Rocks and Stones

Psalm 118: 22 – 23

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

Today’s psalm has several famous verses in it. I chose this one because of the imagery of it. Among the ideas presented by this verse is the representation of Jesus, the rejected stone, as something hard and unflappable. He is the rock upon which we stand and the stone upon which the whole building is built.

Wikipedia says of the cornerstone, “The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.” As the foundational stone, the integrity of the whole building relies upon the cornerstone. It determines the strength of the whole building.

This is a more important concept than one might, at first, realize. Three of the four gospels quote this passage. It is also quoted in Acts and Paul referenced it in his letter to the Ephesians and it shows up in Peter’s first letter. Consider this from Peter:

[ As Living Stones ] And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: “Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 1 Peter 2: 4 – 8 (See also Romans 9: 32 – 33).

This “chief corner stone” is also the rock of offense over which some will stumble but as for us, we are living stones; stones being transformed into the church of the living God through Jesus who is the principle stone upon which the entire structure depends.

I hope you find this as fascinating as do I. Since we have headed down this path, I wish to share one other verse with you that you may think about differently in light of the foregoing. “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone,” (Psalm 91: 11 – 12). This is commonly thought of a protection verse as, indeed, all of Psalm 91 is, but consider that Jesus is the stumbling stone, the stone of offense. Could it be that one of the angels’ duties is to help us to recognize Jesus as the corner stone so that we do not stumble over him to our eternal peril? At minimum, it is an interesting question.

I hope this Psalm Monday has found you well and that this excerpt from the psalms is a blessing to you. The Word of the Day will resume in October albeit in a slightly different form. We will continue our Psalm Mondays, but the other days of the week will be more brief. They will, as always, focus upon God’s Word as it is the life and breath we all need. I will, therefore, continue to send you a Bible verse daily. My elucidation thereof, however, will be shorter. It should make it easier for you to receive a dose of the Lord everyday without unduly burdening you. There will, of course, be the occasional message that needs a bit more but in any case, the Word of the Day will take five minutes or less to read. I hope this will aid you in your hectic schedules. Of course, I am always interested in your feedback. Simply reply to this email, use the comments section or leave us a comment on the website at


Psalm 117

Praise the Lord, all nations; laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!

This was an easy Psalm Monday. The entire psalm is two verses and every word is wonderful. Two things struck me, though. First, this psalm is directed towards all nations and all people. Think of that. Imagine all the people of the world praising Yahweh, lauding Him with praise. Is that not a beautiful image? That day will come. We can meditate on it now, rolling that image around in our minds. All the peoples of the world will sing praises to the Lord, our God and we will praise Him in unison, many languages in harmony. Wow!

The other part of this psalm that spoke to me was, “the truth of the Lord is everlasting.” I was thinking, “All the people of the earth will know His truth, the fullness of truth.” We will have our questions answered and see truths we never perceived before. His truths are unchanging but still being revealed. Every day we can bask in more and more of His truth. We may find we didn’t have everything right but that is okay too. Our egos do not need to be right in the light of His revealed truth. It will be a joy just seeing more and more of His everlasting truth.

Of course, it is great news that His thoughts are loving and kind towards us. This is an important meditation. It might be the most important part of the psalm. We need this revelation of a God who is always loving and kind towards us. He is not hateful, angry, vengeful, or spiteful. He isn’t trying to kill us. He is salvation and grace. Hallelujah! Surely that is good news to a world struggling with any number of challenges. The ultimate answer is that God’s lovingkindness is great toward us, towards all of us; all people, all nations. That’s beyond good news. That’s great news and He is worthy of much praise. Praise the Lord, all you people. Shower Him, right now, with your message of thanksgiving. Worthy is the Lord!

Peace My Soul

Psalm 116: 7 – 8             TLV

Return to your rest, my soul, for Adonai has been good to you. For You delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

This is a good psalm and I think you will find comfort in many of its verses. I chose these two verses because they shouted to me about the peace we can find in our Lord.

To be honest, it is not always easy to walk in the Lord’s peace. There is trouble in the world. We’ve got problems we’re dealing with and decisions that keep us awake at night. This psalm, though, reminds us of peace we can enjoy when we sink into our relationship with Jesus. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that he gives us immeasurable peace. We have to stop in the middle of our thoughts and remember that he left his peace with us (John 14: 27). In all our reminding, let us be reminded of this from Philippians 4: 7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace is so big, so comprehensive that it defies understanding.

Anytime our souls get anxious, we can turn to some of these magnificent verses and remind our inner self to relax, be at peace. Today’s psalm begins with praise and thanksgiving that the Lord, Adonai, hears our prayers. He hears our cries, our petitions, our worries and concerns and He answers and comforts us. Let us, therefore, speak to our own souls the way the psalmist talks to his. “Return to your rest.” Be still and calm O my soul. The Lord has been good to you.

Our God has delivered us. He has been on the site for us in times we don’t even know about. I know this to be true and knowing it helps me to remain confident that I can greet tomorrow in the peace of the Lord for He is with me and will not fail me. He will not fail you either. Let this be your refrain and confession. Bless the Lord.

Mocked and Scorned

Psalm 115: 2        God’s Word

Why should other nations say, “Where is their God?”

This is one of the things which has most bothered me about the corona virus outbreak. No nation has had a bigger outbreak than the United States. My thinking is that we ought to fare well because of our God. Let me show you this same verse from the Passion Translation. It reads, “Why should the unbelievers mock us, saying, ‘Where is this God of yours?’” Does that not aggravate you a little? It bothers me a lot. This great nation, established in and by God is struggling with the viral outbreak. Why?

In the beginning of this, I thought we would get our prayer guns out and defeat this. It hasn’t turned out that way. God gave me a prayer for us to pray. He gave me a vision of what the solution looked like (you will find each on my website, In my heart and mind, I imagined us combining in fervent prayer with the result being that we would quickly overcome the virus. I feel mocked, like other nations are saying, “Where is their God” and it does disturb me. Whose theology is right? Have I gotten mine wrong?

I believe in my Father, as do you, and I cannot believe He is not eager to move by His great might on our behalf. I strongly believe He is poised and ready. What, then, is holding Him back? Why has He not surged to the fore and slain our enemy for us? I have no doubt that the vision and prayer I received was from our Father. Why are we not seeing this virus seared out of existence? Not only should this nation have overcome this virus, but we should be the force for good to pray for all other nations of the world sending healing and the eradication of the virus for all. I am perplexed and chagrined that this is not the reality we are experiencing. Worst of all, I feel guilty. If God is not to blame, then what is the problem? Are the nations of the world mocking my God or are they mocking me? It is irritating, but mostly because in my heart I fear I am the problem.

Verse 16 of this same psalm reads, “The highest heaven belongs to the Lord, but he has given the earth to the descendants of Adam.” This is the verse that is disturbing. Is God poised but awaiting me? Is that what this new dispensation is about? God within me means I am His hands in the earth? We know that we are to live a life intertwined with God. That means that we don’t run off and do anything in our own strength, but it means, also, that God’s movement in the earth is intertwined with us. That thought is troubling. I welcome your thoughts.


Psalm 114: 7 – 8

Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of water.

This psalm is about how the earth yielded to the command of the Lord when Israel fled from Egypt. The sea parted, the river stood back, and rocks even produced drinking water. This may be a good meditation for a world overrun by a viral enemy. Everything which has a name must bow to the Lord. That includes mountains, rivers, seas, and viruses.

Tell me, what distinguishes the time of the Exodus from our time? The Israelites saw many miracles. Is there any reason we should not? We seem to experience fewer miracles in our everyday existence but is it true that they are not happening? And, if they are, why are they happening in some circumstances and not everywhere and prolifically?

I do believe this new “Christ in us” life has changed the playing field. The Israelites had an intercessor, someone who spoke to God on their behalf. Moses and Aaron were appointed by God to speak for the people. We, however, no longer need a priest to go before God for us. We have direct access to the High Priest, Jesus Himself. Moreover we have been invited to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace,” (Hebrews 4: 16). We do not have to stand outside the gate and beg admittance or solicit someone else to make intercession for us.

This change is great for us, but I wonder, too, if it doesn’t place a greater responsibility upon each of us as individual priestly servants unto the Lord. God is still on His throne and He is as interested in us individually and collectively as ever. The earth does tremble before Him and rivers will pause in their course. He will even heal a nation or an entire world. But how? And what role do we play in it?

Our God is all powerful and mighty in deed. I want to see His power reigning in the earth. I want to see His victorious triumph. Show yourself, Lord, to a hungry people. Make the earth stand up and take notice of your greatness. Heal the land, Father, and all who dwell upon it. Lead us and teach us to serve your goals and desires. Give the victory into our hand through our faith and devotion to you. Bless your people O, Lord, as we learn to live in Your ways.


Psalm 113: 1 – 3              The Message Bible

Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God! Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing – now and tomorrow and always. From east to west, from dawn to dusk, keep lifting all your praises to God!

This is one of those verses which has different readings in different translations. There are varying nuances on the theme, and you might be interested in reading it in different Bibles. One of the easy ways to do that is to go to Bible Gateway. You can bring up this, or any other passage, in multiple translations at once. I landed here for one simple reason. The idea that simply remembering God is a blessing provoked my thinking. Having read that I backed up a sentence and thought, “Just to speak His name is a blessing.” It reminded me of a chat I had with the Father yesterday. I was about to pray for some people and began my prayer with, “Father.” I was struck by what an amazing blessing and privilege it is to get to call Him “Father.” I almost wanted to whisper so He wouldn’t figure out what a bad deal He got when He got me. There is no way I am worthy to be His own child. In fact, that is crazy to me.

I don’t praise Him nearly as often as I should. I don’t sing to Him as often as I should. I remember singing for my grandmothers and how much they enjoyed that. Maybe He loves that simple time together. And I believe when I breathe His name it blesses Him simply because I am thinking about Him. It is a blessing to me, and I believe blessing flows down that connection I have established with Him when I call His name.

From the rising of the sun, until its setting, God’s children should speak His name and lift praises. That praise gives us strength and establishes us in the way we should go. It aids us in integration and walking hand in hand with Him. Praise the Lord, all His people. Sing your gratitude. Let the air be saturated with praises to the King.

Righteous Life

Psalm 112: 1 – 6

Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous. It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment. For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever.

Today’s passage shows the characteristics and benefits of a life lived in reverence to the Lord. It describes the life of the person who loves the Lord. Blessing and prosperity adorn his life and he is prosperous in all his ways. It also shows his personality traits, traits which are gained through living enamored with God.

The person who loves God is a righteous person. That does not mean he is holier than thou. It means he is in right standing with God. Our righteous standing with God is part of the miracle and part of the mystery of Jesus’ victory. If I boast in my righteousness it is only because of what Christ has done for me. Though we didn’t earn it, that righteousness entitles us to a benefits package. I think it has a price too. We are to trade our life in the world, and any benefits it may have, for a life in Christ. We give up our place in the world for a life in him. It appears as a sacrifice but once you have transitioned you realize that you gain far more than you give up. I find this is a process. We are beginning to glimpse the great joy and benefit of living in Christ. The more we give up of ourselves, the more we gain. That is just like our Father. His kingdom makes no sense to the worldly mind.

This life in Christ has a transformative impact on our personalities. Now, that will cause some people great consternation. “Do you mean I have to give up who I am to be in Christ?” No, not really, and then, absolutely yes. The laying down of our lives becomes a pleasure, a freedom rather than a sacrifice. And truthfully, you are not giving up who you are but rather the imperfected you in exchange for the glorified you. You will still be you but the 2.0 version, and then 2.1, etc. You are evolving, transforming, coming out of your chrysalis as the beautiful butterfly which was always in your DNA. This transformation is reflected in today’s passage. Please look at this language again, “He is gracious and compassionate and righteous, . . . [he] is gracious and lends.” You can measure your level of transformation by this quote. As the transformation takes place, you will find yourself more generous, compassionate and gracious. It strikes me that graciousness is listed twice. The repetition must have significance.

I was just thinking about how we bless and care for others and Father blesses and cares for us. The blessing must flow downstream. Jesus wants us to live intertwined with him so that he can take care of us and has told us that we are not to have care about our own lives. We are to care about others. Once our minds and spirits are free from worrying about ourselves all the time, and thinking about ourselves, then we are able to hear the Lord communicate with us about the needs of others. It really is a great joy to be used of God to bless someone else. It is an honor to be trusted with even a small fragment of Jesus’ ministry.

Blessed is the person who loves and reveres the Lord. Blessed and to be envied is the one whose life is intertwined in the Christ. May it show in our actions. Let God’s name be lifted up and praised because of the generosity and caring of His children.