Cornerstone exists because of Jesus. We are a people who have been transformed by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has forgiven us and adopted us into his family. Now, we have a whole new life.
Through the gospel, God redeems us, forgives us, and adopts us into his family. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection makes each one of us a new creation and gives us a new identity: children of God. This is why we can never think of the church as an organization or a building. The church is actually a family—God’s family, filled with redeemed sinners that are now his children.
Through the gospel, God forgives us, adopts us into his family, and makes us his disciples. This means that the church is not just any family. We are a family formed by God—and sent out with a purpose.
The church is a family that ministers to one another, cares for one another, and builds one another up. Each member of the family is a child of God who is uniquely gifted to bless the family and to be a light in our city.
Just like a vine grows best with a good trellis, our church family grows best with good programs. Our programs and ministries are tailored to support the community and mission God has given us.
"For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." – Romans 8:24-25
I hope that I don’t lose you by opening this post with an anecdote about potty training.
But it occurred to me a few weeks ago, as I was in the trenches with Daniel Tiger and stickers and other forms of bribery, that there is such immense power to hindsight. If you had told me after accident #4 that there would be three successes following it, I might not have spent the afternoon teetering on the verge of depression.
When I was just out of college, struggling with being single and longing for marriage, a good friend of mine asked a question that has stuck with me for nearly a decade: “If I could tell you the name of the person you would marry and that it would happen on a particular date in, say, three years, what would you do with your life right now?”
Oh the possibilities! If I could no longer spend time worrying about marriage, or the potty, or buying a home, or my career, what phenomenal ways could I open up my life for God’s use?
You may have heard the phrase “God works all things together for good” pulled out of Romans 8, but I encourage you to take a moment to sit in the passage that surrounds it.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified." —Romans 8:18-30
In this section of his letter to the Romans, Paul is describing a picture of future glory that is so much more than the small victories I am hoping for. True, it is encouraging to know that God cares about something as silly as my frustration with toilet training (and that He is using it to shape and grow me). But more than that, I find real peace in knowing that He has a bigger vision for my life than who I marry, how my kids turn out, or what work I pursue. This is not to belittle those things. They are very real and present struggles as we deal with them, but to know that what feels weighty to me is not even a glimmer of the incredible work God is doing in this world helps me to look up when I am tempted to be discontent.
Meredith serves Cornerstone with the Women’s Ministry and as a Global Liaison.
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