Last month our fellowship made a transition. We moved our Sunday afternoon services into a conference room of a local church.
During this transition time, God had been dealing with me about having a firm foundation. Most of us in the fellowship have a fine understanding of the gospel and have good life experience to back it up. I leave room for people to share what is on their heart, but when all is said and done, there is still an unsettled feeling. God was still moving on me about a firm foundation.
Throughout this week I was toiling with what God would have for this week with very little success. What did God want for this week? I would try to study my life activities, open the Word, and ask God what He would have me do. Still nothing. Normally I would have a flood of things to share with little time to share them.
Then came the weekend. Yesterday, I had a project set up to move a shed in our back yard. I had four other guys helping me with the job. This was a first for me, and I was ready to learn.
We had all the materials we needed. The plywood to replace the dry rotted floor, extra cinder blocks for more support, good primer to paint the new wood and of course the existing structure to be moved. We had no lack of supply or manpower.
Before we could use all that great manpower, we had to layout the foundation in the new location. The new cinder blocks had to perfectly leveled and squared with no variance. This took time and care. The old foundation was poorly laid, too close to the ground. That’s why we had a rotted floor. By the time my friend and I painted the wood and laid out the foundation, the rest of the help arrived. We’ll finish the rest of this story a little later.
In seeing the process of this weekend project, the lights came on and Word of God exploded inside of me. The funny thing is that when it came time to gather, the only ones there this week were my wife and I. Probably because of Fathers Day. I felt like saying, “You can’t have church unless the church shows up.” Instead we went on as usual. It was the best service we had in nearly six months. But I felt I had something for all. My wife, Marilyn, said she didn’t want to leave the presence in that room. The whole room was filled with His mercy and grace. After about an hour of such a thick company of anointed power, I told her that I had to go home and write down what God shared with me in my time together with Him. Here it was Fathers Day, and my heavenly daddy was pouring out His awesome love on m
As I was sitting in the park this afternoon contemplating yesterday’s events and getting ready for the service I opened my bible to 1 Corinthians 3 and read
9. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Peter wrote in chapter 2 of his first epistle, “…I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:6-10)
Christ is that cornerstone so precisely placed by our loving Father, when Jesus died on the cross and said in that ninth hour, “IT IS FINISHED!” The foundation was laid. Everything is squared and leveled. It’s ready for this awesome building not made by the hand of man to be moved from darkness into His marvelous light. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God is fully reconciled to the world.
Now getting back to 1 Corinthians 3 Paul continues in verse 12:
12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13. Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Yes we all go through the fire, but it is only to prove what has been established in this firm foundation. All the wood, hay and stubble will be consumed in His all consuming fire. But YOU shall be saved by that same fire. Verse 16 & 17 tells you that you are the temple of God. The Spirit of God lives in you. If any man destroys that temple, God will destroy, for the temple is holy, and YOU are that temple.
In Ephesians 2:14-22, Paul tells us that he is our peace, he broke down the middle wall of partition (that veil that separated God from man). The same veil that was torn in the temple on that final day of our atonement, giving us full access to the throne of God. In his death, he abolished everything that separated us from God. No longer strangers but fellow citizens in the household of God, with Jesus Christ being that chief cornerstone. In Christ, we are made a fitly framed habitation of God Almighty.
When I read this, my mind went back to yesterday’s project. Once everything was in place, the foundation set, the floor in replaced and the shed on its new position, we couldn’t get the doors to sit right. They were level but this cool vinyl shed just wouldn’t sit right. We tweaked it one way then shimmied it another way, but nothing would work. Then as one of the guys stood back, he noticed a glimmer of light shining at the base of the shed in the back. As we looked to see what caused it, we found that there were small fragments of wood form the old foundation still stuck on the bottom. Once we removed those fragments, the shed fell into place and all was made level. As small as those fragments were, they made all the difference. If it wasn’t for the light, the fragments would have gone unnoticed. Now I have a perfect shed. When we thought everything should be right, the fragments were revealed and a new understanding came on us. Jesus is the light that lights every man. Thank God for that precious light.
As I was thinking about this, the chorus to a Jason Upton song popped into my head:
All things are possible when you realize
All things are not as though they seem
All things are possible when you realize
The truth is not trapped in what we see
Now God had me trapped in Ephesians, and I couldn’t get out. I went to chapter 3 and read verses 14-21. Paul said he prayed to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, to grant us, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the INNER MAN. He prayed that Christ would dwell in our hearts by faith; being rooted and grounded in love, to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, length, depth, and height; to the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God. This awesome love of God passes any knowledge we can have in ourselves. This house is built on His vast relationship with us, not on our vast knowledge of Him. His relationship toward us draws us into a growing knowledge of Him. When one is captivated by another, they want to know all there is to know about them. Not out of duty, but out of love and admiration.
To top it off, God lead me further into Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul finds himself as a prisoner of Christ, begging us to walk worthy of what God has called each of us into. That we humbly, gently and patiently hold each other up in love; striving to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He tells us that there is only one body, one Spirit, one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, above all, through all, and in us all. To every one of us is given grace according to “the measure” of the gift of Christ. Paul used “the measure” phrase five times in his recorded writings, three times in this chapter. Every time it is used, it is used as the gift of God that was given to us thru the cross. Biblically speaking, five is a representation of God’s grace and three harmony. This measure is God’s grace toward us that we may walk in harmony with Him. We have all been given this same measure; we are all one body, yet many members. My lungs serve a different purpose than my kidneys, but their source of supply to function is the same.
We were held captive by reason of Adam partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and thru Christ we are now captivated into LIFE, causing us to ascend into the high place with him. He descended into the lower parts of our humanity and made us free by the blood that was shed on the cross to draw all men to the fullness of His glory, taking us far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. In the next three verses (11-13) he tells us that the purpose of the ministry is for the perfecting of the saints, that we might ALL come in the UNITY of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, and the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: no more to be as children tossed all over by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men’s cunning craftiness, where they lie in wait to deceive. But to speak the truth in love and grow up into him in all things, our head which is Christ: for whom the whole body fitly joined together and made solid by what every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, making the body increase in love.
Romans 12:2-3 tells us not to be tied down to the systems and rituals of man, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that we might see the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. He warned us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but to think soberly because God has dealt to every man the same measure of faith.
This is our foundation. As I sat in that park basking in the fullness of the summer sun, I was flooded with the fullness of the greatest SON of all. My big brother did all that for me. It was the joy that was shown him by the Father that caused him to endure the cross for all of creation. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
By no means am I placing any judgment on anyone. That is never my intent. It is only to share the splendor of His creation in us. Oh how magnificent it is.