Under Construction!

Now you who are not Jewish are not foreigners or strangers any longer, but are citizens together with God’s holy people. You belong to God’s family. 20 You are like a building that was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Christ Jesus himself is the most important stone in that building, 21 and that whole building is joined together in Christ. He makes it grow and become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in Christ you, too, are being built together with the Jews into a place where God lives through the Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NCV)

An interesting aspect of this section of the Scripture is that it is present tense. Christ is in the process of building us up to be “a holy temple in the Lord” and “a habitation of God in the Spirit” as we live our lives. What this means is that Christ, through His Word and Spirit, is in the process of building this spiritual house. Christ is not building a church building, of course. The focus here is not on church buildings at all. It is on Christ’s people together loving each other and building each other up in our common faith. We love our brothers and sisters in Christ to build them up in their faith. We love others, believing that God can use our words, actions and lives to help them see Jesus ( 1 Peter 2:12 ).

Christ is building a place in us where He himself dwells. It’s an amazing, powerful, yet very simple plan. The materials that Christ uses are evident: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” ( Galatians 5:22-23 ). The materials that human beings are tempted to build with are also evident: “evil, greed…envy, … strife, deceit and malice… gossip, slander, boasting…” ( Romans 1:28-32 & Ephesians 4:30-32 ).

We can trust Christ to forgive us for the times when we build with lousy materials that won’t endure His final inspection. But let us live in hope and expectation. He is working. He has promised to build, and that’s a precious promise assuring us that we are a work in progress in Christ. Though we “Stay-At-Home”, I believe there can and should be a construction boom through the work of Christ’s Word and Spirit in us, along with the solid hope that God will hear our prayers for strength and patience!

Lord, your Word tells me, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain” (Ps 127:1). So, I pray that Your will and good work in Christ would be done in me. Please give me strong hope, wisdom, strength and patience as you work in me and also as I live and work with those around me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

"People who do not believe are living all around you and might say that you are doing wrong. Live such good lives that they will see the good things you do and will give glory to God on the day when Christ comes again." 1 Peter 2:12 (NCV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)

“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32 (NIV)

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:30-32 (NIV)