Last time, I challenged you to look at the plans you made for 2010. If your plans fell apart the way mine did, then that was probably something of a shock. How shaken we become when the storms and trials of life hit us depends on our foundation and upon our building material. The foundation must be Jesus Christ, our salvation, given as a gift of God through His sacrifice. (Scroll down to the previous article to read the scripture passages for these comments.)
For building our house, we would be wise to use the building materials God makes available: love, grace, and faith. It should not surprise us that God provides these materials to build our house. If you'll look closely at the foundation you can see these three materials interlock in such an intricate, self-supporting structure that nothing in creation can destroy it. John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8 explain the way God gives us love, grace, and faith in the gift of salvation.
In Paul's first letter to Timothy, he ties not only his salvation to love, grace, and faith, but also his commission for service. First Timothy 1:12-14 says, "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." ESV
Just as God appointed Paul to His service, He has also appointed you and me to His service. That service includes everything about us: who we are, the way we act, and the work we do. This service is the blueprint for our house. Using the material and blueprint He provides, we are to build a house that enhances the foundation on which it stands.
Love is not only one of God's attributes; it is also an essential part of His nature. "God is love," the Bible declares in 1 John 4:8 & 16. We experience the love of God in two ways. First is the love of God for us. That love was poured out for us in Christ on the cross.
The second way we experience God's love is in us. Jesus says in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." In the Apostle John's first letter, he states, "And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. … but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. (1 John 2:3, 5 ESV) In these verses, we see both the building material and the use to which we are to make of it. In obeying God's command to love one another, we build up and bring to maturity God's love in us. His love changes who we are so that we become more like Jesus.
Next time, we will look more closely to the roles that grace and faith play in building our house.