Bible Top 1000

Building For Eternity
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"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?"
(Luke 14:28)

Our Lord refers not to a cost we have to count, but to a cost which He's counted. The cost was those thirty years in Nazareth, those three years of popularity, scandal and hatred, the deep unfathomable agony in Gethsemane, and the onslaught at Calvary---the pivot upon which the whole of Time and Eternity turns. Jesus Christ has counted the cost. Men aren't going to laugh at Him at last and say---"This man began to build, and wasn't able to finish." The conditions of discipleship laid down by Our Lord in vv. 26, 27 and 33 mean that the men and women He's going to use in His mighty building enterprises are those in whom He has done everything. "If any man come to Me, and hate not...he cannot be My disciple." Our Lord implies that the only men and women He will use in His building enterprises are those who love Him personally, passionately and devotedly beyond any of the closest ties on earth. The conditions are stern, but they're glorious.

All that we build is going to be inspected by God. Is God going to detect in His searching fire that we've built on the foundation of Jesus some enterprise of our own? These are days of tremendous enterprises, days when we're trying to work for God, and therein is the snare. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus takes us over for His enterprises---His building schemes entirely, and no soul has any right to claim where he shall be put.

Enter In With Thanksgiving

"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
(Psalm 138:2)

I live out in the country. Adjacent to our property, there's an old, old barn. Some might call it "picturesque," but with its rusty hinges eroded by time and its weathered leaning door, it's only a sad reminder of how temporary things of life really are.

Whoever built this old barn will not pass this way again. The things which were important to them are now only memories. The days of work and worry around that old barn are long past. Life doesn't wait, and in its passing, "things" are left to rust and decay.

God has given us the means to correct this mistake of human weakness if we'd only recognize it. He's given us His house and Christian brothers and sisters in which to gather with, who share the dream of eternity with us---a time for reminding one another of things which don't ever swing on rusty hinges nor erode with time. He's offered us a constant audience with Him in prayer---a moment-by-moment opportunity to leave the temporary for the eternal.

Let's always enter His house with "thanksgiving" and "praise", through the doors which open for us to things which "moth and rust" cannot corrupt.

The Cross in Prayer

"At that day ye shall ask in My name."
(John 16:26)

We're too much given to thinking of the Cross as something we have to get through; we get through it only in order to get into it. The Cross stands for one thing only for us - a complete and entire and absolute identification with the Lord Jesus Christ, and there's nothing in which this identification is realized more than in prayer.

"Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him." Then why ask? The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God. If we pray because we want answers, we'll get huffed with God. The answers come every time, but not always in the way we expect, and our spiritual huff shows a refusal to identify ourselves with Our Lord in prayer. We're not here to prove God answers prayer; we're here to be living monuments of God's grace.

"I say not that I will pray the Father for you: for the Father Himself loveth you." Have we reached such an intimacy with God that the Lord Jesus Christ's life of prayer is the only explanation of our life of prayer? Has Our Lord's vicarious life become our vital life? "At that day" you will be so identified with Jesus that there will be no distinction.

When prayer seems to be unanswered, let's beware of trying to fix the blame on someone else. That's always a snare of Satan. We'll find there's a reason which is a deep instruction to us, not to anyone else.