Cornerstone

“It is of the greatest joy and the most humbling of my life’s experiences that God has allowed me to serve you as your pastor.”

In conjunction with our “Letters to a Healthy Church” sermon series, each pastor has written a letter to Cornerstone in a similar style to Paul's pastoral letters. We pray they will be a blessing and encouragement to you.

 To my beloved brothers and sisters at Cornerstone Church of West Los Angeles,

May Grace and Peace be with you as you let God’s light in you shine in this dark world.

Cornerstone is a supernatural work of Christ. From two churches that He blessed greatly, one for many years, another brought together only a few years before, He saw a greater purpose in bringing them together and He has made us one body of even greater strength and impact on our local community.

It is with grace that He has brought this local Body of Christ into being. And He has blessed us with a fellowship among us that only His grace could provide.

As part of the very body of Christ, He has built us into a building, a spiritual building built on the cornerstone of Christ Himself. From the door of that building we welcome those who are seeking to worship God with us. From the door we go out into the surrounding community and let our light shine. As our brother in Christ, the Apostle Peter writes: “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect . . .”

We are a body holding fast to the Word of God, believing in community as the way to fulfill Christ’s command “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” We are the only “Bible” that many of the neighbors in our lives will ever “read.”

The LORD has given us His Word, His Love Letters to us. He has written to us about His own heart. He has told us of our own failures. And He has opened His heart to us. He has sent his beloved Son in agony on the cross for us. And He is transforming us into the very image of His Son.

We are exceedingly blessed with pastors who skillfully and accurately preach God’s Word. But if this is the only way we hear the Word our growth is limited. We need to be in God’s Word ourselves. There is a story of American Indian women who would take food in their mouths, chew it up, and then give it to their infant babies – their version of baby food. Are we in the Word daily, taking the Word full strength for our spiritual maturity? Or are we only getting predigested Scripture?

LORD, give us a great thirst for your Holy Word. Amen.

Cornerstone has been given a mission. As a healthy church we are in the process of fulfilling that mission. We are a bright shining light in a very dark world – a world  that needs Christ so desperately, a world that rejects the very answer to its sadness and futility. We hold the answer – the Truth. What has and will keep us healthy is our willingness to share the Truth that God has given us.

We at Cornerstone Church have been blessed in many ways by God’s provisions. He calls us to take care of His own first. And then He tells us to let our light shine in our community. For those of us who are blessed with God’s bounty, we must see ourselves as stewards of His blessings. We must seek His leading with our material blessings. But much more, we must seek His leading with His spiritual blessings – with our salvation, eternal, and present in this life as well. Let us continue, and to an even greater extent, to share the hope that lies within us with the community in which we live. Indeed, our salvation itself is a gift – one to be shared wherever we go.

Our salvation IS a gift. But our salvation is not free. It is given to us without cost. But the Savior paid with his very life that we might be sons and daughters of Almighty God.

Consider the Man on the Cross, forsaken by His own eternal Father. And why is He there? I am convinced if only one of you or I myself were the only sinner on earth He would be there just for you or me. What then? We are set apart! We cost Christ His Holy life. And what does the Father call us to do? Simply to love Him and to be Holy as He is Holy. On our own power? No! He has sent His Holy Spirit to dwell in us. In the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in us, we are Holy. That must be a truth we never forget!

Be Holy as I am Holy is not a theory. It is who we are! Let us all live as what we are.

Therefore: 

As our beloved brother in Christ, the Apostle Paul, wrote to the Church at Philippi, I write to you Cornerstone: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Amen

It is of the greatest joy and the most humbling of my life’s experiences that God has allowed me to serve you as your pastor.

Bill

Bill Castenholz

Bill is a member of Cornerstone and serves the church as a non-vocational elder.

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