Brick by brick…one day at a time

photo by melissasphoto.com, overlay by author 

Day 5 – Brick by brick…one day at a time

About 5 different friends of ours have artwork in their house that depicts the city of Chicago in one way or another. I think it’s a side effect of attending Concordia Chicago (or River Forest if you’re old enough) – you must have Chicago art. It’s an easy city to fall in love with. The sounds of cars and trains compete with the glimmer of glass and steel for your attention. But the rich blue of the lake holds the outstretched city from becoming too overbearing and stressful. Something about that water, deep and wide, keeps the city’s sanity in check, and your heart right at the level of excitement and energy without the racing city running you over with its stress.
One particular piece of artwork shows the city skyline in black and white pieces of newspaper. It’s fun and witty, but a part of me always wonders whether we’ll need to bring it up to date at some point. You see, a skyline wasn’t meant to be stagnant. We all found this out on September 11th, 2001. The New York skyline was forever changed that day when the twin towers fell. Sin in the world touched our lives and changed everything in a single morning.  By God’s grace, something new was resurrected in the wake of sorrow and loss and overwhelming change.
But even without tragedy, cities have a heartbeat and an attitude and with or without help, they will grow and change and take new shape.
We are like cities in this way. We are living and breathing and whether we invite it in or not life will grow up in us and around us. We were meant to build, yes, but we were also meant to be built.
1 Peter 2:1-5 tells us this truth. While we are building as the church on earth, we ourselves are being built, each day, one day at a time, by a Savior who loves us, and chooses us, and grows in us- Love and Forgiveness, and Compassion, and Grace.
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
You, my friend, are a holy house. A residence of the Almighty God. But He is not done building you. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit. He lives in us, breathes in us, and does His work in and through us. But brick by brick, in this life, He is perfecting you in ways that only He knows about. He reveals Himself to you in His Word and adds another stone. He adds some mortar called relationship and sticks us to our neighbor and together we grow.
Sometimes the growth process is easy. We read something new, we try something, we discover something and it’s joy and excitement. Sometimes the growth process is hard. Broken dreams, a shattered relationship, a painful conversation containing reality and Truth.  After all, sometimes things need to be broken down for something new to be built up.
But girls, just imagine what we look like to God, who holds the blueprint! I stand in the promise that the end result is something He calls not just good, but very good.
How is God building you in this present season? What is He constructing and working on in your life and in your heart? What kinds of things need to go, need to be broken down in order for the new to be built up?
Who is God mortaring you to? What relationships do you hear Him calling you to spend a bit more time on?
Like living stones, like that living city, teaming with life, but filled with the deep blue waters of peace that passes all understanding.
Lord, work in us. Build us, mold us, shape us, not just as individuals, but as Your people, your priesthood. We offer our lives to Your care and Your work. Thank you for Jesus, the perfect Cornerstone, who holds us all up and together. In His name we pray. Amen!
As He builds you, settle in for some praise…
“My only saving grace is knowing I’ve got you inside.
Bust down the door to my heart, Lord, it’s your home.”
(note: this is not your average praise song) 😉 
Alone by Hollyn

Discussion questions:
How is God building you in this present season? What is He constructing and working on in your life and in your heart?
What kinds of things need to go, need to be broken down in order for the new to be built up?
Who is God mortaring you to? What relationships do you hear Him calling you to spend a bit more time on?

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