Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Shepastor: "What Kind of House Are You Building?"

Psalm 127: 1-3, NLT

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of Solomon.

1Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Shepastor: “What Kind of House Are You Building?”

We’ve heard the saying, “They just don’t build things like they used to!” The other day I was watching a news story about fires and the difference in how quickly houses burn today, verses 25-30 years ago. Representatives from the local fire department met with the news commentator, taking him to two rooms set up for the demonstration. In one room was furniture from the 80’s…a sturdy wooden table, a couch made with wood, cotton and other natural materials etc.

In the next room was a more modern room, outfitted with synthetic materials, “mixed wood” and less expensive materials. The more modern room looked GREAT…stylish, the latest fashions etc. The room from the 80’s looked outdated, old and just, “ok.” But when both were set on fire, the modern room went up into a blaze in 3-5 minutes. A family in a home such as this would literally have 3-5 minutes to exit before being totally consumed with heat, smoke and flames. The older room, however, took 20 minutes to be consumed. The flames smoldered around the cotton pillows for at least 3-5 minutes before expanding across the couch and then onto the heavy wooden table. A family in this home would have a least 20 minutes to get out before the house would go up in flames.

Both are short periods of time, but the point was that 20 minutes is a whole lot longer than 3-5 minutes! What made the difference? The newer home, though more expensive, sleek and attractive was made with cheap materials…easily burned up. The older home, though somewhat outdated used heavy, durable, more expensive materials that could withstand sudden flames.

King Solomon understood this concept, both in the natural and later in the spiritual. Concerning the physical structure of the temple, he spared no expense in building the strongest, the most valuable, the most beautiful materials he could find to build an edifice suited to the worship and glory of God. He came to understand in a greater way, however, that “unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it are doing so in vain.”

So many focus on the exterior building…how we look, how others look at us, our appearance, etc. So many spend the vast majority of their lives focused upon the external. If it were not so, the fashion, makeup, auto, housing and gymnasium industries would not be as lucrative! People want to look good…in their clothes, in their cars…in their homes…in their bodies…with their makeup…with their hair…folks want to look good! There is nothing wrong with looking good. All of our outer looks, however will be “burned up” rapidly if we have not done the hard internal work necessary to “build” a durable, resilient, “knowing” of who we are and who God is within our being.

So many are “burned up” by the circumstances of life. Life can be tough, painful, unfair, disappointing and cruel. If you have spent all of your time focused on the external and very little on the internal, your labor will be in vain. What good is it to work yourself to death to get all of the things you think you want, only to drop dead, over worked, stressed to the hilt, neglecting what really matters. That’s what Jesus said about the man who tore down his barns to build bigger barns…the man was so pleased with all that he had accomplished…so pleased with all of the wealth he had amassed…so thrilled that he was storing up more and more…building up his external house. Jesus said about the man, “thou fool, this night your soul shall be required of you.” Jesus went on to say, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? What shall a man give in exchange of his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

Are you focused upon what really matters? Are you doing what is necessary to build up your spirit…your inner being? Are you spending specific, strategic time in prayer, talking and listening to the Lord? What are you doing to build up your inner spirit…your soul? Are you hiding the Word of God in your heart through reading and studying? Are you seeking God’s instruction for your life daily? Are you praying without ceasing? Do you spend any time in prayer and fasting?

Are you engaged in obeying the voice and the leading of God’s precious Holy Spirit? What are you teaching and showing your children, grandchildren, those around you? Are you building a life…a testimony…a legacy of strong, durable materials? Or are you using synthetic, inexpensive, easily burned products…praying every now and then when and if you think about it…only opening the Bible on Sunday if then…going through life just doing what you think is best…what will enrich you without regard to the work of the Kingdom…without concern for what God’s Holy Word says about holy and righteous living.

What kind of house are you building? Unless the Lord is building your house, your labor is in vain.

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Until Next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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