VANDALIZING THE KINGDOM
Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
1 Corinthians 3:5-11
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Way up north in Alaska there is a remote village, Teller, made up of native Eskimo people. I have been to Teller a number of times on mission trips and the people of the village have a special place in my heart. The village is very small and has no running water, the kids have special “sustenance” days built into their school year where they hunt and gather food, and they have a rich heritage of native ways of living. They play Eskimo games and gather together to sing and dance to Eskimo songs, and a handful of the natives still speak the native tongue, Inupiaq. The village has many problems however. Because of the extreme cold paired with the long dark days there is an overabundance of substance and alcohol abuse. Depression sets in and becomes too much for many of the residents and the people of the village try to numb the pain with alcohol. This leaves many of the kids with little to no adult supervision. Vandalism is rampant; maybe out of boredom or possibly due to the stress of living there. I was speaking with an elder in the village the other day and she recounted a conversation she had with one of the vandals. She told me, “The teens just don’t get it. They all try to justify it. I explain to them that no one likes their work being destroyed but they just think because no one is getting hurt so it’s not a big deal!”
It made me think of the passage in 1 Corinthians. Paul in chapter 3 encourages believers to faithfully build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. As we do this we make efforts to help build God’s Kingdom. Verse 10 warns us to take care as to how we build upon it. Verse 11 goes on to say no one can lay a foundation other than that of Jesus Christ. As a follower of Christ we have a duty to help be a part of that Kingdom build. But so often the stress of life and the ways of the world skew our mission. It becomes easier to build our own kingdom than to build up Christs. When harboring bitterness, tearing down others, and making a name for ourselves become more important than humbly serving, loving our neighbors, and sharing the good news of the gospel, not only are we building the wrong kingdom, we are essentially vandalizing Gods.
What about you? Are you building up your own name or making every effort to proclaim the name above all names? Do you want your legacy to be that of your success and power or do you desire to be a part of a kingdom build that gives credit and worship to the One that holds all power in His righteous right hand? Are you vandalizing the kingdom or building upon the foundation of Christ? I don’t know about you but I want to be a Kingdom builder for the Lord!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, strip me of my pride and arrogance! Tear down all desire to make a name for myself and give me a passion for proclaiming Your name and Your power! Lord, make me a Kingdom builder! Give me Your eyes to see the lost and use me to build others up, to share Your truth, and to serve others humbly! Lord, it’s not about me, but all about You! Help me to live in that truth! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.