Noah: Building By Faith

Noah ark

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. Hebrews 11:7

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Genesis 6:9 

Noah is the first among many of the men and women of great faith that are recorded in the Bible. His story begins in Genesis 6 and ends in Genesis 9. He is probably one of the more famous or well known people in the bible. There are very few people, churched and unchurched, who have not heard of Noah.

Recently there has been a movie made about Noah and his ark. I have not seen it, so I cannot answer to how accurate it may or may not be. However, this shows that there is some knowledge of Noah to most of the world.

During the time of Noah people had become so corrupt and refusing to follow God, that God chose to destroy all of mankind from the face of the earth. God was choosing to do something that was completely unheard of up until that time. He was going to cause the world to be flooded. The process of this flooding was to be done by rains and water coming up from the ground.

Until this time, rain had never fallen on the earth. The ground was watered by dew and springs in the earth. It was a new concept.

Noah had been faithfully walking with God. He lived his life according to God’s commands and always did what God had said to do. Because of this, God chose to save him, his family and the animals from the flooding.

The process of saving Noah would be by an ark–a very large boat. God gave him the directions on how to build the ark and what size it would be. Immediately Noah began to build the ark and it took him about one hundred years to complete it.

Now think about this for a moment. Think about what God has told Noah and what Noah had to do.

Earth destroyed

First: God said He would destroy all mankind. Wait a minute! Doesn’t God love man? Didn’t He create man to populate the earth? Why would God do this?

This took faith on Noah’s part. It went against everything that he knew about God up to this point. He had to trust that he had heard God correctly in what He had said. Noah had to believe that God would actually destroy the entire world in order for him to take the next step and actually build the ark. He trusted God’s word to him.

There may be times when God speaks to you about something that is new or different from anything else. You have to know that you have heard from God. Match it up against the word of God and see if it lines up with what God has recorded in His word. Then trust the word of God and act upon it. Do what God says to do. This is faith in action.

High water flood

Second: What is a flood? What is rain?

As long as Noah had already lived, he had never seen rain. Having never seen rain, there had never been a flood either. Yet, God was saying this was going to happen.

God was about to break the ‘rules’ of science. It had never rained, but now it would happen. God is the God of the universe, which means He can control the weather. Along with controlling the weather, He can control things in your life. He can break the ‘rules’ of science to accomplish what He needs done.

Remember that all the ‘rules’ are man-made. God did put them in place. Man is constantly learning new things. What were rules at one time, according to science, is now wrong. God can overcome the things of this world.

Trust that God is in control as Noah did and can make new things happen that have never occurred before. This is faith!

Lumber pile

Last: It took nearly 100 years to build the ark. Where did Noah get the materials from? Who paid for it? Who did the work? Why did it take so long to build? Did Noah get discouraged?

Take a moment now to think about what Noah had to do. How big was this project that God had given him to do? Think about how long it would take to get the materials to build a boat that is several hundred feet long and very tall. Then how long it would take to assemble it. Especially in a time of manual labor. There were no machines or factories. There were no automated robots to do the building. There were no computers to generate the details of how to build the boat.

Many people have visions and dreams to accomplish something great. They begin to work on it, but run into problems or it takes a long time to accomplish. As they continually hit problems or it takes too long, many give up on their dream. When they keep running into walls or barriers, they quit out of failure and give up. 

Along with those that start and never finish, there are many who never start because all they can see are the problems or challenges. They cannot see how to make the dream possible.

Believers sometimes run into this problem also. They get a vision from God for something. They don’t know how it is possible, forgetting that God is the God of impossibilities. He makes the impossible possible.

This is what faith is. It is believing that you heard what you heard God said would be possible. It is not giving up when things get tough. It is not turning down a different road when you do not understand the path. It is going forward when it does not make any sense to move forward. It is doing things that the world will ridicule and not understand. It is doing things that even many in the church will not understand or believe.

This is faith in God.

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1 Corinthians 3:12-13 What Are You Building With?

 

burning fire

If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 1 Corinthians 3:12-13

Buildings are being built all over the world. Each one uses different types of materials to be built. Mud huts are built in some locations, steel buildings are built in many large cities, wooden and brick homes are the homes of choice of many people. Even plastic and glass buildings are built.

The choice of how to build the building, depends on how it is expected to be used and what type of weather it will have to endure. Wooden homes will not survive in locations with hurricanes. Mud homes will not be able to be built in extreme cold climates. Once a firm foundation is laid, choices on how to build the place have to be made.

Lives of people also require a foundation and a building. The world builds their lives on a foundation of self and sin. Believers build their lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Both still have choices to make on how their lives are built.

Salvation comes through faith in what Jesus did, not the works being done. However, God has rewards for people for what they have done with their life.

On the day Jesus returns, all the works of the believers will be tested in a fire to determine their value. Some of those works will be wood, hay and straw. These are works that have no eternal value. Works of ministry for selfish reasons, going through the motions of ministry without the heart in it, worshipping without the heart in it, and many other works. These works will be destroyed by the fire as of no value.

Other works, such as spreading the gospel, giving a helping hand, feeding the poor, loving the hated, and other works that Jesus did, will survive the fire. They have eternal value.

How are you building your life?

Is it with precious stones of high, eternal value, that will survive the fire?

Or are you building your life with things of this world, that are wood, hay, and straw, that will not survive the fire?

Either way, you will be saved, but your reward will be different.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that you will do things of eternal value for Jesus; that your works will bring glory to God; and that your life will be focused on God and eternity. 

Amos 7:7-8 Built Straight And True

This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand. And the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.” Amos 7:7-8

Amos was given a vision of God holding a plumb line up to the people of Israel. They were found to be off of being straight and true to God, so God planned to destroy them.

Plumb lines are used by carpenters to determine if something is built straight. The line that is being determined is the vertical line, going up and down. If a building or a wall is not built perfectly straight, it will cause many problems, very quickly. It could easily fall over, and the other sections of the building will not be able to line up correctly.

If a carpenter holds up a plumb line and the wall is not straight, he will tear it down and restart. Throughout the building process, he will use the plumb line on a regular basis to keep everything straight. Most people who are not carpenters will not use the plumb line. They will just use their eyesight and trust it is straight.

God has a plumb line that He uses to measure the success of building people up. His plumb line is Jesus and His Word. The plumb line is the measuring tool to determine if a person is lining up correctly with what God wants. This line is from earth to heaven, from sinful man to God’s holy righteousness.

Very often people try to build themselves up, but do not use God’s measuring line. They use their own eyes and measure themselves against others. This can cause problems, because their plumb line may not be straight and true. Their life is built on a crooked line.

As a believer, you must keep your life lined up with God’s standards. Allow God to build you up His way, which will always be straight and true to His Word. Do not follow people or churches, but God. Let His plumb line be your measuring device.

How do you measure up to God’s holy righteousness?

I pray today that you will know God’s plumb line for your life; that God will reveal to you how to live your life for Him; that God will build you up straight and true to Him; and that God will find that you are a great building for His kingdom.

Ezra 4:24 Giving In To Pressure

Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia. Ezra 4:24

King Cyrus had given the Israelites permission to rebuild the temple and the city of Jerusalem. The people in the surrounding area began to be afraid. They that if the city was rebuilt, the Israelites would revolt and break away. They persuaded the king to force the people to stop the building. After a lot of pressure, the Israelites stopped the building of the temple.

In the eyes of the world, Christians are a dangerous threat, even though Christians are to love everyone, including their enemies. The threat comes in that Christians do not believe in or act the way the world does. Jesus had set a standard that was different from that of the world. This has a severe effect on the lives of those in the world and they do not like it.

People in the world try to accuse Christians of hate because they do not conform to the world’s standards of living. For many years in America there has been the term of “political correctness” being used. Believers are threatened in many ways to give in to the world’s way of living.

Sadly, many believers have given in to the pressure to conform to this world’s standards. They feel the threats of job losses, jail time, lawsuits and more, and choose to change their words and standards. Churches, and many believers, now allow open sin as acceptable in God’s eyes, changing the Word of God, and doing what God clearly says not to do.

As the Israelites gave in to the pressure to stop building the temple, many believers today give in to the pressure to stop building God’s kingdom. They stop being His witness out of fear of those in the world.

The world will do their best to put pressure on you to turn from Jesus and follow their ways. As the world puts on the pressure on you to give in to their ways, you must make a choice as to who you will follow.

Will you follow Jesus, who gives life?

Or will you follow this world, which brings only death?

I pray today that you will stay focused on what God wants you to do; that you will only live for God; that God will give you strength to overcome pressure to turn from Him; and that you will continue to build His kingdom.

Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Come

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4

After the people of Judah had been released from full captivity in Persia, they were allowed to go back and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Many were excited to be a part of the building project and began immediately setting the foundation. Immediately the groups of people around Jerusalem set out to discourage the people from continuing to build the temple. They would try to make them afraid to build it.

Any time a person starts to do something new or grand, there are people who try to discourage it. Often the people try to stop it because it sounds crazy or too big to really accomplish. Other times it is out of fear that they try to stop the project.

All the other groups of people in the areas around Judah had heard the stories of the Israelites. They knew that when the Israelites were worshipping God as they were supposed to, things would go in their favor. All the nations around would then suffer, because they did not serve God. This would cause them to rise up in opposition to stop the worship of God.

Times have not changed. Any time you begin to do something for God, there will always be an opposition that will rise up and try to discourage you. The world does not want you to succeed as a believer in Jesus. If you succeed, that means that they have failed. You are a threat to their way of life.

You are to be the light of Jesus in this world. His light shines into the dark lives of people, exposing their sin. No one wants to be exposed, so they will try to stop you. This can happen from outside the church as well as inside the church.

Keep your eyes focused on Jesus and do not give up. Continue to go on building God’s kingdom and doing His work while you can. Although the nations may rage against you, you will not fail, as long as you are doing God’s work in His way and time.

Do not be discouraged at the opposition that will come against you. God is on your side.

I pray today that you will know God’s will for your life; that you will do the work of God; that you will not be discouraged; that God will strengthen you to do His work; and that you will continue to build God’s kingdom.

1 Corinthians 3:9 Working Together

“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9

The people in Corinth were struggling with each other. Each one was stating that their work was greater or who they followed was better. Paul tells them to stop the struggles because they are all working together in the same field.

In the workplace people are often very competitive and territorial. Each person often feels that his job is the most important one in the workplace. This is extremely common with the leaders of the place. A person has made it to a leadership position and feels that he is now the most important person around, that the place could not survive without his work.

This also occurs in the church. The worship leader feels that his position is most important because everyone needs to worship God. The youth leader, because he is raising up tomorrow’s leaders. The deacons, because they are supporting the pastor. The sound technician, because everyone needs to hear the sermon and music clearly. The evangelist, because he is telling the lost about Jesus. And the list goes on.

The thing to remember is that each position is important, from the “lowest” person to the head boss. Each person has their part to do. The work for each one is in God’s field–the earth. They are working on building God’s kingdom. It does not matter if you are washing the toilets, preaching a sermon, or witnessing on the streets, all of it is used together to build His kingdom.

Each person must work together. Take any one person out, and part of the work will not get done. Your job may be to just put in one special screw into a vehicle to make that car, but if you do not put it in, part of it will fall apart when it is driven down the road later.

Seek God as to what you are to do in building His kingdom and then do it with all of your strength. Do not compare yourself to others, or lord yourself over others. Work together as a team, not in a fight alone. Build each other up in Christ Jesus.

I pray today that you will do the work God has for you to do; that you will not see yourself as any more important than anyone else in God’s kingdom; and that you will build God’s kingdom daily.

Matthew 7:24 Active Listening

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

Jesus now, after a lot of talking, tells the people who just to hear His words is not enough. Each person who hears the words of Jesus must be active in putting them to practice.

Hearing someone speak is very easy to do. All over America there are people who are speaking about many different things. Some will talk about how to get out of debt; others on loosing weight; others on the government changes needed; and anything else you may want to know about.

Most people who go to these speakers hear them, but do not do what they suggest. Some will start to do what they suggest for a while then quit. Only a very few will actually go through with the suggestion.

People go to church every week. They hear the pastor speak the words of Jesus each week and agree with what was said. On Monday, however, many have forgotten what was said and never do what was preached.

Jesus said you must put His words into practice to be wise. Putting them into practice is actually doing what He tells you, to live like He says to live.

He points out this wisdom is like a wise man building his house on a rock. With a sound, solid foundation a house will stand in any storm. With a sandy, loose foundation it will fall down when the storms hit enough.

You need a firm foundation in your life. The perfect foundation is founded upon the words and life of Jesus Christ. Nothing else will last forever. Nothing is more firm than the teachings of Jesus. His teachings last trends, nations, and time.

As you read the Bible each day, hear the words of Jesus and put them into practice. Do not just hear them and ignore them. The words of Jesus bring life and tells you how to live life.

It easy to quickly read a few verses then move on with life. Today stop and read them and then apply them to your life. As you go through your day remember them and live by them. Actively listen to what Jesus is telling you today.

I pray that God will reveal His words to you; that God will open your ears to hear what He is saying; that God will strengthen you to do what He says; that you will do what Jesus teaches; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.