When I was a kid we used to drive by a beautiful red barn on our way to the city. I always looked for it because it was tall, stately, and brightly decorated. One set of barn doors was painted with big white diamonds like an argyle sweater. Another sported a large bulls eye. Great creativity had been used in designing the exterior.
Over the years however, no one took care of the barn and its needed repairs. The paint began to fade and eventually it cracked and peeled. The shingles wore out, the roof sagged, and recently some of the doors fell off altogether. If you were to drive by the barn today, all you would see is a tired symbol of American farm history.
People are like that old barn. We need regular maintenance too. While it is true that God alone can maintain us, He gives us the privilege and responsibility to care for each other. First Thessalonians 5:11 tells us, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing” (NASB).
Do you see it? Encourage one another and build each other up. The two go hand in hand. At least five times in the New Testament the Apostle Paul uses the words “build each other up.” That’s why I’ve made it my goal to speak encouraging words to others. Let me encourage you to do the same. Every day we have a choice to build up God’s kingdom, or tear it down. Let’s stick together. The world does a great job of tearing us down. We hear negative words and criticisms every day. Let’s choose to be builders rather than part of the demolition crew.
Lately I’ve seen a lot of articles posted on the Internet criticizing the way some of us do church. They tear apart our belief in the Scriptures, criticize the size of our churches, and lambaste the way we worship. It breaks my heart. If someone has a different approach but is reaching people with the true message of Christ, Praise. the. LORD. It takes all of God’s “hands and feet” (us) to reach this world. That’s the privilege He gave us. Cherish it, and be a builder.
“1Therefore I, (Paul) the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:1-5 NASB).
Think about what a difference you could make if you were to devote yourself to building others up according to what they need. You know the girl who stays in the background at youth group? Build her up. You know the Sunday school teacher who loves on your kids so you can worship in peace every Sunday? Build her up. You know the youth worker who selflessly gives of her time? Build her up. What about your sister on the other side of the room? God will give you the words. Recognize the way she loves Jesus. Remind her of God’s love for her. Make others stronger by the words you choose. Use Scripture to encourage, and thank God for the privilege of helping to build His kingdom!
*Lord, give me the courage and the discernment to be one who builds others up according to their needs.