Tuesday, June 14, 2011

SOAP Devotion: 1 Corinthians 3

building blocks
What kind of materials are we using as we build on the foundations laid in people’s lives? What kind of foundation have we laid in our children’s lives? Every word, every action is like a brick, a 2 x 4, a nail…all building and shaping who our children become. I know I’m only “supposed” to use one verse, but these two need to go together, so I’m cheating a little bit…

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 3

ScriptureSome will use gold, silver or precious stones in building on this foundation; while others will use wood, grass or straw. 13 But each one's work will be shown for what it is; the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire - the fire will test the quality of each one's work.  1 Corinthians 3:12-13

Observation: Everything we do or say influences and builds on another’s foundation. From the moment our children are born, we are laying a foundation and building upon it. What materials will we use? Anything made of wood, grass or straw will burn up and not last, and it will not make the structure stronger, but weaker. The same is true for me…others have built on the foundation of my life. What is wood, grass or straw…what is gold, silver and precious stones?

Application: As I read this, I thought of both what I’ve used to build in my children’s lives and what has been used to build in my own life growing up. It hasn’t all been gold, silver and precious stones. There is comfort in knowing that it will be burned up at some point…but that seems like such a waste. Can it be removed and replaced with gold, silver and precious stones that will not be burned away?

Buildings can be restored. It can take a long time and a lot of work, but it can be done. Repairing mistakes and damage before the building is finished seems like it would be much easier than after the building is done…after it has aged and weathered and settled.

Following the blueprints and directions will ensure the building is built soundly and correctly. Even when the ground shakes, the building can stand. But when the building is built haphazardly, not to code, and with substandard materials…even the smallest shaking or adverse conditions can cause the building to be damaged or be destroyed.

God’s Word and Holy Spirit are the blueprints and directions we are to follow when raising our children. The gold, silver and precious stones we are to use are all of the good things of God – love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control – that shape and build their hearts, minds, souls and character into the people that He has designed them to be.

While we can’t control what others do, and unfortunately there will be “non-union” workers who show up on the job, we do have control over what we choose to do and say and where we allow our children to be. As they get older, we have to let them go a little bit…and trust that the foundation we laid and have built upon is strong and sturdy.

God allows us to build as we wish…but we then have to accept the consequences, and pay the price, for not following the directions.  I’m so glad that he is not like some earthly bosses who will fire you for making mistakes…His grace is abundant and mercy unceasing. But I have to remember it’s not just me that is affected here…my children are, and potentially my grandchildren. I must be purposeful in my parenting, and must strive to always follow the blueprints and the directions while building upon my children’s hearts, minds and souls.

PrayerFather, I so wish I wasn’t just “getting” this concept now. My precious daughter, whom You used to turn me back to You, is now almost 11 years old. 11 years of not always following the blueprint for her life. 11 years of not always seeking Your direction in how to parent her. I know I have used some wood, grass and straw to build in her life…please help me find it and remove it so it can be replaced with what is truly valuable and lasting. And my son, too…even he, in his short 3 years, has had some substandard material added to his foundation. Forgive me, Lord, for not always taking seriously this job before me…for letting my own wants and desires cause me to use anything but precious metals and stones to build in their lives. Help me to restore what has not been done correctly so that they are standing upon a strong, solid, and impermeable foundation. And Lord...help me remove in me what was laid there by others that doesn't belong and weakens this temple of yours. Replace it with what it good, pure and true and will last for eternity.

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