Topic: Builders For God [Monday 28, August 2017]
Memorise: Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
Read: Nehemiah 2:1-8 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why is thy countenance sad, seeing thou art not sick? this is nothing else but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,
3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchres, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?
4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.
5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers’ sepulchres, that I may build it.
6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.
7 Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 16-18; Ezekiel 32:16-28, Hymn: Sing hymn 14: Take My Life
A builder is a person who is capable of handling the design, planning and construction of a building project. A builder is obligated to execute a building project in compliance with the specifications of the blueprint he or she has been given. Throughout the Bible, terms like building, foundation, house, temple, building block and cornerstones, are used figuratively. For example, the Bible presents God as a Builder in Hebrews 11:10, while 1 Corinthians 3:11 presents the Christian faith as a building which has Jesus Christ as the foundation. Consequently, ministers of the gospel are co-labours with God and also builder (1 Corinthians 3:9). Similarly, the duties and responsibilities of a minister of God can be compared to that of a builder in many ways. A builder should be a wise person who is skilled in the art and science of construction. Likewise, a minister of the gospel should be skilful in the art of building the souls of men. No ignorant preacher should be given this sensitive assignment. A builder takes special care to lay the right foundation and selects the right materials to make the building well suited for the foundation. In like manner, ministers of God must be mindful of the materials they use in building the Church of God. Christ is our Living Foundation who requires the use of living stones for building the Church (1 Peter 2:5-6). Sometimes, a builder must first pull down an old structure and remove the resultant debris before laying a new foundation. Ministers of the gospel must also pull down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and remove the debris of many errors, indiscipline, false doctrines and damnable heresies.
There is an aspect of the building profession that involves creativity and craftsmanship. By these set of skills, much beauty, innovation, artistry, colour and style is achieved in a building project. Similarly, the introduction of creative ideas into various aspects of the work of the gospel has produced enviable results across the world. However, caution must be applied because the Bible views certain creative works as whitewashed sepulchres (Matthew 23:27). The decision to accept or reject any creative work is not driven by the work itself, but is determined by the spirit that motivates the worker. Fine craftsmen can prostitute their talents by producing beautiful idols. The Church of God is a work in progress and every Christian is duty-bound to make their contributions in compliance with the blueprint of Jesus and according to God’s specifications. Let everyone take heed and watch how they build on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Prayer Point: Father, please don’t let me suffer lost in life and ministry; let my efforts and contributions to the advancement of the gospel be rewarded in Jesus’ Name.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.