Careful Temple Builder 1 Cor. 3
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Quiet Time Reflections:
I Corinthians 3:5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.
16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.
Essential Question: Accd. to I Cor. 3, Who are we in the spiritual realm?
v5 Servants assigned to a task by the Lord
v6 Planters and Waterers used by God who makes things grow
v7 We planters and waterers are not anything special. It is God who makes things grow
v8 We are given a purpose
v9 We are co-workers in God's service
v9 We are God's field
v9 We are God's building
v10 With wisdom and care, enabled by God's grace, together we are builders upon the foundation and the building structure
v11 We are builders upon the laid foundation of Jesus
v12 We have choices to build with: gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw
v13 We are tested by fire regarding the quality work we have built
v14 We are reward-earners for work
v15 We are survivors even if everything burns
v16 We are God's temple
v16 We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit in our midst
v17 If we destroy God's temple, we will be destroyed
v17 Together we are God's temple
v17 We are sacred, as God's temple is sacred
Above all, God's grace empowers us to do anything and everything.
He calls us his temple, his field, his structure. He assigns us the task of carefully planting, watering, weeding, and cultivating his fields. Of ingeniously creating supports, attentively laying bricks, finely crafting the elements and design of a magnificently sacred temple.
But we are his fruit. We are his temple.
It is like he is empowering us to build something not just to glorify Him, but will also result in making us more fruitful and holy. It's twisted.
It reminds me of a story Lucille Heydt was telling me about a nephew that stayed with them for a while. They required him to pay rent for room and board the whole time he was there, so he could save enough money to put a down payment on his own place. When he was ready to leave, the Heydts gave him all his money back--they had been investing it for him every time he made a payment.
Yes, he needed to pay. But they didn't need his money. They were helping him to be accountable and practice using his resources wisely. He was growing, and in the end he was blessed with everything he'd supplied.
God gives us jobs to do. His grace enables us to do them. We are in turn blessed/rewarded by the wisdom and efforts of our quality of work. How can we lose?
Yeah, that's a good question. It actually has a answer. We can lose by not being wise, careful, industrious, and harmonious. We can lose by being lazy, passive, and inattentive. We can lose by being imprudent, foolish, and reckless. We can lose by not being circumspect, fastidious, and discerning. We can lose by being sidetracked with arguments and strife with our fellow laborers. We can lose by not recognizing the seriousness and value of the task we are called and empowered to do.
So, what is the garden or temple God is calling me specifically to build?
This is a good question. Perhaps I should "Phone a Friend."
I'll start with my physical body, which I have been working toward making a priority--my body should be built with healthy food, not junk; with exercise, not lethargy and apathy.
My mind should be built with thoughts of goodwill, purity, scripture, prayers, songs, ideas of positive influence, knowledge, wisdom and intelligence.
My emotions should be reigned in and analyzed against my purpose and truth of who I am in Christ--not just how I perceive things to be at the moment. Joy and peace should overrule despair, fear, and insecurity.
Building one another up in harmony and true concern should be a priority.
I'm thinking of Philippians 4:8-9:
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Lord, thank you for speaking to me through your scripture. Thank you for giving me your word to ponder. Help me to be changed by these thoughts--to become a more conscientious builder. To remember that my task in this world is important--not insignificant. Help me to meditate on things that are pure, noble, true, holy, lovely, just, praiseworthy, and of blessings toward others. Help me to learn and receive from You daily so I can be built up as a structure to glorify You. Help me to spread joy instead of strife. Help me to choose healthy instead of choose apathetic. Help me to remember I am a child of the king of kings. Help me to live in the light of your grace and love. I need you every hour. Transform me into a wise builder today. Amen.