Lesson 5 -- third quarter 2003
June 29, 2003
© Copyright 2003, Christian Light Publications
Construction on the temple had long ago ground to a standstill. For more than one reason, the masons and carpenters had quit, wandering off to other projects or occupations. The builders had given up on this wonderful, essential, God-inspired project. And, as we all know, things just can't be built without builders. So there sat the temple, partially complete.
What would it take it get this place finished? Builders! Completing this project would require two types of builders, the one being more obvious.
The first type of builders -- the obvious ones -- consisted of all those who had the skills and gifts essential to the actual construction of the building. These craftsmen worked with rock, wood, metal, fabric, and skins. Also included in this group were those involved with the supply end, providing the construction crews with the materials needed in the project.
The second type of builders -- just as important as the first, though less obvious -- was those who built the builders. That's right! These people encouraged the ones who participated in the actual erection of the physical structure. The second group of builders kept the first group going by providing the moral and spiritual support they needed.
Ezra 6:14 brings out the faithfulness of both groups. Of the first group it says, "They builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia." But before giving them that ringing tribute, the verse says this about them: "They prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo." In other words, the first group of builders succeeded because the second group encouraged them.
In our day God still needs and calls builders for His church and kingdom. He needs the builders who work in the second group just as much as He needs those who labor in the first. The obvious, visible workers are neither more nor less important than those who encourage and edify them. God calls the preachers, cooks, teachers, janitors, missionaries, carpenters, and other first-group workers. He also calls the pray-ers, supporters, encouragers, and the rest of the second-group crew. He expects all His children to serve in one of these groups.
Sometimes we wish He would place us in the other group. Perhaps being in Group Two looks better when the day is hot and you're one of the few perched on the roof or when you have two sermons to prepare and three problem people to help. Maybe being in Group One looks nicer when no one catches on that you have been praying, fasting, and writing anonymous notes of encouragement for the roofers and the ministers.
For such discouragement and discontentment I suggest two different "capsules." First, remember. Remember that for any given building project, God Himself has called you to the group in which He has placed you. So serve faithfully in that particular calling for that particular time. Second, build. That's right, build! The Group One builder on the roof can be hammering home the nails while also hammering home prayers for the Group Two builder who may well be busy right then also, writing a note of appreciation for the work of the roofers even while feeling discouraged because her gender (or his sinuses) don't permit participation in roofing.
My friend, in whatever group we find ourselves, let's build!
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