Day 15

The Chief Cornerstone

from the Mark reading plan


Mark 12:1-44, Isaiah 5:1-5, 1 Peter 2:4-8

BY Guest Writer

Text: Mark 12:1-44, Isaiah 5:1-5, 1 Peter 2:4-8

Many of us have heard the parable of the tenants found in Mark chapter 12. The owner of a vineyard leases it to careless tenants who eventually kill his son in order to keep the spoils for themselves. It’s about God’s chosen people, the Israelites, the ones who thought the work of salvation would take gusto and bravado, laws and legalities.

But they forgot who owned the vineyard, the grapes, and the wine, and that He’d only allotted it all to them for a time. Then one day He took it back and gave it to the entire world: to the Gentiles, Samaritans, Romans—the ends of the earth—and now to you and me.

Sometimes I find myself still tending to the vineyards and missing out on the feast He’s preparing (Isaiah 25:6). I swat at the people He sends my way, kill the inklings of hope in His name, and fight off those coming my way only to serve.

I try to sacrifice Christ again and again with my sore attempts at gaining my own righteousness. I try to produce prize fruit on the merit of my own labors. Because when I laid my crowns at the feet of Jesus, I certainly expected to pick them back up somewhere along the way.

Paul warns Christians that, to be in relationship with Jesus, we’d actually have to fellowship in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death (Philippians 3:10). I must not have understood this because I most definitely did not expect to be so trampled down (Isaiah 5:1-5).

I am the irresponsible tenant and the wild, overgrown grapes. I have mistreated my Father’s things and I have grown wild in going my own way. I have turned away from His feast, certain I can prepare and keep a better one. I have not submitted to His pruning, certain I can handle the shears on my own. But the ruined vineyard and the irresponsible tenants are no match for the Vinedresser.  

He clears the field again, gathers those stones again, and sets in its corner a Stone greater than all the other stones (Mark 12:10). He resurrects it again—stone by stone by living stone—building it all together into a temple for the Holy Spirit, leveling it on the ground of His Son, solid and firm (1 Peter 2:4-8). And the vineyards within bear fruit in abundance—the work of the Holy Spirit, the Vinedresser, and the Son in unison with one another.

This is the work of fruitful farming in the field of faith: to know He will send friend after friend to help guide us back to the right path. He will trample to death that which doesn’t bear fruit and He will even prune what’s good to make it healthier—and sometimes we won’t know the difference. This is the work of faith, to believe and to tend, to submit and to bear fruit. But it’s all done under the watchful, caring eye of the Vinedresser, within the safe haven of the living stones, and on the bedrock of the Cornerstone, Christ alone.

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Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, tweets @lorewilbert, and posts photos @loreferguson. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

Post Comments (41)

41 thoughts on "The Chief Cornerstone"

  1. Maiya H says:

    Lord, help me to always be as the widow was…giving my all into every area of my life for your kingdom.

    I am so grateful for the opportunities God has given me to speak into the loves of many and to introduce Him to others.

  2. Esther Rogers says:

    I love that when I wake up here in New Zealand, there is a devotional here, ready to start my day Christ-centred, By the time I read this devotion, you SRT sisters have already commented and gone to bed to sleep. I appreciate your remarks that give me clarity and that show me this community of love and support. God bless sisters and I hope you had a good sleep, ;)

    1. Kim says:

      I am in Australia and also think the same. I love the insight I get from the comments too. Thank you SRT community! It’s better doing life together. X

    2. She Reads Truth says:

      Love this, Esther! Blessings to you today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  3. Shelbs says:

    Today I decided to spend a lengthy time dissecting the scripture we had today (I haven’t filled myself up in a quiet time for the past few days). As I read this, I feel my soul repenting of all the bad fruits I have let spoil in me! I am living in a very cool fellowship situation. However, recently there has been some bad fruits coming about the different people (including me). My gut instinct is to push it all in and let the anger ferment into long lasting anger. When I read about the farmer sending his son to the fields (who he LOVES), I think of how deeply God loved his Son, to send him to the fields to be with me. I want to push the Beloved Son away, while I am laboring in the barren and spoiled field and trying to handle these tension fruits of my house on my own. But, I am realizing just how toxic that could be. I am delighted today to realize that HE IS MY RESCUE!!! I can lay out mine and the burdens of the girls around me to HIM.

    Like the woman who offers everything she has at the temple, I want to lay it all out to Him today. Doing this means I have nothing of my own and must fully rely on Him for all of my support and sustainability. YAY! HALLELUJAH!

  4. Jenny R says:

    Thank you, Lore, for providing such a thought-provoking feast for us this morning. I do believe I’ll be chewing on these thoughts all day. :-)

    The last paragraph spoke most deeply into my life. “This is the work of fruitful farming in the field of faith . . . He will trample to death that which doesn’t bear fruit and He will even prune what’s good to make it healthier—and sometimes we won’t know the difference.” I’ve been in the midst of extremely challenging circumstances for quite some time, with all the emotional/spiritual ups and downs that go along with them. I continually pray and sob rivers of tears, seeking God’s guidance and His strength to obey. I have no clue what He’s doing in my life. Is He trampling what is not bearing fruit, or is He pruning the good to make it healthier? How can I even begin to know the difference? How can I move forward until I have some inkling of understanding? It’s so hard to muddle along without direction. I know He is always with me and that He has a plan. I know that I must keep my eyes focused on Him rather than on my circumstances. But, sisters, I’m sure you all know how excruciatingly difficult that can be some days. I would appreciate your prayers as I muddle along, waiting for answers to come. Thanks and God bless!

    1. Shelbs says:

      Praying for ya, sister. Finding clarity is so hard when you are not sure what His intentions are. However, the very Spirit that knows God’s thoughts is the Spirit that is inside your soul, guiding you, and comforting you. So, His thoughts are with you. The amazing thing is that you are waiting for answers. That is FAITHFULNESS.

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