“According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it ……. But if anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss……” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, NKJV).
Every born-again believer is a co-builder of the kingdom of God. God needs us to build His kingdom. Apostle Paul reiterated this point in this passage, and also admonished us to build carefully, cautiously, meticulously, diligently and purposefully. According to him, every man’s work will be tested and evaluated. Some people’s work will endure and they will receive rewards, while some others will suffer loss because their work will fail at evaluation. In order to be a wise master whose work will endure, the following are necessary:
Build with intention: Apostle Paul said he doesn’t do shadow boxing (1 Corinthians 9:26, NLT). In other words, he just doesn’t throw punches in the air, every punch he throws is against a target. He doesn’t scatter nor waste efforts anyhow, he is deliberate and purposeful. Phillip, by the leading of the Holy Spirit joined the carriage of the Ethiopian eunuch who was ready to be saved (Acts 8: 26-39). This eunuch who was a top ranking official in his country went on to spread the gospel in his country. The
Holy Spirit will always lead us to ventures that will have divine impact. I know a Christian brother who keeps a log of unsaved friends and families and regularly intercedes for them. Efforts orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and by divine sense will endure till eternity.
Build with personal character: God is big on character. He is mindful of the vessel carrying His power. Strong character is built over time and also by regularly making right decisions. Character is tested in times of temptations and trials. In construction, they talk of structural integrity. A building with structural integrity is one that is formidable and withstand rigors, climate changes, weight, etc and stands over a long haul. Buildings that develop cracks over time are those with foundational problems. Jesus is the foundation we should build on at all times. For our work to endure, we have to be people of integrity. Apostle Paul said there’s a possibility of being disqualified after preaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:27).
Build with the right doctrine: We are admonished to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). This presupposes there’s a wrong dividing or interpretation of the Word. To build with right doctrine we must continue being a student of the Word who never graduates from the school of biblical studies. Some build ministries on spiritual gifts, personal charisma, etc. leaving out the word of God. It is only the word of God that is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). Everything else will fade with time, only the word is enduring. Jesus is the living word of God. The only true foundation to build on is the unadulterated word of God.
Build with eternity in view: Our passage and many other scriptures affirm that rewards will differ in heaven. Many myopic Christians are just okay with making heaven and are not particularly interested in sending worthy investments there that will herald their coming. We are going to have different influences in God’s Kingdom based on the work we do here. Having a heavenly perspective will make us behave like Apostle Paul. He said, “And I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls, ….”. Jesus said we are to be mindful of making worthy investments in Heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). We make this investment with our time, talents and treasures. May we all develop a stronger sense of eternity in Jesus name.
CONCLUSION: Apostle Paul tells us that the right materials to build with are gold, silver and precious stones. These materials when passed through the heavenly crucible will endure and not be consumed. The wrong materials to build with are wood, hay and straw which are consumed in the heavenly crucible (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). The right materials are all God made, while the wrong materials are man-made. Receive grace to work with the Holy Spirit today and always in order to be a wise master builder.
Have a blessed month.
|“And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place. And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:19-22 NLT
Drawing near to God is a deliberate action emanating from a determined and decisive person. Every move towards God is rewarded and matched by Him also taking steps towards us. God wants to be desired, sought after, pursued after and given priority by His children. Below are some ways to draw near to Him:
Draw near by the blood of Jesus: One major hindrance of men approaching God is a guilty conscience. The high priest under the Old Testament entered the holy of holies in the tabernacle once a year with the blood of bulls and goats to make atonement and secure forgiveness for the Israelites. In God’s kingdom, sin is purged by the shedding of blood. The blood of goats and bulls couldn’t heal a guilty conscience ridden of sin. It was only able to cleanse and purify the flesh and the outwardly, and not the inward where true worship is made to God (John 4:23-24). Jesus became the sacrifice for sins by His death on the cross of Calvary. By shedding His blood, He entered the heavenly holy of holies with his pure blood, obtaining eternal redemption and forgiveness for those who believe in Him. His blood cleanses from a guilty conscience and is the covering for believers as we approach the Most Holy God. The blood of Jesus is our merit and qualifier as we draw near to God. Reference: Hebrews 9:11-14
Draw near by purity: The Christian in the New Testament is the temple of God. Under the Old Testament the temple of God was the physical building (or some consecrated place) set apart for His worship. Cleanliness, attention to details and observance of protocols were the hallmarks of the worship of Jehovah in these locations. Now that we are the temple of God bearing the resident Holy Spirit within us, we are set apart for a holy purpose and true worship of God. We have been made kings and priests to God. We are to dominate our world and also to intercede for mankind before God. Our roles are very sacrosanct and requires the utmost responsibility from us. There is need for personal holiness as we serve God. References: 1 Peter 2:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Draw near with boldness. There were restrictions in the tabernacle in the Old Testament. The people were only allowed in the outer court. Some regular priests were allowed in the Holy place. Only the high priest was allowed in the holy of holies once a year. And while going in, a rope was tied on his leg because if the rules weren’t followed carefully he will be struck dead in the holy of holies. The high priest drew near to the most holy place with fear and trepidation. Jesus is the high priest of the new covenant, securing access to the holy of holies to those who believe in Him. He paid the sacrifice for us so that we can approach God boldly. He is also in the heavenly tabernacle as our perfect high priest, making intercession for us before God. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Conclusion: We have access to an unlimited God through Jesus Christ. Are you taking advantage of this access? Are you desirous of being intimate with this wonderful God? Are you taking advantage of the Divine Enabler within to draw close to God? Are your sins washed and forgiven by Jesus? Receive grace to draw near in Jesus’ name.
“Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power: the day when He redeemed them from the enemy.” (Psalm 78:41-42, NKJV).
The Israelites, on getting near to Canaan the Promised Land, refused to go forward. Ten out of the twelve leaders appointed by Moses said it was impossible for them to take the land considering the size and humongous nature of the giants who were occupying the land. It was only Joshua and Caleb who were willing to go on and take possession of the land. These two leaders said, “If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us …” (Numbers 14:8). They acknowledged the power of God in the situation.
God is unlimited in power; He has no inabilities or restrictions and can do all things. When we limit God, we restrict His actions in our lives, we bind His Hands and do not allow Him to operate freely on our behalf. Below are some ways to take the limits off God:
Re-new your mind: The Bible enjoins us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2). There is need to educate the mind with the scriptures in order to align our thoughts with the will of God. The battlefield is the mind of man. We are all products of our thoughts. The stronghold of fear, worry, anxiety, doubt, inferiority complex, etc are all products of the mind. God’s wish is that we meditate on His word and be in alignment with Him in our thinking! As we renew our minds we begin to think like Him, change inwardly and reflect His glory. The Israelites had been slaves all their lives and therefore had a slave mentality. They couldn’t see themselves owning Canaan, and in spite of all they had seen God do in Egypt, they doubted when they saw the giants in the land. Top athletes must exercise daily in order to remain in form and competitive. Neglecting to exercise regularly leads to weakness and loss of competence. Christians must renew their minds regularly in order to take the limits off God.
Re-member past victories: Every child of God has past victories. Before David faced Goliath, he remembered how God used him to kill the lion and the bear that confronted him in the wilderness. And he voiced these past victories to King Saul (1 Samuel 17:34-37). These became the platform for his faith and courage. There was no recounting of God’s past victories from the Israelites when they stood at the verge of Canaan. They couldn’t remember past victories at the face of challenge; all they could think of at that time was the seeming ‘security’ they had in Egypt. David made his boast in the Lord publicly when he told Saul how God used him to kill the lion and bear. Bold and audacious words coming out of a convinced and persuaded mind will always make God move mightily (Mark 11:22-24).
Re-kindle lost dreams: Many Christians when they first come to faith in Christ are full of lofty dreams and aspirations. But over time they become complacent when their realities don’t match their expectations. The way to always go is perseverance. We are not to be slothful but by faith and patience obtain God’s promises (Hebrews 6:12). Oil drillers never stop drilling when they are assured, through prospecting studies, that there is crude where they are drilling. God’s promises are yes and Amen in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). Jesus’ blood signed, sealed and delivered all of God’s promises to us.
Re-enact past moves: Literally, all Christians have made a move of faith at some point that glorified God. Moves of faith please God and take the limits off Him. With a renewed mind that puts Him first, God begins to acknowledge every move we make in faith. Signs follow those who believe and move in the name of the Lord! The four lepers at the gate of Samaria that God used to bring deliverance to Samaria would have died on that spot if they had not made a move. They moved and the prophetic word by Prophet Elisha found fulfillment (2 Kings 7). Prophecies are realized as believers make moves in the direction of the prophetic word.
CONCLUSION: To take the limits off God, we must seek fresh divine experiences through an intimate relationship with Him. I pray God’s Hands shall be loosed over us all in this new month in Jesus’ name.
“And the Lord said, behold, the people is one, and they have all one language, and this they begin to do: AND NOTHING WILL BE RESTRAINED FROM THEM, WHICH THEY IMAGINE TO DO” (Genesis 11:6).
The Merriam Webster dictionary meaning of the word imagination is to form a mental image of something not actually present to the senses. In the above scripture, a united humanity was making progress in the building of a tower they envisioned. God had to come down to disrupt the building project else they would have achieved their goal because of their unity and the imagination of their hearts. God Himself said nothing will be restrained from them which they imagine to do.
One of the Hebrew words for imagination is ‘yetser’ which means a form or conception. The human mind is basically divided into two: the memory and imagination compartments. With the memory, we replay events of the past; and with the imagination, we pre-play and visualize the outcomes we desire in the future. The imagination compartment is our spiritual womb. Below are three types of imagination, viz:
Vain imagination: The word vain means useless; something that produces no result. The Bible says because some people refuse to glorify God they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts became darkened (Romans 1:21). An unregenerate person who refuses to give ample room to God in his or her mind falls into this category. An evil mind that is being controlled by evil forces also fall into this category. This kind of imagination produces evil outcomes that is dangerous and detrimental to humanity.
Fertile imagination: This is productive imagination. This is the mind which has been cultivated and is harnessing the power of imagination resident within. Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich said “whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” This maxim is in line with Ephesians 3, verse 20 which says God can grant to us whatever we ask or think according to the power resident within us. Many don’t receive from God because their words and the imagination of their hearts do not agree. You can’t be healed after praying for healing when at the same time you are thinking death. We produce good outcomes when there is alignment between the images we carry within and the words we speak.
Godly imagination: These are godly dreams and visions. They are images God Himself paints in the canvasses of the mind. He showed Abraham many stars in the night and told him his descendants will be as numerous as the stars of the firmament (Genesis 15:5-6). As a new believer, I was greatly engrossed in playing chess with my unbelieving friends to the expense of my time with God, and God in convicting me to change my company began to show me images of chess board every time I kneel to pray. He communicated with me that the company I was keeping and the amount of time spent playing chess were a hindrance to my walk with Him.
Conclusion: What images are you forming in your mind? Are they positive or negative images? How do you see yourself? Our imagination is our spiritual womb. Like the mother hen that sits on his chicks before they hatch, we also conceive and incubate things within us before they manifest. God gave us imagination to help in our walk with Him. As we daily imagine His greatness, His Holiness, His acts, He shall become magnified in our lives. Remember that whatever you focus on magnifies in your life. Have a blessed month!