“David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob”- Acts 7:46 (NIV)
There was once a man in a certain village who was asked why he hadn’t built himself a house. “But why when we shall all die and leave these things behind!” he quipped. Don’t be shocked- this attitude is quite common, including among certain believers, who view taking on building projects as embracing materialism.
Far from it though God does take joy in erecting structures for personal use and His work.
Towards the end of his life, King David told his subjects, “He has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. “ Now He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build My house and My courts…Then David gave his son Solomon the plans for the vestibule, its houses, its treasuries, its upper chambers, its inner chambers, and the place of the mercy seat” (I Chronicles 28:6-11).
After returning to Jerusalem, Nehemiah, noted, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace” (Nehemiah 2:17).
Wherever God’s people have been they have left a mark by building churches and cathedrals that litter and beautify landscapes all over the world. While some may view these as worldly projects, they do leave God’s finger prints on the earth.
But undertaking such projects is never easy. Solomon spent seven years building the temple of God (I Kings 6). Nehemiah faced opposition while rebuilding the wall. So much was the opposition that faced with threat of attack, “half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor... Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other” (Nehemiah 4: 16-17).
Today, what building project has God put on your heart? It could be a house to His glory. Or, maybe, for some other purposes, like a residence. May you do so with the skill and dedication of his servants long before who believed and trusted God revealing Himself through awesome building projects.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, what a joy and blessing to join you in creation when we do set our hearts to build houses that give you glory, and so we pray you may enable us so, as we pray in Jesus’s name.
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!