Written by cycleguy on January 6th, 2013

Have you ever watched (the now cancelled) Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?  I would occasionally have a chance to watch it and I have to admit some fascination of it.  Each week, Ty and his band of merry house-wreckers would find a well-deserved person/family that needed a new house; send them off on some vacation; tear down the house; and then with help from local people, rebuild a house in one to two weeks.  There was some criticism that at times it was overblown.  And there have been cases where the people could not keep up the house.  But come on people!  Get a life!  Those people received a brand new house courtesy of a huge number of vendors and friends.

In my last post, I mentioned my theme for the year is “Under Construction” and my sermon series for January/February is “Beliefs Under Construction.”   This past Sunday I spoke about the never-ending project God does in our lives.  I also gave an “assignment” and thought I would share the answers in this post.  So…here you go.

Four tools for God’s continuing work in our lives

Tool #1: Humility [Verse 1a]- Paul speaks of being a servant, which was not a slam, but a title of dignity and humility.

Tool #2: Unity [Verses 1b-2]- Humility is the attitude of love; unity is the atmosphere in which love thrives.  The spirit of unity is seen in a good relationship with leadership and with the words grace and peace.

Tool #3: Intercession [Verses 3-5]- Paul was grateful for their partnership and continually prayed for them.

Tool #4: God’s work is never done [Verse 6]- The ESV uses the words “I am sure of this.”  They are the word “confident” or “persuaded of.”

The second challenge I gave was finding the three essentials for growing.  Here they are:

Growth in Spiritual Devotion– [Verse 9]  He prays our love will abound more and more. The picture of abound is a bucket underneath a waterfall.

Growth in Spiritual Discernment [Verse 10a] He speaks of excellence.  We are to approve (examine, discern) what is best.

Growth in Spiritual Development [Verses 10b-11] Integrity and good works are by-products of devotion and discernment.

It doesn’t take a biblical scholar to see why we are a never-ending project.  Those things take a lifetime to fulfill.  There is no magic formula to recite. No magic prayer to pray.  No magic book to read.  No magic conference to attend.  No special teacher to follow or mimic.   They are a result of God’s steady- sometimes slow, sometimes fast- work in our lives.  It involves surrender on our part, a willingness to be His.

Question: are you His?  I would like to say I am “all the way in.”  But I would be lying.  I am praying that I will be God’s project in  2013.  The ramifications of that sure put some “fear” in me. You?


25 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I oftentimes feel like I take one step forward, only to take two or three steps back. I get so frustrated with myself and my lack of progress at times.

  2. Bill, my word this year is transformed. I aim for that to be a slow daily thing.

  3. Jeff says:

    Given the results of a recent Barna survey that reveals very few people that identify as Christians actually have a Christian worldview, it seems like you have your work cut out for you. Most people may say they want a Christian worldview but the facts say otherwise. It is hard to get something you really don’t want.

  4. Eileen says:

    Under Construction. Good theme, Bill. I am feeling much the same way.

  5. Bill…I’ve always known that I was a real piece of work! 😉 Glad to know I have company!

    For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

  6. Dan Black says:

    Hi Bill,

    I’m all about growing and developing self. One of the main growth areas I focus on is in the area of spiritual growth. I make it a priority to connect with God everyday and do things that would nourish and develop my relationship with God.

    Great post.

  7. floyd says:

    Rats… I was close!
    This is just like school!

    It is a constant seeking in the weak flesh toward our Father. I hear you on the fear. What God can do to our lives is miraculous, some of us already have that designation, but the remodeling is always uncomfortable and a little scary. He is the answer to all things. Great post, Bill.

  8. tcavey says:

    Sounds like a great sermon.

    I asked God for a word for me this year to help me grow in Him. He gave me Dependence. That word puts fear in me, but I trust God will guide me through this learning process as I learn. Yes, I am His project. Thankfully He’s a master craftsman…because I’m sure I’ll mess things up!

  9. I love this that you said, “unity is the atmosphere in which love thrives.” I preached about this yesterday that the divisions we make in our hearts can be very subtle, but they keep us from expressing His love fully nonetheless. The more He brings us into unity through our surrender, the more we know Him and display Him. Good word, Bill! Thanks.

  10. Steve Martin says:

    I’m ALL the way in!

    And not by anything that I do, say, feel, or think.

    I’m ALL the way in…because He has brought me ALL the way in…and declared me holy and righteous for Jesus’ sake (not even my own sake).

    That’s why it’s ssh GREAT NEWS!

    Thanks, Bill.

  11. Debbie says:

    I often pray prayers then before thinking about exactly what it might mean. Maybe that’s a good thing though! So praying to be God’s project with you. God bless you and thank you for encouraging us. It really blessed me for you to say there is no magic formula, book, prayer, conference, teacher, etc. It’s just God’s steady work.

  12. You know what you post made me think of? It’s painful when you’re growing spiritually, but it’s a good pain because you know you’re his.

  13. Jan says:

    I definitely am a never ending project…thank you for the tools & essentials! LOVE this! Going to write these all down. 🙂

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