Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 138 - Christ, The Master Builder
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #138 – Christ, The Master Builder
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together as we live with purposed eternal perspective.
Each morning my youngest trusts that she and I will sit together and play before we do anything else. In fact, as soon as I wake her up, she uses the restroom, brushes her teeth, takes her medications, and meets me where Lego’s and creativity have overtaken the space.
Our entire kitchen table is filled with creations that prove her genius ability to construct something from nothing. What can be challenging to me is of no effort for her. Sure, it looks easy to build tiny objects from plastic bricks, but when you want true workmanship that boasts working doors with hidden hinges, elaborate pieces of furniture, and symmetrical construction, you need an expert creator. Of course, that would be her. I’m content to sit in my role as the one who honors what she makes. I help use her designs and ideas in joyful ways that bring us closer together. Anything I make on my own falls far short of the craftmanship she possesses, and the quality of my constructed items fall short of her ingenuity, but I sit by her side to observe and learn, so I may grow my skills under the master.
Although Brooklyn is superbly skilled at establishing visions of what she desires to make and then actually causing it to come into existence, her skills fall short of the glory of God. My girl constructs elaborate cities and stories, while God created a world, universe, and all that we know and can only imagine. He designed intimate details into each person and knows each of us by name. He knows the days established for us and what we have done, are doing, and will do, and created each one of us for purposes and with gifts He crafted into being.
1 Corinthians 3:5-14 says, “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.”
In a way slightly similar to how Brooklyn has patiently given me the skills to build, but on a much, much larger and more important scale, God showed Paul how to sow the seeds of the gospel message into the hearts of people. God also enabled Apollos to nourish the believers and grow them in faith. Paul founded the Corinth church and Apollos took that foundation and built upon it.
The work God requires involves a multitude of people who carry a variety of God-given gifts, talents, and abilities. Although I think Brooklyn is an architectural superstar, the truth is that her abilities come from a choice God made to gift her in that area. How many more God-gifted abilities does she carry? How many will she choose to use for Him? God doesn’t craft special talents into us for us to become superstars who receive all the glory. He patiently plans and lovingly lavishes abilities on us for the purpose of combining followers who will become “team members” of sorts who will set aside personal desires and glory in exchange for approval from Him. Of course, we know that Paul and Apollos worked for the Lord, but what arose spiritually from their work was credited to God’s power, grace, and mercy.
Believers know that Jesus is the foundation of the church. He is the reason we worship, why we give praise; we cannot lay another foundation other than what has been established by Christ’s sacrifice, love, and obedience. Paul laid a strong and perfect foundation for the Corinth church by preaching salvation through Christ. Paul was used by God to establish spiritual foundations as he worked to construct groundwork for churches in Macedonia, Greece, and Asia Minor, while others, such as Timothy and Apollos were used to build upon the foundations of his labors. Each person working for God was allowed to participate through God’s loving mercy and grace.
In our time, we must remember that whoever builds our present day church, whether it be preachers, teachers, deacons, or worshippers, the church must be built with first fruits, or the very best we can offer through establishing godly doctrine built on God’s Word and a lifestyle of godly integrity. In the Corinthian church, many members were vulnerable to incorrect doctrine, immature in their faith, and hardened toward one another. Instead of being committed to God and each other, they had much to learn in shaping Christian character and sacrifice.
Just as the Lego buildings I construct are not as solid as the ones Brooklyn builds, believers must be careful to build their life on the solid foundation of Christ. Jesus is the firm foundation that lasts. All else will fall away. If we choose to build a life upon fame, wealth, another person, culture, or however we define success, our life will not stand in eternity. When we stand before Him, God will determine through His sinless, sovereign mind whether each of us has been faithful to follow the instructions and guidelines set by Christ. Any honor and glory for salvation goes to God, as He alone saves.
As we work for the Lord, we will not see what we view as equality in our journey on earth. Some believers will see great fruit from their work in this lifetime; some will not, but each person who sacrificially and obediently works for the Lord is seen equally by God. He will reward who and how He chooses. We do not know and cannot comprehend His plans. We must look only to what God calls us to do and step out to complete the tasks He poses for us as we keep our heart focused on obediently honoring and pleasing Him.
As we labor for the Lord, I believe we must fix our eyes above. No matter what feels like drudgery or may be unpleasant, no matter whether we experience what we consider success or what this world calls failure, we have choices to make.
1. What foundation will we choose to build our life upon?
2. Will that foundation endure into eternity?
Believers must also remember to ask ourselves:
1. Is what I am laying as my foundation pleasing to God?
2. Will I trust that God will bless what I allow Him to complete through my obedience for His purposes (even when I don’t see the fruit)?
Matthew 9:37-38 says, “He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”
Are you willing to labor for the Lord without seeing the outcome?
1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
Do you trust His work?
1 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Are you inspired by Christ or this world?
Colossians 1:28-29 says, “He is the One we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
Do you allow Him to energize and strengthen you each moment?
1 Timothy 4:10 says, “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”
Is your hope and trust in Christ?
Philippians 2:16 says, “As you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”
Are you looking forward to the day you will stand in front of Jesus?
2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
Are you ready to humbly stand before God unashamed?
1 Timothy 1:12 says, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service.”
Do you consider yourself appointed to His service? How does that affect your actions and decisions daily?
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Are you willing to continue to surrender each day?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Your glorious work within us. Thank You for the plans you have made for us and the salvation You established for us through Jesus. May each of us surrender more completely moment by moment, see ourselves through Your eyes, and come to follow You in deeper ways daily. Thank you for establishing good works through us and for allowing us to participate in Your work. May we allow you, the Master Builder access to our deepest parts as You continue to craft Yourself into our heart and mind. Oh, God, how we long to be fully Yours and to stand before You with humble joy one day and hear that You are pleased with the way we lived. May we be filled with hope, joy, and grace in light of our expectation of an eternity with You. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
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