If you were to build something great and reach for the best tool in your tool box what tool would you reach for? Let’s say you were a contractor in charge of building a house and as you looked on the job site you saw a myriad of skilled workers: concrete and foundation experts, plumbers, carpenters, dry wall experts, electricians, and finish carpenters. As each of these would dive into their special labors what is the best tool they could reach for? Let’s say instead of a physical house you were building a spiritual house, what is the highest end, most necessary, and exquisite tool you own?
The Bible say “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain” (Psalm 127:1). God desires to build up a spiritual house in each of us. First Peter 2:4-5 states, “As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
God’s greatest constructive force is love. First Corinthians 13:13 states, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Further, “…’knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up.” It stands to reason that if love is the greatest and love builds up, that love is the greatest constructive force or tool in our arsenal. Consider how God builds through love.
Love constructs through language. Paul said, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). Also, he said “let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Eph. 4:29). It is true that everything we say about someone, either builds up or tears down. If language is going to build up, we must put away words of gossiping, grumbling, complaining, snipping, subtle words of unbelief, or seeds of doubt and distrust. Some words are words that belong on a demolition sight. Words of envy, boasting, arrogance, rudeness, irritability, or resentment can be powerful instruments of destruction (1 Cor. 13:4-6). Instead, we must we must use our tongues to encourage, embolden, empower, exalt, lift-up, refresh, and renew.
Love constructs through knowledge and faith. Have you ever asked the question what makes a man or a woman? What is the positive force that makes a person a valuable light in their community? First Corinthians 13:2 states “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” In God’s eyes, if there was a human who possessed understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge, plus possessing all faith, but lacked love, what would they be? The Bible is clear that they would be nothing. Being something requires the presence of love. The lack of love or the absence of love is the undoing of people. Instead, knowledge with love and faith with love is the making and constructing of something great – vessels of light and love that share the fragrance of Christ in and throughout the community.
Love constructs with truth, belief, hope and endurance (1 Cor. 13:6-8). The seeds of success are often sown in subtle suggestion. Maybe you’ve known of a person that saw great potential or possibility in you. Maybe you didn’t see this in yourself. God sees potential for greatness in each of his offspring. His truth and love have life transforming potential. Our belief in Him can move mountains. The Apostle Paul saw in Timothy and Titus not only what was, but what could be.
Let’s be people of love who construct and build Christ’s glorious body. Let us show that world that we are Christians by our love (John 13:35).