devotion is from A Living Hope, by Sarah Viggiano Wright, published by Bible Study Media, and made available to us through Presbyterian Women.
“For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.’”
1 Peter 2:6
In Matthew 7:24–27 Jesus tells a story about people who built their houses on very different foundations. He makes a parallel between their choices and our response to his words:
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
The foundation matters.
What we build our lives on is important. If we build on a solid foundation, we will have security despite the tempests of life. If we do not, even a mild storm will topple us.
What foundation are you building on? Even if we’ve wisely chosen to build our life on Christ, the Rock, it’s a good idea to look back at our spiritual foundation to see if we are maintaining our created purpose. This is one reason lawmakers look back at the Constitution, organizations look back at the philosophy of their founder, and we humans should look back to the Garden of Eden—to remind ourselves of the foundation. How should we be living life? Are we continuing to walk in obedience to God? Are we in close fellowship with our Creator?
Peter uses this strategy too. He goes back to the Old Testament Scriptures to strengthen his message. In talking about security and refuge that only God can provide, he quotes Isaiah 28:16–17:
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic. I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line...”
Peter is saying that the building project of Isaiah is now being realized. Jesus, the Living Stone, is the Cornerstone of Israel, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy. The foundation is now set, and the next phase of construction is the laying of the living stones. First Peter 2:4–5 is a beautiful illustration of a building project that uses living stones, built together as a community with a priestly purpose. The design of the building is a powerful picture of the redemption plan laid out by the Great Architect; each component of the building is rich with significance, especially the most important one: the cornerstone.
The cornerstone is critical. It is the largest and most essential stone of the entire building. It provides the structure with its strength and stability. The cornerstone is set in place first, then squared up horizontally and vertically so that the floors will be level and the walls straight and supportive. If there is any flaw, frailty, or fault in the cornerstone, the whole building is in jeopardy.
The construction terms “measuring line” and “plumb-line” (Isaiah 28:17) refer to horizontal and vertical tests of accuracy. Isaiah is saying that the tests of accuracy in this living building will be justice and righteousness. These two entities are frequently paired in Isaiah—righteousness as the holy law (principle) and justice as the holy expression (practice) of it. So, by using this terminology, God is saying, through Isaiah, that justice and righteousness will be the qualities that prove the soundness of the structure. A structure truly built on the True Cornerstone, Jesus, will delight in God and live out his holiness in principle and in practice.
In quoting Isaiah, the promise Peter is making to his readers is that those who trust in Jesus, who build their lives on this Cornerstone, will “not be put to shame” (2:6).
Jesus is clearly a strong, majestic stone, and exceedingly “precious” in his rareness—in fact, priceless. This Cornerstone should be precious to all the living stones as he is the only hope they have for surviving this world and seeing glory in the next. It’s as though Peter is saying, “You are safely at home when you are all together on your Cornerstone. Where else could you go? Whatever rejections or storms you face here will never compromise your Foundation. There is no quake that will crumble him, no force that will crack him, and no flood that will erode or wash him away. He is alive! Upon him you are secure forever. So come to him and rest on him. Worship him and delight in him. You will always be secured in his spiritual house.”
The apostle Paul affirms this truth in Ephesians 2:19–22, saying:
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
We are the dwelling place of God’s Spirit, founded on his Cornerstone, Jesus. What an amazing truth! Let’s remind one another of our security on the Rock as we sing songs such as "How Firm a Foundation" and recite verses such as Psalm 18:1–2: “I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
May these truths be ever-present in our minds and ever-spoken on our lips.