“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Cor. 3:9 (NIV)
“A house tells a lot about the person who lived in it,” my husband, the carpenter mumbled. He looked his grimy self, covered with sawdust, clothed in painter’s attire.
“I’m sure the owner of our previous house is wondering why I did some things the way I did.”
It was a generous comment since we left our house in pretty good shape within and without.
His forehead is puckered in the concentration of wondering where the electrical wires are connected and placement of new ones. He is a blur of back and forth, grunts and perspiration. Men tend to make a lot of noise when they work.
The house we bought is in good shape, it just needs some love and updating. I’m a long way from the love at this point but knee deep in updating.
“He liked security and privacy,” Phil said. He’d found Fort Knox bolts in the window casing. An absence of internal stairs to the basement assured a private workspace below, and floodlights light up deer passing the bedroom at night. I know the lady of the house must have enjoyed the color pink, hooks in surprising places, and gardening.
But his comment made me think.
What will the next generation read from the footprints I leave behind? Will they find shoddy workmanship or will I leave behind a blueprint of obedience and trust in the Master Builder?
“…For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 3:11 (NIV)
The apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians to remember God Himself is the foundation of the church and core of our faith. He didn’t want the fledgling church to leave behind a pile of rubbish for the next generation.
“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is…”
I want to paint, finish the flooring and hang curtains. I’m impatient to put my cosmetic finishes on this home. But, without attending to the stuff in between the walls and underneath the floors, parts no one sees, the house I leave behind for the next generation will be a pile of sticks.
My husband, the wise rebuilder is first making sure its bones and marrow are healthy.
“…because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” 1 Cor. 3:12-13 (NIV)
Paul wrote His letter for the Corinthian church for believers way-back-then but with eyes looking far-ahead-to the future. Division within the church ran rampant. The church clung to the worldly culture from which it came. Morality was attacked. Political and religious ideology wobbled its walls and sinful living threatened to overthrow even its pillars. Changing loyalties swayed believers.
Sounds kinda like today.
But there is a picture far greater than what meets the eye.
The Creator of the universe came to earth to live as the son of a carpenter.
He understood building, foundations and sound walls. The One who spoke our world into being, submitted Himself to the disciplines of a hammer and saw.
“Do it right the first time,” my husband tells me when he finds yet another thing under the surface to fix, yet another delay toward the finishing touches.
I might be guilty at times of wanting to speed up the house process by covering over some of the glaring imperfections rather than fixing them. I might chafe with impatience, but short cuts rarely produce the end results we hope for.
I am glad Jesus is interested in the inward construction of hearts and minds. I am thankful He provides an enduring foundation. I am so grateful for the patient instruction He provides through His Word, a perfect blueprint for daily living. And I hold tightly to His promise of a home ahead built to last throughout all eternity.
A house tells a lot about the person who lived in it.
May we build strong and solid.