Welcome to the ninth month of 2017. The number 9 is significant as it represents fullness. Our prayer is that your blessings are full and all your expectations are met in Jesus’ name.
This month’s theme is Builders with God. One of the greatest builders in recorded in the Bible was Nehemiah. To build successfully with God, He must sanction all our endeavours. God’s presence in our projects makes the difference between success and failure (Psalm 127:1). Our prayer for you is that you only embark on projects God approves of in Jesus’ name.
The Church was – and still continues to be – built by Jesus (Matthew 16:18). As such, in discussing our topic, Builders with God, we must establish Jesus as the chief builder and (sole) owner of the church (1 Corinthians 3:9). On this journey of building, we are both “the farmland” and “farmers” as God is building us but has also called us to be co-builders. God has given us the responsibility of building His Church with Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22). We have been called to build:
- The Church by working in God’s vineyard (teaching, singing, preaching etc);
- Ourselves by devoting ourselves to God and growing in Him (Colossians 2:6-7);
- Relationships by exhibiting Christ-like characteristics (be kind, affectionate and tender-hearted) in all our dealings with people (John 13:35, Romans 14:19).
The Qualifications for Building with God
One of the most significant building projects in the Old Testament was the building of the Ark. God in Genesis 6, gave Noah very specific instructions about building the ark – including dimensions and materials to use because Noah found grace in the Lord’s eyes (Genesis 6:8).
- Grace: The first thing that qualifies a man to build with God is grace. On our own as men, we are not qualified to approach God or for any of His blessings, but grace makes the difference, makes us able to access Him and His blessings for which we do not qualify (Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 Corinthians 15:10).
- An obedient heart: To build with God, it is important to have an obedient heart. Noah obeyed God’s instructions about the ark to the letter without questioning Him or grumbling.
- Faithful endurance: Building the ark took time, but Noah kept at it till it was finished. It does not matter what trials or pain we go through, we should worship God in and through them, knowing that faithful is He who promised.
The Stipulations for Building with God
Another important building project from the Old Testament is the Tabernacle in the wilderness. From this structure we learn stipulations for building with God.
- Build according to pattern: We cannot desire to build with God and do it our own way, we must build according to His pattern (Exodus 25:8, Hebrews 1:1-3, Hebrews 12:2).
- Giving is required: We must be willing to give (of) our resources, including our time, money, energy and talents to the things of God. God loves a cheerful giver.
- Anointed, gifted people: Being filled with the Holy Spirit is very important.