Under Construction: A Dwelling Place for Christ

10407876_10205268823978740_56971566099135395_n (1)I read  I Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (NKJV)

I sense the Lord has much to say about this verse, so I slow down and dig deeper.

I ask: what is the therefore there for? In other words, what should I bring forward from what has just been written to help understand this verse?

Conclusion:  In the verses before, Paul  sets our sights on the returning of Jesus, the ending of what is old and the beginning  of all things new. This brings a  sense of urgency  to the verse at hand.


Digging Deeper

Using the Strongs App on my phone  ( I highly recommend it if you enjoy digging for hidden treasure), I dig into the words comfort and edify.

Comfort – translated from the Greek word par-ak-al-eh’-o.

Jesus used the same word when he called the Holy Spirit the Comforter. The word literally means to call near or call beside.

The thought comes to me:  If I’m going to call someone beside me, I better have something to offer.

For me to be a comforter, I must be being comforted. I must be being aware of and depending upon the true Comforter,  who is calling me beside Him,  joining in what He is doing.  How dare I ever try and comfort someone else without yielding to the Indwelling  Holy Spirit. Without Christ, I can do nothing. [1]

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Conclusion: I can’t comfort others unless I’m allowing myself to be comforted by the Holy Spirit.


Edify – translated from the Greek word oy-kod-om-eh’-o, it  literally means to build a  house or a dwelling.

As Christians, we have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit and have become dwelling places of Christ by His Spirit. [2]

We are all under construction

What remains is for Christ to be formed in us [3], for us to be made complete in Christ. [4]

For Christ to be formed in us, for us to be made complete in Christ,  we are to: (Summarized from Galatians 2:20)

  • fully embrace our spiritual death
  • always recognize our Indwelling Comforter
  • fully depend on Christ to love others through us

Paul calls Christ in us, the hope of glory. He states his aim to be to present every man complete in Christ, striving according to Christ’s power working mightily in him. [5]

Conclusion: Edifying another is aiming at  building a dwelling for Christ in that person’s life, regardless of the condition of their spiritual journey. Edifying another is yielding to the Indwelling Christ in you to join God in the construction process of another person’s life.


In Summary

Concluding all conclusions: In light of the certainty of a sudden change from this world to the next, keep in mind that comforting and edifying another must start with us.  If we are to call someone near to us; to labor with Christ in the construction process of a another person’s life, we need to be being comforted by the Holy Spirit and be depending upon the indwelling Holy Spirit for our every word and deed, yielding to Christ to love through us.

 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  I Peter 4:11

[1] John 15:5

[2] Ephesians 1:13, I Corinthians 6:19

[3] Galatians 4:19

[4]  Colossians 1:28

[5]  Colossians 1:27-29

 

Joy is not an Option

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Lately, I’ve heard a great deal about joy. And why not? We all need it. Scripture is packed full of verses on joy and its many derivatives. We were designed to have joy, our hearts pine for it. Without it we walk around with a deep chasm, searching aimlessly for purpose and fulfillment.

King Solomon tried all manner of worldly delights to satisfy his emptiness.[1] Denying himself nothing he saw around him, he concluded that it was all “vanity and striving after the wind.”  Ecclesiastes 2:11b (NASB)

Trying everything, but failing to find joy, Solomon was left hopeless and despondent. “I hated life, for the work which has been done under the sun was grievous to me, because everything is futility and striving after wind.”  Ecclesiastes 2:17 (NASB)

He would later conclude, that God has set eternity in the hearts of men.[2] Solomon had the means to try all the world has to offer to try and satisfy his deep need for joy. None of it worked. In fact, at the end of his search, he hated life because he recognized the utter futility of trying to fill the eternal hole in our hearts with anything around us.

Lord, help us not to fall into Solomon’s trap. The glitter of riches, fame, success and pleasure can keep us in a boundless pursuit of fool’s gold. If we could carry this quest to the ends that Solomon did, we too would find it a vain pursuit, a chasing after the wind. Lord, may we seek you, the pearl of great value, worthy of our all.[3] 

 

[1] Ecclesiastes 2:1-10

[2] Ecclesiastes 3:11

[3] Matthew 13:46

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