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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 09/11/19

What Are You Building?

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STORY: Is it Demo Day?

Every weekend, my husband and I watch home renovation shows on television. We own a mid-century modern home, and previously owned historic homes — fixer-uppers. We notice a trend with these home shows. The team loves tear-down day. They get carried away with throwing hammers, demo forks, and pry bars. Sometimes they demolish something that was meant to stay. It’s easy to lose track of what is being destroyed. It’s not that way with the rebuild. Each action is intentional and methodical. It takes strategy. It’s obviously easier to tear down than to build up. And so it is with human buildings. Let’s determine to demolish tear downs and plan our builds.

For the next few weeks, we’ll study the words EDIFY and EXHORT. I looked up these words in the King James Version of the Bible and then found what those verses say in the NLT. In our study, you won’t actually see the words EDIFY and EXHORT, but those are the background meanings for these verses.

Today we’ll look at EDIFY. The word edify (build-up) comes from the same root as the word edifice (building).

STUDY: How to Build Up

"For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up." (Romans 14:17-19 NLT)
  • What is more important than living a life of rules and regulations?
  • What attitude pleases God?
  • What is our purpose, when it comes to other believers?
"Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you." (2 Corinthians 12:19b NLT)
  • Paul, in this passage, is defending his team’s actions. What does he identify is the core mission?
  • How can you intentionally strengthen others in their relationship with God?
"Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13 NLT)
  • What is the reason God gave us spiritual gifts?
  • Have you seen it as your responsibility to use your spiritual gifts to help your God-family? Consider this part of stewardship (taking care of God’s people and his resources).
  • What specific strengths do you have that will help others mature in the Lord?
"He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love." (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)
  • God sees the Christian family as a body, each functioning in a way that doesn’t just benefit that part, but the whole.
  • What are some goals for growth?
  • What do you consider your special work that helps others grow?
"Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them." (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)
  • We hear the phrase, “Use your words” often. How does God want you to use your words?
  • How do words benefit others?
"Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." (1 Thessalonians 5:10-11 NLT)
  • What is a good life mission, considering our end goal is living with Jesus forever?
  • Give an example of encouraging someone else, either from your life recently or something you observed.
  • The world method toward success includes tearing others down to make self look better. Yet as Christ-followers, we are motivated to build each other up. It’s easy to join in the game of tearing someone else down at work or through gossip. How can you discourage that from happening when others use words to destroy someone else?
  • Notice the verse says, “build each other up.” This means if everyone is doing their parts, you don’t have to worry about you because someone else is edifying you while you are busy edifying others.
"When I left for Macedonia, I urged you to stay there in Ephesus and stop those whose teaching is contrary to the truth. Don’t let them waste their time in endless discussion of myths and spiritual pedigrees. These things only lead to meaningless speculations, which don’t help people live a life of faith in God. The purpose of my instruction is that all believers would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and genuine faith." (1 Timothy 1:3-5 NLT)
  • False teaching is rampant. It’s essential to not go down the wrong path with your belief system.
  • What are some results of truth-teaching?

STEPS: Plan the Renovation

  1. Stop the tear-down. Find a way to stop the urge to point out a fault or flaw in someone else. Check your motives first. If it truly is to speak truth into his or her life so they grow, you will recognize it by the love you have for that person. (And you will go to them rather than talking about them to others.) If you want to do it because you need to feel better about yourself, then, deal with the root issue.
  2. Start the build-up. Who could use a boost of confidence or love? Give this individual special attention.
  3. Renovate your words. What you say can truly make a difference in the lives of others. And honestly, it renovates your own heart, too!

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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