Saturday, January 31, 2009

Polished Palaces, Part 2

Welcome back! In the last post I introduced the concept of becoming a polished palace. In this post I would like to dig a little deeper into our theme verse, and explore the concept of a cornerstone, as well as the building materials necessary to build a polished palace on the right foundation.

“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:”
Psalm 144:12

What is a cornerstone? It is the stone built into one corner of the foundation of an edifice as the actual or nominal starting point of a building. It is the chief stone in the foundation.

The Scriptures have many references to the cornerstone.

1. Christ is called the cornerstone.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

1 Peter 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Ephesians 2:19 - 22 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone. He is the foundation upon which we are to build our lives. Paul refers to this is 1 Corinthians 3 as he discusses the types of materials that can be used to build one’s life.

1 Corinthians 3:11-13 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

Our spiritual lives must be built upon the Chief Cornerstone. If we try to be a good person, or live a good, moral life apart from having a relationship with Jesus Christ, then we are building on the wrong foundation. Once Christ is in the center of your life, then you can start to use the materials described by the Apostle Paul to build your polished palace.

2. We have seen that Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone. Our theme verse compares us to cornerstones. How can we be cornerstones? I think that we are to be cornerstones in our homes. As wives and mothers we will have great influence over our husbands and children. What kind of a cornerstone are we? Do we have the right foundation ourselves, or are we striving to have a good marriage and raise good kids without the Lord?

Are we secure? The cornerstone was that by which was the building was made square. If you are not built upon Christ then you are re not stable and secure, and your building will not stand.

3. The Building materials are important. If I were the general contractor in charge of building a magnificent edifice, I would not get my materials from the dump or the junk yard. The quality of the materials used will play a part in the quality of the finished building. When I think of a polished palace, I think of smooth, polished marble and granite, sparkling gold and silver, soft velvet and deep, rich colors.

As Christian women we have a choice in the building materials we will use in developing our palace. 1 Corinthians 3:12 describes them as gold, silver, and precious stones; or wood, hay, and stubble. When I consider the quality of these two different groups of materials I see that one is imperishable, and the other is consumable. One is precious, and the other is economical. Once is expensive, and the other is cheap. One is beautiful, and the other is commonplace. By daily studying the Word of God and developing my intimate relationship with Him, He will help me to implement the correct type of materials in my life. What is done for Christ will have lasting, eternal value, and what is done in my own strength will be burned to dust.

When I was in high school I participated in a leadership development program at the Wilds of the Rockies Christian Camp in Kremling, Colorado. The teens in the program had extra sessions with the preacher during the camp week. I recall discussing the passage in 1 Corinthians 3 about our building materials. The preacher told us that every moment we were living in and operating in the flesh, we were sending wood, hay, and stubble up to heaven. It will be consumed in the testing fire when I stand before Christ. In contrast, every moment that is lived for Christ, and every activity that is performed for Christ and in His strength is making a deposit of gold, silver, and precious stones into my eternal treasure chest. It will come through the fire when it is tested.

What kind of materials are you using as you build your palace? Right now are you sending wood, hay and stubble up to heaven, or are you laying gold, silver, and precious stones upon your foundation? What kind of a cornerstone are you in your home? Are you grounded and firmly established on the foundation of Christ, so that you are an example to others? Take a moment to consider these questions, and to list some practical steps you will take to correct a wrong foundation or poor building materials in your life.

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