Loss

SERMON LEFTOVERS 2.13.17

 What are we building?                    

 

1 Corinthians 3:10-23

Throughout chapters 1-3, Paul is leading the church to reassess how they are thinking about wisdom and applying it

 

Christ is the only lasting foundation (v11)

1.  There is no other Creator – who invented life and sustains it

‚2.  There is other Savior:  he takes our guilt – by paying full price for it

ƒ3.  There is other Lord:  no one else rules over eternity, he alone judges time

 

Paul wants us to consider how we build on Christ (v10)

The context of what is being built is the Church

But who is doing the work, is communal.

These verses are more than how we live as individuals, v16 affirms that vs 10-15 is speaking about the Church, not just individuals

What are the implications of this word picture?

(1)  Our spiritual health is part of the health of our church  

(2)  We all have responsibility for the health of our church (12:12-25)

(3)  We can be spiritual craftsmen, or we can be poor builders

Paul’s focus is not our abilities, but the materials we use, which is the wisdom we use

Paul describes reward and loss so we will take this matter seriously (vs 14-15)

The “loss” is not wrath or punishment – in Christ we are justified fully and forever

Our work is judged according to how it followed God’s Word

Loss is to stand before Christ knowing we wasted and misused life in half-heartedness

What is the “reward”?  Bible doesn’t teach class distinction in heaven

In Matthew 25:21, the master tells faithful ones, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’

Our motivation is that we love Christ, and want to honor him

As Christians, we need clarity on reward, loss, priorities – and wisdom

If none of this stirs your heart at all, you need to ask, Does God have your heart?

Paul takes his warnings a step further (vs 16-17)

Beware of tearing down the church

Divisiveness is Paul’s immediate concern (we can disagree without disharmony)

The world’s way:  hold offenses, justify our attitudes, and spread them

The biblical responses:  forgive them, pray for them, thank God for them, love and bless them

 

Paul brings a couple of conclusions

1.  Be willing to live foolishly in the eyes of the world (vs 18-20)

v18 asks, are you willing to “become a fool”?  This means to live foolishly in the worlds eyes, because their sense of wisdom is upside down

2.  Be content in a lifestyle of humility (vs 21-23)

v21 and 23 tells us that “All things are ours”. This is because everything is in God’s hands and in Christ, we are ‘heirs’ to the riches of God’s grace

We don’t need to live trying to get ahead – in Christ, we are!

We don’t need to be anxious about being accepted – in Christ, we are!

No one who lives wholeheartedly for God is a fool

I MISS YOU

This weekend I am with those who are grieving the death of a dear friend, Tom Beers.

This is one of those deeply felt losses which leave a ragged and gaping whole in your life.

This has been a season of losing people. Funerals have been far too frequent.

A year ago I wrote a poem from the perspective of believers losing a loved one in the Lord. If grief is touching your life, I hope these words are a balm of comfort.

I miss you

You were there, always

In warmth and knowing

How can I own this absence

Where do I put this sorrow

 

I know

you are not gone

But you are away

It seems so far

Yet memories are near

And your love is even closer

 

Life

had been full, for you were in it

Now a gaping space is here

It feels as if there is no way around it

I cannot find my way around it

Maybe for now there isn’t one

 

Thoughts

of you fall like rain, gentle and steady

Memories are like stands of autumn trees

       proud in their display

 Or summer fields fragrant in bloom

       gathered and shared

 

One day

you will no longer be far

This hurting is what will be distant

All will be healed

Not patched, but whole and new

New memories will flow, endlessly

 

Today

you know what angels sound like

You have seen the scars that made you  

       forever free

You have heard His voice

Heard Him say your name

 

I just took a breath

which means there is one less between

When you, me, He, we

Forever are in the center of all life is   

       meant to be

 

I miss you

because I love you

Because He loves me,

I only have to miss you for awhile

Kyle Huber 2013

BEAUTY OUT OF THE ASHES

This video story from Fotolanthropy features the testimony of a young family who lost their home and possessions to a Texas wildfire, but not their hope.