DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

                 Index

 
Building The Church
 

Jesus had plans to build his church.

Matthew 16:18
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

God cares not about physical buildings, but the spiritual.

Acts 7:48-50
48 "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says:
49 "'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?
50 Has not my hand made all these things?'


Again, the material crumbles, but the spiritual grows. Compare this with the world's view. Beautiful buildings, amazing tourist attractions, but covered with scaffolding! And there is no dynamic, vibrant fellowship of disciples there preaching the word. Many church buildings have foundation stones with inscriptions that read: "To the Glory of God". Say what! God is not glorified by a human construction, but by people preaching his word!

God's plan for the church then is:

Ephesians 2:19-22
19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.


* Foundation = New Testament Apostles and New Testament Prophets i.e. the teaching of the NT.

* Jesus as cornerstone. A cornerstone was a very carefully hewn stone placed at a corner on the foundation. The faces of this stone defined the three directions (front, side and vertical). It had to be true otherwise, the building would end up out-of-square. Also, all measurements would be taken from this point. We must make sure Jesus is our standard - measure ourselves against Jesus, not against each other or the world. (areas of love, service, sacrifice, purity, power, courage etc)

* Built together: Amazing unity.

* Spiritual dwelling for God, not a material one.

* So how do we build the church today? By building one another

Our Relationships:

Building others up:

1 Corinthians 8:1
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

1 Corinthians 14:12
So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.

Ephesians 4:29-32
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.


God really cares about our relationships. It is possible to grieve him.

Illustration: The power of words… from Aces online

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead.

Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

Can we honestly say that the only things that come out of our mouth are words that benefit others? (Which frog am I?)

Practicals:
1. Truly encourage at least one person a day! Tip: Recognise an area of positive change in their life. .. "You've changed so much in …
2. Volunteer to serve: "I'll baby-sit for you so you two can go out"
3. Don't be a whinger or complainer.
4. Aggressively resolve any arguments or offences with your brothers and sisters (Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger)
5. Thoughtfulness: birthday cards, give a gift.
6. Call.
7. Visit.
8. Set up lunch.
9. Pray for and visit the sick.

Be a great Builder of God's church.