Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

Building Lives

1 Corinthians 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

The Apostle Paul worked his ministry as a “wise master builder.”  The analogy of building is a common one.  He uses it in several places.  The idea is that we all, corporately, are built together to be a habitation for God in the Spirit.  The Apostle Peter refers to our lives as “living stones” which are built together to make a holy temple for the Lord.

Ministry leaders, like Paul, are given the task of establishing a plan for building.

1)      It needs to be a wise plan.  It had to ultimately work!

2)      The plan must include the help of others.  He couldn’t do it on his own.  It had to be a team effort.

3)      The plan must include “framing” each stone to fit.  That means that the Lord will “chip away” at us until we are fit for use in His building.
Ephesians 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

4)      The plan must include “joining” the fit stones for His glory.
Ephesians 4:16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

In our church, we have designed “LIFE Groups” for this purpose.  A Life Group is a small group of people who share the same stage of life.

  • It is designed to facilitate biblical fellowship.  We are commanded to love one another in God’s family (whether we like each other or not!)
  • It is designed to facilitate biblical growth.  You can’t grow in Christ apart from the family.  God created us to live our lives together and the minor irritations that come with the family are all part of God’s design for us to apply the knowledge we have gained, trust Him and grow in grace and maturity.
  • It is designed for community outreach.  We serve our local community in various ways through the direction and fellowship of our LIFE Groups.

Remember, God created man to live in community with one another.  Right after man was created, he was perfectly sinless and in perfect fellowship with God, yet God still said:  It is not good that the man should be alone; (Genesis 2:18)  Typically this is applied solely to the husband / wife relationship, but God simply observed that man should not be alone – even without sin and in fellowship with God.

Let me encourage all of you to participate actively in the life of the family of God – and not just with your favorite members – but with many.  That way, through the irritations that inevitably come, you can fully grow and develop in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

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