Recently, I've been involved in the examination of an old house. It was built in 1973. Over the years, it has seen a lot of changes. The original garage is now a den, and there is a relatively new garage extension. The walls have been moved to add a 3rd bedroom. Both bathrooms have been moved. A screened porch was added on the back several years ago. The cabinets in the kitchen are new, as is the countertop and the flooring. It is a house which has been much loved and developed. As a result it bears little resemblance inside to how it was when it was brand new. The exterior is somewhat changed, but the changes there are not as obvious.
It still has a few problems, although minor ones, since no house is perfect in all its ways. There are still issues which must be addressed.
In today's scripture passage, we find the beautiful analogy that we are Christ's "house".
I love The Message version of this passage. Let's continue to take a good, hard look at the Son of God. He is in charge of His Church, His House, that redeemed group of humans for whom He came and which has accepted His finished work of salvation.
As the One in charge, he "develops" us. There are times he has to do some "demolition". We can always be sure that He does it right, though - - no building code violations, no shortcuts, no shoddy workmanship. Paul alludes to this when he tells us in Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) ...
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Let's examine our lives today and see where God is "working on" us, His beautiful house. Are you undergoing minor repairs, or is God tearing an entire wing off of you (an "extreme makeover")? Is He replacing your roof, your furnace, your bathtub? Is He merely "redecorating" you at the moment? Maybe he is adorning you with beautiful things! Whatever stage of "development" you are in, I pray that you will recognize His hand in your life, Christian, and humble yourself under His mighty, loving hand. Be bold, as today's scripture says, in your confidence that He has you in the palm of His hand! He is in control, no matter your circumstances.
Our salvation is finished, secure! We are forever His, because He is faithful. Still, as part of His House we are all, after all, "under construction". :)
I've never visited the Billy Graham library, but would like to, someday. I'm told that his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, is buried there and that her tombstone bears an unusual inscription:
END OF CONSTRUCTION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
Father, where my floors are sagging, shore me up;
Where my gutters are clogged, clean me out;
Where there is mold, disinfect me;
Where cold winds blow in and steal my fire, seal me;
Where the enemy gnaws on my bones like a pestilent insect, inoculate me;
Where my rails are wobbly, steady me;
Where my rooms are empty, fill me with your Holy Spirit,
For Your honor and glory alone!
In Jesus' name, amen.