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Sermon Notes: 1/1/23

Look To The Cornerstone

Pastor Albert Almore


Here we are. We’re standing in 2023. A brand new year, with brand new opportunities, that’ll also bring it’s fair share of new opposition. Through it all, my best advice to you this first Sunday of 2023 is this… LOOK TO THE CORNERSTONE That’s our title this morning, for our first Sunday of 2023….LOOK TO THE CORNERSTONE. Jesus says in Matthew 21:42, “Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become THE CORNERSTONE; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭21‬:‭42‬ ‭‬‬ The scripture that Jesus recited is originally found in Psalm 118:22-23 where the Psalmist prophetically says, “The stone that the builders rejected has become THE CORNERSTONE. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭118‬:‭22‬-‭23‬ ‭‬‬ The stone that the builders rejected, that has now become the cornerstone, is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You find this same passage of scripture again in Mark 12:10-11, “Have you not read this Scripture: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become THE CORNERSTONE; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”” ‭‭Mark‬ ‭12‬:‭10‬-‭11‬ ‭‬‬ You find this same passage of scripture again in Luke 20:17, “But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become THE CORNERSTONE?” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭20‬:‭17‬ ‭‬‬ You find this same passage of scripture again in Acts 4:11 with Peter declaring, “This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become THE CORNERSTONE.” ‭‭Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭11‬ ‭ As if the evidence wasn’t already strong enough that this Jesus, our cornerstone must be of great significance, Peter brings it up AGAIN in 1 Peter 2:6-7 by saying, ‬‬ “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 “So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become THE CORNERSTONE,”” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭7‬ ‭ I may not know WHAT 2023 holds, but I do know WHO holds 2023 in the palm of His hands, and His Name is Jesus, this is why I say with everything within me this year, LOOK TO THE CORNERSTONE! What’s so precious about this cornerstone you may ask, well let me tell you. "In biblical times, a cornerstone was used as the foundation and standard upon which a building was constructed. Once in place, the rest of the building would conform to the angles and size of the cornerstone. In addition, if removed, the entire structure could collapse.” This is why I say to you, LOOK TO THE CORNERSTONE. Listen to it again. In biblical times, a cornerstone was used as THE FOUNDATION and standard upon which a building was constructed. Point number one, 📝 Make sure that Jesus is your FOUNDATION. ““Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who BUILT HIS HOUSE ON THE ROCK.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭24‬ “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.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭25‬ “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.”” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7‬:‭26‬-‭27‬ ‭‬‬ When the storms of life come, and they will come, BE FOUND ON THE CORNERSTONE. The next part of this description is so significant. They said once in place, the rest of the building would CONFORM to the angles and size of THE CORNERSTONE. Point number two…. 📝 Make sure that your life is conforming to the WORD and not this WORLD. DO NOT CONFORM to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12‬:‭2‬ ‭ ‬‬ “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because THEY ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, just as I am not of the world.” ‭‭John‬ ‭17‬:‭14‬ ‭ Make sure that your life is conforming to the WORD and not this WORLD. And just in case you didn’t know Jesus, our cornerstone is the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭1‬-‭2‬‬‬ ‬‬ “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” ‭‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ Not only did we see His glory. But we saw how to love. We saw how to forgive. We saw how to have compassion. We saw how to serve. We saw how to endure. That’s what we need to conform to. Conform to the Word. Conform to the cornerstone. Conform to Jesus! The last part of the description of this cornerstone says, "In addition, if the cornerstone is removed, the entire structure could collapse.” 📝 Don’t DRIFT from Jesus. The word drift is defined as… Drift-to be carried away SLOWLY. It’s not that big of a deal if I don’t pray like that. It’s not that big of a deal if I’m not in my Word like that. It’s not that big of a deal if I don’t go to church like that. God knows my heart. I say to you today… WATCH THE DRIFT “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not DRIFT away.” ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭2‬:‭1‬ ‭‬ The enemy knows that if he can get you away from the cornerstone, if he can get you to drift just a little bit today, and just a little bit tomorrow, he understands that he can cause you, the entire structure to collapse. Jesus Himself said, "and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” There’s power in the cornerstone. I love how 1 Peter 2:6 starts off. It says, “For IT STANDS in Scripture…” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭6‬ For it stands in scripture. For it stands in scripture. It’s been tested, BUT IT STANDS IN SCRIPTURE. It’s been tried, BUT IT STANDS IN SCRIPTURE. It’s been prophesied It’s been alive. It’s been killed. It’s been resurrected. Through it all THE CORNERSTONE STILL STANDS IN THE scriptures. Let’s look at 1 Peter 2:6 in full, “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 📝 When you STAND ON THE CORNERSTONE, your life will be able to stand up against anything. “For IT STANDS in Scripture…” ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭2‬:‭6‬ 📝 When your life is BUILT on the cornerstone, the storms will come, the winds will rage, but you won’t BREAK. I didn’t say that you wouldn’t cry. I didn’t say that you wouldn’t have a moment. I didn’t say that you wouldn’t never turn your face to the wall like Hezekiah in desperation. I said that you wouldn’t BREAK, because your life is BUILT on the cornerstone! The Bible let’s us know that one night Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interrupt except Joseph. Pharaoh saw fat looking healthy cows, and Pharaoh saw lean cows. Pharaoh asked Joseph what did it mean? What’s coming? Joseph said BOTH! The fat cows represented the good times where the economy would be booming, everyone would be prosperous! But the lean skinny cows represented a time of famine, hardships, downturn in the economy. You want to know what’s in store for 2023??? BOTH!!! Times of plenty, times of lean. Times of joy and times of tears. Times of success and times of failures. Can I tell you what to do through it all—LOOK TO THE CORNERSTONE. When you find yourself ON THE MOUNTAIN, take time to tell God, "THANK YOU” for getting you there. Deuteronomy‬ ‭8‬:‭18‬ ‭‬‬ ““And you shall REMEMBER THE LORD YOUR GOD, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭8‬:‭18‬ ‭‬‬ When you find yourself ON THE MOUNTAIN, take time to tell God, "THANK YOU” for GETTING YOU THERE. But when you find the mountain on top of you, take time to tell God, "THANK YOU” for BEING THERE. “May the Lord our God BE WITH US as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us.” ‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭8‬:‭57‬ ‬‬The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; And His song will BE WITH ME in the night, A prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 Whether you find yourself in a season of plenty or a season of lack. Whether you find yourself on the mountaintop, or the mountains on you—LOOK TO THE CORNERSTONE. “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 DO YOU BELIEVE IN THIS PRECIOUS CORNERSTONE?

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