With What Are You Building?

Studies in First Corinthians – VII

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 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. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

-1 Corinthians 3:10-16

Paul points out the importance of having the correct foundation AND the correct building materials. Some Christians are building on the right foundation with the wrong materials (works of the flesh rather than the works of the Spirit). The Church will not stand on any other foundation than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet even on the correct foundation, it is possible to use the wrong materials.

Paul describes two types of building materials: indestructible—gold, silver, and precious stones; and destructible—wood, hay, and stubble. In this Scripture we see a clear distinction between salvation and rewards. It is possible for a man’s soul to be saved, but his works, being of no value, to be burned. If his motives are not eternal, but temporal or earthly, he may be saved, but his works will be destroyed. Our motives must be to build the Kingdom for the glory of God.

Build on the foundation with materials that will last the test of time. Build with the brick of submission to God’s will and purpose, even in times of suffering. Put in a doorway of prayer. Open up the windows of praise and worship. Be sure to include the gold of purity and righteousness, the silver of a radiant testimony, and the precious stones of victory over temptation.

Paul appeals to the Corinthians to pay close attention to how they build because they are the temple of God. Let us also be reminded, we are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We are intended to reveal the glory of the Lord.

Every one of us is building. Every moment of every day, we are building. Look in your hands – What are you building with today? Will it last?

A Different Kind of Fire

Luke 9:51-56

The “Son’s of Thunder” had a fire in their belly. Their anger burned within them. They were raised to despise the Samaritans in the first place, but now they had refused to accept Jesus into their village.

“What do you want us to do, Jesus?” they asked, “Should we call down fire from heaven to consume them all?” It is only natural that these brothers would want to defend their Teacher. The only problem is the Teacher doesn’t operate according to human nature.

The rejected LORD turned and sharply rebuked His disciples, demonstrating His love and forgiveness of the Samaritans who had just rejected Him. “I did not come to destroy men, I came to save them!”

Jesus had a different kind of fire in mind for these Samaritans.

Photo by Korova Interociter

Acts 8:14-17

The “Son’s of Thunder” had a fire in their belly. In fact, ever since the Day of Pentecost, many Jews had a fire in their belly and that fire was spreading fast! Word came to Jerusalem that Philip had taken the Gospel concerning Jesus to the Samaritans and many had believed and been baptized. They sent Peter and John.

I can only imagine what was going through John’s mind as he passed through Samaria. I wonder if he passed through the same village that had refused to allow Jesus to enter. Is it possible that he remembered the plans that he had for these people not so long ago?

He had once asked Jesus, “Should we call down fire from heaven to consume them all?” Now he asked Jesus, “Please send down the fire from heaven and consume them all!”

Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost – a different kind of fire.

Reader, take a look at the world around you. They ALL will be consumed by fire. Which kind may very well depend on you.

Tell them about a different kind of fire!

Building Fires

Here is another little tidbit from John Maxwell’s latest book Everyone Communicates Few Connect

Mr. Maxwell writes of the importance of marrying passion with the vision.  “A vision without passion is a picture without possibilities.”  It is difficult to be passionate about something that we haven’t personally experienced.  This is why the best sermons, the best songs, the best poems and stories are always born out of a personal experience.  Mr. Maxwell gives four questions for the communicator (minister) to ask concerning vision and passion.  These are good questions to ask ourselves as we prepare to minister.

1. Do I believe what I say? 

2. Has it changed me?

3. Do I believe it will help others?

4. Have I seen it change others?

If we can answer yes to all of these questions, we have married passion to our vision.  When we do this in ministry we will, as Mr. Maxwell so capably says, “do more than just light a fire under people; we will build a fire within them!  If you have that fire, it will ignite in others.”

A fire underneath somebody causes them to move for a moment.  They may get stirred up while you preach or sing, but is it lasting?  But when the fire gets inside them, that is a different story.  A fire on the inside will make a lasting change!

Where are you building fires?  Underneath or within?

If God is going to use you to set the hearts of men on fire for Him, He will have to set you ablaze first!

Stay Hot!