The Lord Builds His House!

The Lord Builds His House!

"Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that built it." Psalm 127: 1

"Except the Lord builds the house."
What does that mean?

An architect planned the house.
Contractors, carpenters, brick masons, plumbers, electricians, roofers, and others erected the house.
The church has received gifts of money from its members.
Is it not just religious sentimentalism to say that the Lord built the house?
What did He have to do with the building of it?

Let us answer that question, so that we may be thankful to Him;
and be drawn closer to Him for the way He has blessed this church.

The Lord builds the house because He gives us the spirit essential to cooperation.

Our house is not built by the imposition of someone's will.

It depends upon the voluntary contributions of time, talent, and money by its members.
The membership includes little children and the aged, some who are poor and others
with large substance.
It includes people in various temperaments.
It includes people who are diverse in their talents, and varied in their vocations.
It includes those who are strong in their opinions.

Yet we build together -- in unity and harmony.
Our differences are lost in the common enterprise.
There are no divisions among us.

The lines of a hymn express our spirit:

"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above."

We have cooperative affection.
This is placed in our hearts by Christ.
This is the Lord building the house.

To take a group of people as diverse as we are, and to build and maintain the ministry of this church,
without income from taxation, without catering to the prestige and pride of individuals
is almost impossible, except the Lord gives us the spirit essential to cooperation.

He gives this spirit to the group.
He gives this spirit individually.
Those without this spirit do not share in the building and maintaining of God's church.
We build because God's touch is upon our hearts.

The Lord builds the house because He gives us the vision essential to progress.

This vision is received when His people pray.
Without such a vision the house of God will not be built.

Progress is not automatic.
To move forward in ministry, and to build a church is impossible without a dream and without a vision.
It is as impossible as it is for a contractor trying to build without a blueprint.

Remember, what God said through the prophet Joel and quoted by Peter at Pentecost,
"Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."

It is by God's working that the vision of Christian people is inspired and through which the work
moves forward.
It is in this way that the Lord builds His house.

The Lord builds the house because he gives us the faith necessary to persevere.

Anyone can begin a building, but not everyone can finish it.
It is faith that lifts us from a low level of achievement to a higher level of excellence.
It is by faith that obstacles are overcome, frustrations are refused,
issues are met with high decisions, and the task is finished.

It is by faith in God.
By such faith, anything can come to pass.
With such expectancy, great plans can be followed through to great accomplishments.
Such faith in God is God-given; it is God's touch in the task.

The Lord builds the house by giving us the wealth necessary to pay the cost.

The house is built and the ministry of the church moves forward under a Christian attitude
toward wealth.
This is known by us as Christian stewardship.
The resources are God's.
We are trustees of the wealth that comes into our hands.

How enriching it is to use everything, to earn, to spend, to save, that God gives us
to be good stewards under God's ownership.

So it is, that God builds the house with the wealth in our hands, which is essential to pay the cost.

God gives us the love essential to expendability.

A woman came to her pastor and said,
"Will you help me?
I used to say that if I had the money, I would do so and so!
I had the vision and the dream of doing good with it.
Now I have the money.
I feel that I ought to use it as I said I would, but I just can't give it up.
I can't let it go.
What is the matter with me

Often, people find themselves in a similar condition.

Here is a person with a life pension.
He has accumulated thousands of dollars.
This person is aged, and has more money than he will ever need.
Yet, he can not part with any of his money.
It is not expendable.

Here is a person with talent.
The church makes requests again and again for its expenditure, but it is not expendable.
You have the vision, you have the wealth or talent.
Think of how much you really lose, if it is not expendable.

What makes us expendable?
Let a person love God, and let that person love others,
and the money, which is God's wealth on loan, becomes expendable.

It is God's own love that kindles in our hearts the love that is essential to the expendability
of our wealth, of our talents, and of our life itself.

This is the way in which the Lord builds the house... we would be building!

Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White

Additional resources:

What Are Our Motives for Building?

Remember, when the people said,
"Come, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach
unto heaven; and let us make us a name.
.." (Genesis 11: 4).

The pyramids were built by slave labor to be the tombs of tyrants.
The Parthenon in Athens has been described as the world's finest building in all the world.
It was built to the glory of Greece.
St. Peter's at Rome was built by exploiting the fears of men.

Many have built to honor their name and extend their influence beyond their death!

The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan as an expression of love for his queen.

What are our motives for building?

"We would be building; temples still undone
O'er crumbling walls their crosses scarcely lift,
Waiting till love can raise the broken stone,
And hearts creative bridge the human rift.

We would be building; Master, let thy plan
Reveal the life that God would give to man.

Teach us to build; upon the solid rock
We set the dream that hardens into deed,
Ribbed with the steel that time and change doth mock,
The unfailing purpose of our noblest creed.

Teach us to build; O Master, lend us sight
To see the towers gleaming in the light.

0 keep us building, Master, may our hands
Ne'er falter when the dream is in our hearts,
When to our ears there come divine commands,
And all the pride of sinful will departs.

We build with thee, 0 grant enduring worth
Until the heavenly kingdom comes on earth

–Purd E. Deitz