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?