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  • Wilson Lim

BUILT FOR ETERNITY: Part 2 With Believers Pursuing God’s Purposes


INTRODUCTION


In this 2-part series we are asking ourselves whether we are building our lives for eternity? Too often our focus in on the present or near-future only. As a result, we place little emphasis on eternity. Consequently, we place far too little importance in building for eternity. Our own eternity. Many will one day be dismayed to discover that they gained too much earthly success instead of eternal success.


In part 1 of this series, we showed firstly why it is crucial to build our lives around Christ the Cornerstone. In part 2, we discover that there is more beyond being built around Christ. Too many teach an incomplete Gospel. Neglecting the full truth of God’s redemption plan. To build for eternity, there is more.


The second key to build for eternity is when we are…


BUILT WITH BELIEVERS, THE LIVING STONES (v4-5a)


In what ways can we be built with other believers?


Becoming living stones in Christ (v4a) "As you come to him, the Living Stone —rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones…”


We become living stones because we come to Him.

The Bible does not say that we come to Him as living stones, but rather we become living stones because we come to Him. We are not inherently, in ourselves, capable of becoming living stones. It requires us first coming to Christ, the one true Living Stone and putting our trust in Him.


Christ, the one true Living Stone and putting our trust in Him.

Formerly, we were dead in our transgressions and lifeless. But now we receive a new fresh life. The life, the living waters, that is found only in Christ will flow through us as we accept Him as Saviour and Lord. This life will flow freely when we allow Jesus to manifest His Life through us. This occurs when we learn to exchange our weakness for His Strength, our limitations for His Power, our prejudices and biases for His Love and our disappointments for His Promises. It is when we choose not to live our lives our own way but allow Him to truly live in and through us. Then God's life will flow through our veins.


Becoming a spiritual house (v5a) " are being built into a spiritual house..."


It is not God's intention that we only become living stones. That is not the end of the journey for us. To look like beautiful bricks. For a brick by itself is not very useful and will fall far short of its potential. When the builder was building my house, there were lots of excess bricks lying on the ground beside the house. Though the bricks looked perfectly fine, they had no purpose. Simply lying around waiting to be taken away or tossed out.


Rather, we are to be built together. Eph 4:11-16 (NIV) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ… 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.


Believers are to be joined to believers. Joined together until we form a spiritual house of worship. Bricks can be turned into wonderful buildings, providing safety, warm, sanctuary. It can also be majestic and glorious. It starts with bricks being put together intentionally!


As believers, God never intended us to be lone rangers. Rather we need each other. It is the synergy, the joining of our hearts together, our talents, our resources that will bring about something incredible in God. An ant by itself is not significant, it is not powerful. But a whole army of ants can be very significant. In South East Queensland in Australia, we have a major fire ants problem. We have been combating against them for over a decade to control and even eradicate. Why is it so critical? Because these ants will kill other insects, even some animals, to take over whole territories. The reason why they are so dangerous is because they multiply into the millions, even billions.


Together we can reach a greater maturity, greater heights, greater purposes in God. Don't just be a stone, be built into part of a spiritual house.

Together we can reach a greater maturity, greater heights, greater purposes in God. Don't just be a stone, be built into part of a spiritual house.


Life groups is where we do life together, God’s way.

What will help us build together into a spiritual house? Learn to work in unity with others. Don’t become isolated! That is why every believer must get involved in community. Be committed to life groups. In Hope Church, our life groups are not just for Bible study. That is why we do not call them Bible study groups. Life groups is where we do life together, God’s way. It is our opportunity to learn and grow together, to speak into one another's life, like a family.


The eternal impact and glory of you as an individual believer is far, far less than the eternal impact and glory of a community of believers.

The glory of a single brick is far, far less than the glory of a building. The eternal impact and glory of you as an individual believer is far, far less than the eternal impact and glory of a community of believers.


BUILT FOR HIS PURPOSE (v5b)


"…to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."


As we seek to build God's house, it is critical that we understand its purpose. For its glory lies not just in its existence but in its fulfilling God’s purposes. What are some of its purposes?


Nurturing a holy priesthood (v5b) "…a holy priesthood…".


When people first enter God's Church, they may be battered, crushed, dysfunctional. Yet God seeks to nurture, heal, restore until they are fully functional. That their true worth is multiplied.

God's desire is His Church will be a place where a holy priesthood, a functional priesthood is being formed with His people. The word "holy" really means set aside for God's purposes. The church is where God processes His people, to clean them up! When people first enter God's Church, they may be battered, crushed, dysfunctional. Yet God seeks to nurture, heal, restore until they are fully functional. That their true worth is multiplied. Just like the poem “The Master's Hand”.


Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

thought it scarcely worth his while

to spend much time on the old violin,

But he held it up with a smile.

'What am I bidden for this?' he cried,

'Who'll start the bidding for me?

A dollar - one dollar: then two - only two;

Two dollars are bidden; say three

'Three dollars once: three dollars twice:

Going for three!' But lo!

From the back of the crowd a grey -haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow.

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin

And tight'ning the loosened strings,

He played a melody passing sweet,

The kind that haunts and clings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was soft and low,

Said, 'Now what is bid for the old violin?'

And he held it up with the bow.

'A thousand dollars: who'll make it two?

Two - two thousand: say three.

Three thousand once, three thousand twice,

Three thousand - gone!' said he.

The people cheered, but some exclaimed,

'We do not quite understand

What changed its worth:' and the answer came,

'Twas the touch of the Master's hand.

And many a man with soul out of tune,

And battered and scared by sin,

Is auctioned cheap by the thoughtless crowd,

Just like the old violin.

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul, and the change that is wrought

By the touch of the Master's hand.

Myra Brooks Welch


Will we allow the Master to retune our lives? Allow God to nurture us! Imagine if our desires align with God's! Wouldn’t it be great to set ourselves aside to be such a priesthood of believers? If that is your heart, we need to set ourselves aside in our lives. 2 Tim 2:20-21 (NIV) 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.


If we want to be useful to God, we need to allow God to do some spring cleaning in our lives! Clear out the junk! What a difference it will make in our lives.


Offering acceptable spiritual sacrifices (v5b) "…offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."


Nurturing of the priesthood is about becoming, while offering spiritual sacrifices is about the doing.

Nurturing of the priesthood is about becoming, while offering spiritual sacrifices is about the doing. In what way can we offer spiritual sacrifices?


Through our praises. Heb 13:15 (NIV) Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.


Through our good works. Heb 13:16 (NIV) And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.


Through our giving. 2 Cor 8:7(NIV) But just as you excel in everything—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.


Through our service. Rom 15:16 (NIV) to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God...


In fact our whole live can be a spiritual sacrifice. All the above will be acceptable to God as we offer it through Christ. In other words, it is our attitude that is crucial. When we are doing these first of all as an offering to God.


The eternal impact and glory of the community of believers in far greater when together, we live out God’s purposes.

The eternal impact and glory of the community of believers in far greater when together, we live out God’s purposes. As a priesthood offering acceptable spiritual sacrifices in and through our lives.


CONCLUSION


We can build our lives and our church to last for eternity. If we choose to build our lives around Christ the chief cornerstone. In every significant decision, let us consider what God would want us to do.


If we want our lives to have eternal significance, let us build together with other believers to have multiplied effect. If we want to see the church fulfil God's purposes, we should offer spiritual sacrifices of our lives!


 

Copyright©️2022 by Wilson Lim. All rights reserved. Materials are free to be distributed in whole or part as long as proper acknowledgement is given to the author and not sold for profit.

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