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Building blocks for success
Now is the time to build
Building blocks for success
A block of wood, at one time alive, but now, just a piece of something that had life and now is only a reminder of former things.
An ingot of iron, made from ore found in the earth, or found on the surface from meteorites scattered on the Earth’s surface millions of years ago.
A piece of rock, formed from several processes of heat and pressure, or sedimentation and pressure, over several thousand years or in an instant.
A lump of clay, made from mineral compounds-Feldspar- that have leached out from their host deposit to form elsewhere.
These four substances have something in common; their origins are tied to those of this earth, albeit iron from meteorites. They each have undergone a process in which they have become something new. Change is inevitable, in this ever changing world seas rise and then they fall, ice forms and then returns to the water from which it came. All these substances occur in the earth at the surface, or just below it in the crust and to this place they sprang up from, they will one day return. Such is true of mankind as well, our origin whether you are an atheist, believer of faith, or agnostic, almost everyone agrees man came from the Earth and as such, to the earth one day our bodies will return.
What can we learn from these four previously mentioned substances? Wood, it can be tooled and shaped to form yet another manifestation, an object to ogle, or an item of practical use. In that same manner the following three can likewise be manipulated into other forms.
All of these items can be refined further and then combined to create a shelter.
The walls of wood, resting on a foundation of stone, or perhaps clay, then skinned over with an extrusion of iron bearing steel skin and capped in tiles of rain repelling clay. The possibilities of what can be produced are only limited by our imaginations.
So what can we learn from these four? Wood, iron, rock and clay; perhaps we have found them desirable in producing items that serve us and speaking of service, how might they show us how to serve? I’ll tell you, just as men have found ways to master and harness the potentially good and useful items from these raw materials. Men must find their own usefulness; they must allow their goodness to be harvested for the benefit of others, in servitude.
Just as these four preceding materials can each produce an object of beauty, or an object of practical use, together they create something so much better and even though the product created will eventually return to the earth from which it came, the concept of working in unison for the betterment of mankind lives on indefinitely.
A product for service
How much each of us-at least at some point-resemble those four raw elemental materials. We are not so unlike those in the eyes of God. We must be torn down, stripped of all the impurities in order to be of any use to him.
What we lack in strength, he comes to our aid and adds that missing ingredient. Take iron for instance, it is strong sure, but under stress, it cracks. That is it's nature, like our own, we each have a structural flaw, then enter God into the equation. He refines that iron, melting it down and skimming off the impurities, excessive carbon and organic matter that weaken it, but wait, he adds a key ingredient after removing the chaff, he adds the Son and his word.
The remaining product is stronger, able to take and hold a good edge for shaping others.We have become a superior product, like an alloy, such as steel. He continuously strengthens us through his process of annealing, We become useful vessels, we become tools for him to wield and now he places us into service where we will seek more of that same raw material for him to manufacture into works of art and tools of servitude, that we might play an active role in building up the community from where we were found.
A little background history about myself, not to boast, nor complain, for this is where the LORD wanted me to be and to live.
Being one of five children delivered by my mother, I feel very fortunate to have been born to her, for she may not be a model mother capable of superhuman effort, but she was more than adequate and truly cared for us. The neighborhood we lived in was one of hopelessness and despair, I'm not sure when the original buildings were built and I believe at least two, if not three generations of families have grown up there by now.
This is a neighborhood, which is more like a warehouse for underachievers, the neglected and the scorned. This was/is an area that the Lord Jesus himself spoke of and wants to have us reach out and into the lives of those who may still be awaiting redemption.
Am I that person? That is not for me to say, or even to know, it just goes unspoken, but written this is where the greatest need is. These are the ruins spoken of by the prophet Isaiah.
Isaiah 58:12(NIV) Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
These people, our people need salvation, they need hope not neglect. Will you be their messenger? Can you find the time to minister to those in the greatest need and proclaim a year of the Lord's favor?
Isaiah 61:1 (NIV) The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
Please, go with me to these neighborhoods, one child, or adult at a time if need be, let us rebuild what has been devastated by years of oppression.