God's gift of salvation and eternal life, made possible by the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, really is indescribable. The apostle couldn't have said it any better. Oh, we can try to describe it, but it's such a great gift that we can't begin to comprehend the love that would cause the Father and Son to agree to such a sacrifice. Jesus came to our sin-darkened world to live a perfect, righteous life and die the death that we deserve--all so that we may have His righteousness and live forever with Him in heaven. Truly, that is an indescribable gift!
I've met a lot of people who are trying to earn salvation. They try with all their might to be good in their own strength and willpower, but I'm here to tell you that you can't ever be good enough to deserve salvation. That is why God offers it to you as a gift. You do not deserve a gift. You do not earn a gift. You accept a gift. That's what God wants you to do with the gift He offers you. Just accept it. He wants to save you, and He will--if you will just let Him. Just accept the eternal life He offers.
Have you ever traveled to a place of significance and had a thank-you prayer in the actual spot a memorable event occured? Jacob in Genesis 28 had a memorable God-intervention moment. Jacob had tricked his father into believing he was his older brother, Esau, so his father had given him the birthright blessing. When Esau heard, he was furious and vowed to kill Jacob. Assuming the worst, Jacob fled for his life.
The first night of his journey he had a dream of a stairway from heaven to the earth with angels ascending and descending on it. Before continuing on his journey, he named the place Bethel; verse 16 describes, "When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.' " More than twenty years later, God called him back to Bethel for worship and dedication. So many emotions swept over Jacob as he remembered all God had done for him since that day when his life seemed so uncertain.
In the same way, God calls us to return. Sometimes it is a call to give thanks (such as the one leper who was cleansed), or it is a call to return to the place where we first made a commitment, or it is a place of rest in His promises that "God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns" (Philippians 1:6, NLT). Always, Jesus is calling. His life makes a difference for us, and His life through us makes a difference
The first thing that should be clear is that you are the administrator, not the owner, of the money you have. The sooner you understand this concept, the better it will be for you. Let me ask you a question: If you earn one thousand dollars, how many of those dollars belong to God?
Most people answer, "One hundred dollars," because they're thinking of tithe, but this answer is incorrect. Everything is God's. When we think that only a part belongs to God, we manage the rest as though it is ours. Doing that is precisely what is messing us up. The Bible says, "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Heaven's Armies" (Haggai 2:8).
Although God asks you to return only a fixed percentage to Him while you are to administer the rest, don't get it twisted--you should administer the part that stays with you according to biblical principles.
The metaphor of the house certainly evokes a sense of permanency and strength. A stone is not very valuable by itself, but when bonded with other stones, it becomes a structure that can withstand the storms of life. No Christian can be a stone alone but must be associated with others to form the house of God. For an edifice to be solid, it must rest on a strong foundation, and for both Peter and Paul, Jesus Christ is this foundation, the "cornerstone" of the house of God.
The church would cease to exist if it did not make Christ the very foundation of its life and activities because the church is all about Jesus Christ, His message, His death and resurrection, and His soon return. The church forms a community of believers, united in their mission to share good news about Jesus to the world. The activities of the church must reflect this reality, and the church's mission must be more than a loose collection of ideas and projects. The church has no other reason to exist, except to give glory to God for salvation in Jesus and the privilege of sharing this message with the world.