Archive for February, 2021


“Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21).

While the cornerstone was at one time crucial to the integrity of any structure, developments in modern architecture and construction have relegated it to the status of symbolism or cosmetics. For the life of faith, however, the concept of the cornerstone is still the most accurate portrayal of what Jesus Christ brings to a person’s life. Once Jesus is set in your life as the cornerstone, he becomes the reference point from which all other things are measured. When building your life, it is the cornerstone that determines the quality of the life that will be constructed.

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“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7).

To be in exile is far more extensive than geographical displacement. It is a comprehensive upheaval of all that is known, familiar, and loved; necessitating a rebuilding of life from circumstances filled with grief, pain, fear, and uncertainty. As we seek to accomplish this challenging task of “going forward,” a benefit is realized by those around us as they become witnesses to our living testimony of faith and hope.

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“Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes” (Matthew 24:46).

In the light of verse 45 and its emphasis upon responsibility, it should be noted that the servant blessed upon the Lord’s return isn’t the one found praying, sitting in church, or reading the bible. As vital as these spiritual disciplines are to the life of faith, if they are not being translated into providing spiritual leadership within one’s realm of influence (household), they are an exercise in futility. Therefore, in the anticipation of the Lord’s return, our focus isn’t the clouds in the sky but the opportunities for kingdom engagement where our feet are.

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“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time” (Matthew 24:45).

The ancient Hebrews understood the necessity of keeping the word of God as the centerpiece of the household (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). From rising up to lying down, from sitting to walking along the way, from doorposts to the frontals of the forehead, the teachings of scripture must be pursued, discussed, and modeled consistently before our children if it is to have a timely impact upon their lives. Rarely is the church able to overcome what isn’t being done at the home.

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“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time” (Matthew 24:45).

As servants of Christ, our faithfulness and sensibility are proved out not by mere confession, but the responsibility executed in providing for the spiritual provision of our family. Your house, and those within it, belong to God. Are you setting before them a faith to be emulated; a table of nutritionally rich offerings for the enrichment of the spirit? With the staggering number of empty calories and artificial sweeteners available upon the smorgasbord of worldly offerings; that seek to contribute to the secular obesity of your family; that contend each day for the souls of our children, our task is to faithfully, sensibly, and responsibly discern for them what they cannot yet discern for themselves.

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“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time” (Matthew 24:45)?

Having acknowledged the numerous voices that seek to mislead (v.4), Jesus has emphasized already the importance of intellectual stability and theological soundness. The life of the mind, and its development, is vital to a proper understanding of the Christian faith and its pursuit. To desire only the emotional and experiential, at the expense of the formative and substantive, leaves one inadequately prepared for the tribulations of these last days, and the persevering kind of faith that is necessary to see them endured.

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“Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom the master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time” (Matthew 24:45)?

That one is prepared for the tribulation of these last days, and the Lord’s return, is revealed in a steadfast faithfulness to the things of God. The way Jesus frames his question implies that few will remain faithful in the last days; phrased in such a way that it creates within the hearer/reader a determination to be counted among the faithful. It is both an invitation and a challenge to pick up the mantle and be this kind servant. If these words of Jesus to not elicit a response of self-examination regarding our faithfulness to the pursuit of Christ’ call upon our lives, we have failed to read properly the text.

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“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20).

The purpose of the church is never defined by the personal wants, desires, or preferences of the membership. By virtue of his absolute authority, Jesus has command over our lives and his church. As a soldier is given marching orders, so the church has been commissioned for a specific task. The objective of congregational life isn’t to provide entertainment for consumers but to mobilize, train, and equip God’s army to be a missional presence in our world.

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“Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of the fathers’ tribes, every one a leader among them” (Numbers 13:2).

From among the twelve chosen only two do we recognize and remember—Joshua and Caleb.  These two distinguished themselves by their visionary perspective—focusing not on the obstacles but the opportunities; their single-minded devotion to a God-called task; refusing to be distracted by the complaints of the many; and their orientation to the future God was preparing; ignoring the siren call of days gone by. It is the pursuit of these qualities that make for a memorable faith.

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“But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath” (Matthew 24:20).

Winter, on occasion, can facilitate numerous inconveniences—unsafe roadways, cancelled classes, rolling blackouts, and broken pipes. According to Jesus, however, it is something altogether different to face the tribulations of the last days (vs. 4-23) during the hard winter months. As dissimilar as seasonal inconveniences and the suffering of tribulations may be, commonality is to be found in that both expose the self-delusion of being prepared for anything. We always are until we aren’t.

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