Saturday, May 28, 2011

Building Materials


What are the building materials you’ve decided to use? It is a very important decision in our lives.  One we’ll eventually pay for.  Paul describes what will happen when our works are judged:

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJV)

According to that last verse, what we use will not determine our salvation, but we will suffer loss if our work is built with stubble that disappears the moment a flame touches it.  Hay and wood don’t last much longer, either.

When we’re building upon the firm foundation of the Messiah’s teachings we’ll find Jesus’ example of Luke 6:48.  We’ll be able to stand the storms of life without damage – unless our building materials are faulty.  Why depend on that firm foundation if we’re going to build out of stubble?  It will be weighed down by the difficulties we encounter in this life and be destroyed by flames in the next.

Are our building materials those of Jesus’ teachings, or of men who interpret them to mean what people want to hear?  Does the man of God in the pulpit speak just as easily of John 3:16-17 as he does of John 3:18?  Is he as comfortable teaching of Christ’s birth as he is of preaching repentance? Are there verses or books that he dares not use in a sermon as they might be deemed offensive?

Are those questions pertinent?

Personally, I think it’s a good thing to question my beliefs and seek answers when apparent contradictions or offensive questions arise rather than dismiss or ignore them.  If I cannot explain why I believe as easily as I can explain what I believe, my building material is inferior.

As Paul described:

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 KJV)

As given to us about Adam and Enoch, written in Micah 6:8, my first goal is to walk with my Lord.  My second is to heed His will in my life – which I’ve failed to do many times.  Those failures cannot determine the full path, so I get up from them and press toward the goal, the mark, of what He has called me to do. 

That’s the best building material of all.

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