Today’s Bible Reading: 1 Kings 15; Colossians 2: Ezekiel 45; Psalms 99-101
There is a little phrase in those verses that caught my attention: “being built up in Him.” I guess because that is the theme our church is focusing on right now based on Ephesians 4:11-12-the idea being that the saints are being equipped for the work of ministry-for building up the body of Christ. So I am contemplating those words, in particular what does it mean to be “built up?” Thanks to my handy-dandy thesaurus I have some synonyms for built up: add to, boost, develop, enhance, expand, fortify, improve, increase, intensify, promote, reinforce, strengthen, stiffen. I rather like that list. Not only is that list expressive of what Christ is doing in me, but it should also be the work I am doing within the body of Christ, within my local church. I guess it begs the question-how am I doing with that? Perhaps a look at antonyms of built up would be in order: weaken, lessen, put down, let down, collapse, belittle, take apart, humiliate, undercut, demote, disperse, dwindle. Have my actions resulted in any of those things? If I am not in the business of building up, what am I doing?
That kind of self-evaluation can be difficult, but dwelling on past failures is not being built up in Christ. The end of those verses I quoted brings me to another point: “and overflowing with gratitude.” I can wallow in failures or I can read on to verses 9-10: For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete and verses 13-14: When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Now there is something to be grateful for! I do not get it right every time, but it is all covered by the work of the Christ on the cross. That same Christ is the One who is at work in me-building me up. He is God, He is Lord, and if He says I am complete, I am forgiven, I am alive with Christ, then who am I to argue? Who am I to drag my feet? Time to put on my walking shoes and follow Him wherever He leads.