Thursday, May 30, 2013

CHIEF CORNERSTONE

Suggested Reading: Ephesians 2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

Ruins of the Celsus Library...one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It was built in 117 A.D. as a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia. The grave of Celsus was beneath the ground floor across the entrance and there was a statue of Athena over it, because she was thought to be the goddess of wisdom.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Ephesians 2:19 & 20

“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.”

Christians take note! Our position in Christ is established! By the end of the second chapter, we have the words “in Christ” (or its equivalent) 19 times. Are we beginning to get the message? We are no longer the walking dead! (verses 1-3). We have been raised up! We “Sit together in the heavenly places in Christ” (verse 6). Verse 11 begins with “Therefore” (as the result of the foregoing), which is a turn-around word. (1) We are alive in Christ. (2) We experience the exceeding riches of His grace. (3) We are saved through faith, a gift of God. (4) We are created in Christ Jesus for good works (works do not produce any favour from God; they follow as a result of His favour). (5) We are citizens of His Kingdom with all the privileges that pertain thereto. (6) We are family; His DNA can be traced within us. (7) We are a holy temple, God’s habitation!

We are “in Christ” and He is living in us! It is very, very humbling to recognize that, other than opening our hearts to Him, He’s done it all!

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I pray that I will comprehend, as much as I have the capacity to do so, the magnitude of Your blessing on me. Please assist me to recognize that my behaviour does not determine Your blessing, but Your blessing determines who I am. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I am blessed! Blessed! Blessed! Amen!!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I made my lifetime decision to be a follower of Jesus at 16 years old, but it was not until I was 19 that I fully realized my position “in Christ.” It was then that I studied “The Doctrines of Salvation,” first in a Bible correspondence course and then in Bible College. The book “Lectures in Systematic Theology” by Henry C. Thiessen was a companion to my Bible. This book is for sale on Amazon or can be purchased on Kindle for iPad reading (click here). I find Thiessen’s teachings concise and carefully Biblical. In fact I would recommend this study as foundational to all other Bible study curricula.

The words from today’s reading, “Chief Cornerstone,” stood out to me because of much time spent with our First Nations people. Over again and again, I heard them refer to their true Chief, Jesus Christ, as their “Chief Cornerstone.” I have the great honour of being an honourary chief. My ceremonial bonnet sits on top of a globe of the world just above me in my study where, on most mornings, I do this blog. I’m reminded that Jesus is my Chief, now and forever!

Yours for learning who we are as believers in Jesus, our Chief Cornerstone,

David

P.S. My son Ron is with me every day in the preparation of this blog. He makes the format, and I fill in the blanks with the content. I apologize to you, Ron, for missing your birthday yesterday, May 29th. Your mother and I did give you your birthday card before you left for Oklahoma, where you are covering the tornado disaster for the Crossroads Relief and Development Fund. Thank you (click here for some of Ron’s reports). Your daughter Andrea’s birthday is the same day as yours. Thank God that she, Jason, and your little granddaughter, Jadice, were safe at a friend’s place who has a tornado shelter. Here’s a link to your birthday celebration on 100 Huntley Street just before you and Ann left for Oklahoma.

The Celsus Library facade has two stories with Corinthian style columns on the ground floor and three entrances to the building. There are three window openings in the upper story. They used an optical trick...the columns on the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.

 

22 thoughts on “Thursday, May 30, 2013

  1. We are indeed blessed by a God who values us beyond measure! This chapter is value-packed with information, as revealed by David’s outline. I think it’s a wonderful thing to read further into texts to really dig into the meat of the issue (an apology to those who are vegetarians! haha!) and affirm orthodox theological truths in our mind. I’ve personally never read Henry C. Thiessen’s work, but I shall be putting his “Lectures in Systematic Theology” on my “to do” list. ( I have a feeling there’s going to be a real ‘run’ on Thiessen’s work at Amazon today! haha!).

    Happy belated birthday to you Ron, and to your daughter Andrea, and thanks for helping your Dad in making this blog happen for us every day! God Bless blog-buddies, have a great day.

  2. Tremendous message and facinating photographs! Priorities are clearly set about our relationship and blessings, not by works, but because He first loved us. I remember how much my grandmother loved me, even though I had my struggles as a teen and needed to live with her. It was truly unconditional and taught me about having value in myself. I am thankful for this and my mothers help, for it sheds light on Christ’s unconditional love for each of us. We don’t need to try and gain favour, but only to open our hearts. Have a great day to all!

    • Sorry I didn’t mention it in the above … but, a belated happy birthday Ron and Andria! Proud of the service you are doing and representing Canadian’s and Christians alike!

  3. Happy belated birthday Ron and Andrea! Praise God for your safety in Oklahoma. My continued prayers for everyone there and support coming in! It can never be said enough!

    The architecture of the Celsus Library was amazing, especially the optical illusion of the columns. Very much reminds me of my art history studies. To think that If there was peace on earth and good will towards all men, those buildings in Ephesus would still be in tact and not mere ruins. Praise God that parts of those structures are still standing and people flock to see them; knowing Paul was there, preaching and the incredible healing to the people that took place because of the gift of Jesus!

    Had a visit and supper, yesterday, with Pastor Reynolds and Eliza Jane James, who you know quite well, David. When he told me he married you and Norma Jean, I was elated! I was speaking about the bible study and said how excited we are to be in Ephesians. It was an honour for me to have edited and write the introduction in his book, ‘The Story of a Veteran, Defending His Country, Family, and the Cause of God’. He turns 93 in June!

    I love your summary of Ephesians 2, David, especially that we are HIS family and that HIS DNA can be traced within us. How powerful are those words!!! We are HIS Holy temple and God’s habitation!!! Amenl Perhaps my favourite line is 22: And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. Praise God, David–we are indeed “in Christ” and He definitely LIVES IN US!!!! How truly humbling. Let us keep praying for God’s will on earth as it is in heaven to bring peace to the world! It lifts my heart so much I want to sing.

    How Can I Keep From Singing
    by Chris Tomlin

    There is an endless song
    Echoes in my soul
    I hear the music ring

    And though the storms may come
    I am holding on
    To the rock I cling

    How can I keep from singing Your praise
    How can I ever say enough
    How amazing is Your love
    How can I keep from shouting Your name
    I know I am loved by the King
    And it makes my heart want to sing

    I will lift my eyes
    In the darkest night
    For I know my Saviour lives

    And I will walk with You
    Knowing You’ll see me through
    And sing the songs You give

    I can sing in the troubled times
    Sing when I win
    I can sing when I lose my step
    And fall down again
    I can sing ’cause You pick me up
    Sing ’cause You’re there
    I can sing ’cause you hear me, Lord
    When I call to You in prayer
    I can sing with my last breath
    Sing for I know
    That I’ll sing with the angels
    And the saints around the throne

    Singing with you, saints!
    Blessings for a splendid day in the Lord!

  4. You are an honoury Indian Chief! Wow. My adopted Native son was dubbed, Prince Shining Bright Eyes by Chief Bruce Thumb when he was on one of his visits to 100 Huntley St years ago. I saw Dr Michael Rathbone yesterday who told me he knows you. I told him about your new book coming out and “this blog”! Have a blessed day everyone.

    • Prince Shining Bright Eyes–what a wonderful name to be given, Doreen! Without knowing your son, he must be truly blessed and a blessing to you!

  5. Happy belated birthdays, Ron & Andrea!!!! Thank you Ron & David for all you do in preparation for this blog!! It is outstanding!!!!!

    I love Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    Works cannot save anyone – we must believe that Jesus died and rose again (God’s gift to us His Son) I love the acronym G R A C E (God’s riches at Christ’s expense)

    We are blessed beyond measure!!!! And Yes, Christ is our Chief Cornerstone!!!!

    Have a great day blog buddies!!!!!!

  6. Hi David, Thanks for a wonderful commentary of todays reading. My first introduction to a home bible-study group was blessed to have a very wise man teaching it. He believed keeping it simple and concise was the best way to teach us new Christians.We all enjoyed the way he laid it out just like you did this morning. Even today, some 33 years later l love to read a commentary designed for everyone to understand. l heard a bible teacher confess that he had used all kinds of high faluting language in one of his sessions and someone came over and thanked him for coming but said they had no idea what some of those big words meant! He said from then on, he had decided he would keep it simple so that everyone could grasp the importance of the message Thanks for keeping it simple, just like Jesus did! Bless you David and Ron! Have a great day everyone!

  7. One of Satan’s greatest ploys is to get Christians to forget who they really are. Imagine if every Christian woke up fully owning and believing who they are in Christ, without doubt or distraction? Yet, sometimes when we spent our whole lives believing we were turtles, to find out in Christ, we are really butterflies, it is hard to make the mental switch and start living like a butterfly, our true nature. So I pray to you our Lord, to send to us every day a living reminder of who really are in you, to give us the courage to embrace our real nature and to protect us from the lies that cause us to forget what we have inherited from you. Amen

    • Eloquently said, Donna! You are such a beautiful writer–growing up thinking we are turtles and finding out we have blossomed into butterflies! What a divine analogy and visualization! Thank you and bless you!

  8. Once again Pastor David you make our readings a joy and easy to understand.
    All the words from our fellow bloggers continue to bless and encourage me each day.
    Praise God for our gift of salvation and the Spirit within. Saved by Grace!

    The pictures are amazing and thanks to Reynold and Ron for their contributions each day.

    Happy birthday Ron and Andrea. Continuing in prayer for all my fellow saints in Christ. Have a wonderful day!

  9. What a blessing to be in Ephesians and learning about our position in Christ which is hard to grasp that we are seated with Christ in heavenly places enriched by every riches of His Grace and built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. We do neen wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I have read all the blogs and prayed the prayers, David and fellow bloggers the last two days and say “Amen”. Sorry I didn’t respond yesterday as I have to go out on business. Please pray for a person I am trying to lead into a deeper walk with the Lord but incur anger, bitterness and unforgiveness yet claims of knowing the Lord.
    Happy belated birthday, Ron! Good work you and Ann are doing in Oklahoma. I heard that story of you in Sudbury before David and it worked! Will dig out my Thiessen book and it will have more meaning for me now doing this reading with you and all the fellow bloggers who show much insight into the Word. Thanks and have a good day everyone.

    • Praying for you Ger and your friend for their eyes to be opened. Do you have a date yet for your surgery?

  10. Thank you David for this blog and Ron for helping your dad. Happy belated birthday. Reynold thank you for the pictures Ger I will be praying for you and your friend. God bless each one!!!!!

  11. Amen and amen to all of the comments you are all so precious in Gods sight
    And I’m so thankful for you all ,and yes a happy birthday Ron and Andria
    Thakyou D. Manise love to you all….R..

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