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3.) Being Saved by Grace Doesn’t Mean we Don’t Work to see God’s Church Grow

March 6, 2013

scsdt001This post is based almost entirely on one verse from the book of Psalms, chapter 127:

“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.”

I’ve have heard this verse quoted numerous times in the context of church development. In this short sentence we actually get a great deal of information.

This verse reminds us of a few key helpful truths:

1. God is building His church

It’s very easy in our post-modern age of skepticism to consider that the church is dying but Jesus has promised that He will build His church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe bible also tells us that of the increase of His government there will be no end.

The truth is we can have a very blinkered view on things. If you were to take a closer look throughout the world you would see that God’s church is alive and well.

2. It’s possible to be involved in the building process when God isn’t 

This verse indicates to us that it is possible to be involved in building church when God isn’t. It is actually quite frightening to think that it is possible to give your life, time, energy and resources to building a church when God isn’t building it, it’s actually possible for all those efforts to be in vain.

This just highlights the importance of walking closely with God and listening to His voice.

3. Labouring is a key part of the building process

labourerWhat I want to highlight most significantly in this post is the last point. Labouring is a key part of seeing God’s church grow. You cannot build without labour!

Often we focus on the part of the verse that talks about God building, which is right for us to do, but there is an underlying forgone conclusion in this verse – people are labouring!

I think for a large part of my adult life so far I have been tricked into thinking that somehow because of God’s grace we have been saved from this labour, somewhere I merged and confused the concept of ‘working for my salvation’ with the concept of ‘working hard to build God’s church’.

If we’re not careful we can get lazy  and neglect to take up our responsibility as men and women of God.

How you labour to build your church will no doubt be different from how I am called to labour. I think it depends on numerous factors, such as your God-given skills and talents, as well as your geography and the people-group you are trying to reach – but a universal truth here is that, no matter what that labour looks like, it does need to be happening.

Yes let’s be full of grace for each other but let us also provoke each other unto good works, let us me consumed by the vision that Christ had for His bride, the vision that led Him to lay down His life for her.

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