22 BSF Matthew Week 22, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

I think it is interesting that the bible says that Jesus is the cornerstone and capstone.  It doesn’t say that He “can be” the cornerstone and capstone, it says He is.  The foundation has been laid.  The cornerstone is in place.  The capstone will be put in place.

All of that is fact.

But that doesn’t mean we have to build on lives on that foundation.  That is the choice.  We can build anything we want.  A shack, a tent, an ice-palace.  But unless we build on the foundation of faith, the foundation of the apostles with Christ as the cornerstone, our building will not last.  It may season a few storms of this life, but it won’t survive past.

The cornerstone doesn’t go away.  Imagine if there was a large perfectly square and level stone right outside your front door, right in the center of your driveway.  If your house isn’t built with Christ as the cornerstone, that doesn’t mean He goes away.  He is in the way of you living the way you want.  You can never ignore Him.  He is Immutable.  Unmovable.  A fact.

But step back – recognizing that stone is in each of our lives.  If you had such a stone on your property, you would not be so stubborn.  You would build on it.  You would not be so blind or in denial that you think you could just ignore it, it is a rock, the Rock.

We are called to build.  We are given the gift of a foundation and cornerstone.  It is only logical to build on that firm foundation.

My Answers:

9.
a. God, heavenly Father
b. The nation of Israel and the people of Judah
c. Jews, teachers of the law
d. Prophets
e. Jesus
f. The Romans destroyed the temple of Jerusalem in 70 AD
g. His share of crop at harvest time

10.
a.
Psalm 118:22, 23

b.
1 Peter: precious to believers, stumble by disobey the message
Romans: pursued not by faith but by works = stumble
1 Cor: Christ crucified=stumbling block to Jews, foolishness to non-believers

c.
They build their life and faith on something other than the foundation of Jesus and the apostles

d.
builders, who build in faith on the roots of Jesus to produce fruit and offer the first fruits back to God

21 BSF Matthew Week 21, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

It is often helpful to put ourselves into the biblical story.  By immersing ourselves into character, we not only get a deeper sense of the message but we are better able to see how we should apply the truth and change our daily walk.

In the story of the land owner and workers found in Matthew 20, our first inclination is to put ourselves in the position of the worker and Jesus as the land owner.

But, let’s take a different view point.  What if you take on the character of the landowner.  This isn’t a stretch.  Romans 8 says we are heirs with Christ.  Jesus himself refers to his followers as stewards.  What if we are the stewards of this land?  What is the message to us?

I see several:

1. Be relentless in calling others into the harvest.  Jesus said the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  How much of that is because we aren’t repeatedly showing up to find people waiting to be called?

2. Give each worker a full measure of God’s word and grace.  Some of the workers were doing a lot of different things with their life before they were convicted to show up at the street corner.  How often do we tend to hold that against them?  The landowner gave the first workers a full measure.  He did not give the later workers any less.

3. Don’t negotiate.  The bible says what the bible says.  How often are we tempted to water it down to fit the views and opinions of others.  We fall into a trap of the world’s view of “fair”.  God is just and He doesn’t hold back His grace.

4. Expect persecution but watch for the joy.  What did the landowner hear about when he passed out the wages?  Did he hear the joy of those called late in the day?  Maybe a little, but it was mostly drowned out by the grumbles of those called early.  It is easy to focus on the grumbling, the persecutions in life, so much so that we sometimes miss the joy.

My Answers:

7.
a.
Eternal life is the denarius – but it isn’t earned nor is more earned by longer work or greater deeds

b.
He calls the workers.  He has the work and the pay.  He provides grace and love and complete reward

c.
They have an entitlement attitude.  They judge themselves based on other men (not a sign of humility) and find themselves more deserving then are upset at rewards given to those who have worked less

d.
At any point I am called to work it is a blessing – Thankful for the reward I am given, not jealous or self-righteous, but be humble

e.
That He would work so hard to call us to work – He doesn’t need us, we need Him, but He pursues us over and over again.