READ: 1 Kings 5-7
THINK: When we think about construction projects one of the first things that comes to mind is noise. The bigger the project the more drilling, sawing, and hammering there is to shatter eardrums until the job is complete. Building God’s temple was certainly a huge construction undertaking, but curiously enough, the Bible tells us in 1 Kings 6:7 that “no hammer, chisel, or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.”
So, why the quiet? The answer is pretty simple. It was easier and more effective to cut the stones to size at the quarry and then bring them to the temple for assembly than it would have been to haul the bigger, uncut rocks to the temple and cut them there. The quiet at the construction site also showed a deep reverence for the scope of the particular project that was being undertaken.
I think it’s helpful for us, as we think about how God’s temple was being built in the Old Testament to remember that we are called to build God’s church right here and now. God’s design for his people is that we would constantly see ourselves as part of the construction team for his ever-growing church in this world.
Thousands of years ago the Israelites understood that a lot of the hard work of building the temple had to be done outside of it’s actual walls. I so wish that the church would embrace that same thinking today! Too often we think of evangelism and building the church, or of bringing people to Jesus and sharing the gospel as things that happen inside our church buildings. Our entire strategy for making an impact on the lives of those around us sometimes boils down to trying to get up the courage to invite them to church. We need a bigger vision!
We have the chance to chip away at stone hearts with the tools of Christlikeness, love, and the gospel message. We can live out our faith in a dark world, and show compassion and kindness, and share the good news of Jesus with those who are far from God and desperately need him. And the best place to do this? It’s not inside the church building. It’s right where you are. Everyday. Wherever that is. Don’t wait for church to do it. And don’t let yourself off the hook by believing it’s the job of the pastor. It’s not. It’s your and mine and everyone’s who believes.
Let’s get out there into this dark world – in the places where we are all the time – and start chipping away at hearts of stone with the love of Jesus!
PRAY: Ask God to give you a vision and a heart for how you can make an impact on the people with whom you have regular contact.