Posts filed under: Bible Study

I have a love for trivia games and shows. Trivial Pursuit, Disney Trivia, Who Want to be A Millionaire and Jeopardy! just to name a few. For the longest time I prided myself on the amount of useless knowledge I had gained. In early 2001, a new game show caught my attention, Weakest Link. The players would work to bank money based on answering questions correctly. At the end of each round the player that performed poorly was voted out by their teammates. Each weak link would be ousted by the host saying, “You are the weakest link, goodbye.” The final round was the last two teammates going head to head with one eliminated as the final weakest link. You can guess that the remaining teammate won, receiving the banked money as their prize. This game intrigued me. I wanted nothing more than to be the best, to take my “rightful” place as know it all, and receive the biggest prize at the end of the day – in MANY areas of my life.

Years have past and I’d like to think that I’m a different person because of my relationship with Christ. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” The all have sinned part I have totally believed for years and years. It is the part in bold print that has so recently stung my heart. I have fallen short. I’ve missed the big prize. I do not measure up. On my own, apart from Christ, I am a weak, sinful mess. I am the weakest link.

Once again the Scriptures have brought perspective for me. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul addresses the believers in relation to himself, dealing with unity within the body. It is no longer about one person – their actions, attitudes, attributes. It is wholly about the body of Christ.

Ephesians 2:18-22 (CSB)
For through him we both have access in one spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole building, being put together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you are also being built together for God’s dwelling in the Spirit.

I’m always intrigued by new construction. The mess that it begins as and the beautiful structure that is masterfully completed. I cannot understand why any draftsman would draw plans with gapping holes or any construction foreman would leave the materials piled without proper placement. It would never purposefully happen. And so it is in the body of Christ. The plans that God instituted, Christ carried out. Yet we, as the body, have many times refused to be built together. Each focused on the I – I want, I need, I think. Instead, Paul gives us a totally different perspective. There is one whole building and each of us belongs there. As we are being built together, we must come along side one another. No wall can stand without support. No beam can be placed without being secured. We, I, cannot stand alone. There is no ministry, no function of the church, that is solely dependent on me. And we cannot look around and boot out those we deem “the weakest link” – unnecessary, not needed. We cannot bear the load ourselves. We need one another. Where I am weak, someone else can impart their strength. Where I need wisdom, someone else has the ability to speak. Where I need leadership, someone else has been given the ability to guide. The know-it-all, do-it-all mentality is not supported in Scripture apart from the person of Christ, and still He willfully submitted to Almighty God. He has chosen to build together His Church so that His Spirit can dwell there. Don’t miss the blessing of His Spirit by taking it all on yourself, allow Him to work through others as they support, affirm and even help prune, areas and callings in your life.

2 Corinthians 9:13-15 (CSB)
Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. And as they pray on your behalf, they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

May God be glorified by our obedient confession of the gospel through whatever ministry to which He has called His church. May we have deep affection for one another because of the grace of God in our lives, knowing we don’t have to compete or stand alone, He has called and equipped us to work together for the sake of His Gospel and His Kingdom.

They are starting to show up again, cracks in our walls. From the corners of door facings and windows, they move along the walls in jagged lines. My son’s little finger traces over the crack that moves from one corner of his window toward his bed. The windows themselves have begun to separate from their sills. You can feel the cool morning breeze from across the room, with the window closed. Door heights have had to be adjusted so they will lock closed. These are visible signs of an unseen problem – the foundation. This house was built upon shifting ground. Though the owners had the foundation anchored, the problems persist.

Often times I see the cracks in my own life. Anger. Jealousy. Fear. Control. These cracks are evidences of the major flaw in my foundation – sin. On my own I grasp for straws wanting something solid and sure. I’ve tried to build on my own personal abilities, talents and desires – like the time I wanted to sell Mary Kay products. Boy, that was an expensive venture that went no where fast. I wasn’t in it for any reason other than what I could get out of it. Money. And less expensive make up. Truth is, I told myself it was for my family. That if I could just make enough income to work from home then I’d be happy. Isn’t that what we want? To have what we want, when and how we want it. Happiness, information, fulfillment, fill-in-your-own-blank, on our own terms. Yet, there’s that crack, leaving another gapping hole.

As many times as I’ve tried to make things right own my own, those darn cracks still show up. Just like in my house, I can patch and paint over the flawed walls, yet after time they reemerge, some not quite as wide and some in new spots. The same is true in our spiritual life. It is not a matter of just fixing the cracks in the walls, we must address the problem within our foundation. Jesus is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7 speaking to this very subject.

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on a solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

Matthew 7:24-27 NLT

Notice in Jesus’ words the conditions that both houses faced. Torrents of rain come, floodwaters rise and wind beats against both houses. I’m not sure if you’ve ever found yourselves in the middle of a hurricane, but my husband and I rode out Hurricane Katrina in a second floor apartment south of I-10 in Baldwin County, Alabama in 2005. In the days and months following we saw the destruction left behind by that powerful storm. Foundations wiped clean. Lives lost. Possessions destroyed. The storm did not pick and choose which homes and families to devastate. It destroyed all that was within its path. There was not one life in it’s path that was left untouched – whether physically or emotionally.

Afterward, as we spoke with families that had been affected, we saw despair in the eyes of some and hope in the hearts of others. Why such a difference?

“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

Proverbs 1:7 NLT

There were many who had experienced loss of homes and possessions, even of family members, that their hope was in the Lord and in His faithful Word. While they were shaken to the very core, their foundation no longer lay within their own strength and ability but in the Lord.

Those cracks are just symptoms. Treat the symptoms and the problem still persists. The problem is in our foundation. Build upon the Rock, who is our God, and we will find true knowledge for He alone grants wisdom. We cannot depend on our own abilities and strength. His Word tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 that we should seek Him in ALL we do. Not in half of what we do, or only when we think we need Him. We are to seek Him. Daily. Moment by moment. Worshipping Him alone. Then, we will see that what He is building is much stronger, much sturdier than anything we could build on our own.

And just in case we need a reminder, like the foundation of my house had to be anchored so that it wouldn’t continue to cause major destruction to the structure that was built upon it, we have an anchor also.

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”

Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT

** So thankful for a wonderful small group of women with whom I meet for Bible study.  This blog came after reflecting back over one of our recent sessions. **