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The Master Builder

Vernon and I have spent the past year improving our homestead to make it work for our family. One of the projects we have been working on is building a woodshed closer to the house. The wood pile that we were using was down by the workshop garage. Too far from the house, and it had no cover to keep the wood dry, just an old tarp which didn’t work well at all. Vernon had in his mind what he wanted to build and I trusted him to build the right size and style so it would complement the house. I am all about making things look neat and attractive to the eye.

As I watched Vernon build the woodshed, I thought about the Bible verse in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it”. Step by step Vernon put his plan into place. He carefully measured making sure every corner was squared and the structure would be strong. I thought about another text in the Bible, Matthew 21:42 it says “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”

``The disciples of the wise men are called "builders", because they study in the building of the world all their days, which is the law... Rejected - is an expression borrowed from masons, when, finding a stone, which being tried in a particular place, and appearing improper for it, is thrown aside, and another taken; however, it may happen that the very stone which had been before rejected, may be found the most suitable as the head stone of the corner.” (Adam Clarke Commentary)

As I read this paragraph from the commentary I remembered Vernon looking at each piece of lumber and stones that he would be using on the structure. If it didn’t look right to him at first glance he would lay it aside, and when he finished looking at all the pieces he would go back over the ones he was not sure about, and some of the pieces he would use after all.

A proper builder is one who knows how to build upon the foundation established by Jesus. The same foundation built upon by the apostles and prophets. The builder must be careful, always insuring he is doing everything according to the word of God. Not bits and pieces, but the entire Word of God. If a building were built with bits and pieces missing, it would be very unstable.

Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone - How was Jesus rejected, and why? He came here to free the world from sin, to teach the world of His Father’s love and character. He came here to show the dividing line between God’s word and human traditions. He came here as a man, a simple human being. He was rejected because this was not the image of God their traditions created.

"If it had been a snake, it would have bit me." This old' saying that I heard growing up was used when you were looking for something and it was right under your nose the whole time but you just couldn't see it. Usually you couldn't see it because you were careless, in a hurry, or not concentrating on what you were doing.

So, often as spiritual seekers, we get frustrated at missing the leading of God as we try to discern His will in the important decisions of our lives. Yet His truth is right under our noses: "if it had been a snake, it would have bit us." The Jewish leadership rejected God's Son, their stone of salvation, because they were not looking for a Messiah who was like Jesus. He didn't fit their idea of a Savior. In their carelessness and hardness of heart, they rejected the very stone on which their salvation should have been built.

Vernon carefully followed the plans in his head on how to build the woodshed. His eyes for detail and taking his time not to be careless, concentrating on his work, building on the right foundation, rejecting the pieces that would not work, not becoming frustrated, because he trusted on the skills that God gave him in making the correct decision on how to build the woodshed. Sometimes however he would have doubts if he rejected the very piece of wood or stone that the woodshed needed. Uncertain if it would turn out right. But as long as he kept his eye on the Master builder for guidance and skill, he could see the work was good.

Unfortunately we can do the same thing when we try to fit God's will for us and Jesus' leading of us into our plan rather than trying to discern his will. As long as Vernon followed the Lords leading in building the woodshed he had no doubt, but the minute he turned from it he had uncertainties. When he let go of his doubt, uncertainties, and stumbling on the stone that God provided for him, he rested on God’s know-how to finish the woodshed, and what a beautiful woodshed. Let’s not stumble on the stone God provided for our salvation!

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