Sorry for no posts for a while, but I was on a mission trip in Haiti and we had no internet. What a blessing! One of the things we did was lay the foundation for a new church building. While I was out there pouring cement, a five gallon bucket at a time, so many parallels came to mind about laying a foundation for the church, on stony ground, with thorn bushes here and there, the hot sun beating on us, but God is in control and Christ is our true foundation, the chief cornerstone. The church service we had was wonderful, 41 people and 25 of them children. Although it was in Creole, we had one universal language and that was our love and faith in Jesus Christ. The people here were very passionate in their worship and with things like voodoo in this land, their faith (as well as spiritual battles) is very real.
For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
I loved the analogies that kept coming to my mind as we were laying the foundation of the church building. The most awesome thing was knowing that the foundation had already been laid. That foundation is Christ. All that we do matters little without Jesus as our foundation. He holds us up. He is our strength, our refuge, our salvation. He is that solid rock that we stand on.
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”
So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
It is going to be great for my friends to have a building to worship in. A building that will protect them from the elements, the heat of the sun, the wind, the rain. But we know that the church is not a building. It is the people. While I was at the mission, we had a good turnout for the service. So often we associate “church” with the service on Sunday morning. But it is much more than that. It is people gathering together to worship. It is people seeking God throughout the week. It is people honoring God in their lives. It is people helping each other with their needs. It is people praying for one another and praying for the world.
1 Corinthians 3:5-17
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
We are God’s temple. He dwells in us, all of us who believe. Our efforts will be rewarded, but the true reward is Christ Himself. By trusting in Him, we have eternal salvation. We are declared righteous and adopted as sons and daughters. We are His chosen people. We are God’s house, and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone for that house, being a strong foundation that will never fall. No matter what storm comes our way, we can be confident. He will give us strength. He will protect us and lead us. We are special to Him.
1 Peter 2:4-10
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
“Behold, I lay in Zion
A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,
“The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling
And a rock of offense.”
They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.