Tag Archives: building the Church

May 22; Spectacular

I Kings 5:13-18, 6:1-38, 7:1-12, 9:15-16, 20-23; 2 Chronicles 2:2, 17-18, 3:1-17, 8:7-10; Psalm 127

Whenever I read the description of Solomon’s Temple I am amazed at what must have been a beautiful structure. All the gold details, the intricate carvings. I can imagine the look of the chiseled stonework, and the scent of freshly cut cedar. It took seven years of hard work, but the result must have been spectacular.

Paul, in I Corinthians 3, reminds us that we are God’s temple. You and I, as believers in Jesus are together building His Church. The foundation is Jesus Christ. Each of us are building on that precious foundation using a variety of materials: gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. (vs 12)

I’m pretty sure none of the walls in Solomon’s Temple consisted of stacked hay bales. It probably never crossed Solomon’s mind to use anything less than the best building materials for that Temple. Why would anyone choose inferior building materials for God’s Church today?

I think that if I’m trying to build God’s Church with good works: church attendance, honesty, charity, mowing my neighbor’s lawn, I’m using inferior building materials. Good works aren’t good enough. It would be like trying to build a wall using filthy rags. Really?

If I preach a gospel other than Jesus Christ, I’m building a house of straw even if I have thousands of followers.

I want my life to be built on the sure foundation of Jesus, built up by the gold of His Word, decorated with the jewels of submission and obedience. And I want to contribute to the building of His Church with the souls of people who come to Him because I invested myself in their lives for Jesus’ sake.

Solomon’s Temple must have been spectacular. It’s what he thought God deserved. I think God still deserves spectacular.

May 15; Building The Church

I Chronicles 23-24, 6:16-30

I’ve shared that my church is in the middle of a building project. We are excited about moving forward, to laying a foundation now that the land is cleared, to see walls go up, and to eventually move to the north end of the island. The drawings of our future home are beautiful. Not ornate. But you’ll definitely be able to identify it as a church, unlike the remodeled garage we worship in today. It’s so exciting.

David was excited about his building project, too. We saw yesterday how he did the prep-work, buying materials and hiring skilled workers. David even went one step further, an unimaginable step, when he made Solomon king in his place. A king just didn’t do that. Death was the only thing that removed a king from a throne, or maybe an enemy victory. Never a willing abdication in favor of a son.

I imagine David was hoping he’d live long enough to at least see the temple built, even if God had told him Solomon was going to be the builder.

But, and here’s what spoke to me today, David wasn’t only concerned about the physical building of the temple. Oh, he wanted it done right, with the best materials. He wanted it to be the most beautiful building in the world. But David was not satisfied with a  beautiful structure. What use would it be if there wasn’t ministry happening there?

So, even before the foundation of the building was laid, he assigned people to be gatekeepers, musicians, officials, judges, bakers, dish washers, as well as priests. David doesn’t seem to be satisfied with the outward appearance, and not with what was to happen inside.

It’s nice to worship in a beautiful building with state-of-the-art technology, comfortable chairs and air-conditioning. But if there isn’t ministry happening in there, what good is it? The size or appearance of our churches are meaningless if God isn’t finding willing workers inside.

There are vital, beautiful churches that meet huddled together in someone’s living room, or in buildings with holes in the roof, and dirt floors. There are amazing churches meeting in store fronts, in tents, or barns where people are gathering together to worship, and grow, and then getting out there and making disciples.

Sometimes I think we put too much emphasis on the physical, how our churches look, from the size of a steeple to the look of a stage, from how the landscaping looks to how the worship service looks, we neglect the ministry opportunities and responsibilities.

Let’s take care of our buildings, make sure the bills are paid and the lawn is mowed and the toilets flush. But let’s also remember why we have those buildings in the first place. Are we using them during the week for ministry, or only on Sunday for a couple hours? Are we who meet on Sundays sharing the Gospel when we leave those four walls, or are we only there for an experience?

You know the Church is not a building. It’s important to take care of our meeting places, but the Church is you. It’s me. Building God’s Church doesn’t involve hammers and nails, but men and women who are out there serving, ministering, people who are involved in the lives of other people, and leading them to their Savior.

I pray that we will have the same singular focus on growing the Church as David had in seeing that temple built. Let’s build the Church one redeemed soul at a time.

 

September 26 – Git ‘er Done

Nehemiah 1-5

Every time I read Nehemiah I am impressed with the unrelenting passion the Jews had for rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. They worked together, supported and protected each other, even in the face of threats and opposition. They had a job to do and they just wanted to get it done!

Wouldn’t it be exciting to be a part of such a fellowship? I pray that your local church has the same kind of focus, the same determination to get God’s Church built one soul at a time. I trust it’s a fellowship that supports and protects each other, that works together and prays together as you share the Gospel.

But if your church isn’t working like that, why not? Is there bickering or jealousy? Blatant sin, or acceptance of sin? Are one or two people carrying the bulk of the load while the rest warm a pew on Sunday morning?

Are you part of the problem? Are there sins you need to confess, people whose forgiveness you need to ask for, responsibilities you need to take on? Your church has the job of spreading the Gospel to your community. Are you doing your part to make that happen, or are you a Sanballat or Tobiah in the midst?

Satan would love to stop your church fellowship from being effective in the work of the Lord. The Jews in Nehemiah didn’t let that happen. Don’t you.

You and your church fellowship have a job to do. May you have that unrelenting passion and together, git ‘er done!