Building And Edifying
Godliness is the quality of God in any department of life, and there is a godly way to do anything that ought to be done. There is a loving way to say anything that ought to be said, and there’s a godly way to do anything that ought to be done.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today?
Well, some of you may have struck a rough day. Life is that way, isn’t it? Can’t always be roses, sometimes it’s thorns. Can’t always be laughter, sometimes it’s tears. If you’ve struck a rough day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, see me through this one.” He will. He said, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee,” and Job said, “He knowest the way that I take and He hath tried me; I come forth as gold.” God is in the process of putting the shine on your life. Let Him do it. Let Him see you through, even on the dark day that you may have struck today. Your heart is aching, maybe your tears are flowing, maybe your body is hurting, maybe your job is endangered, maybe your children are rebelling, maybe your home is breaking. I don’t know. God knows and He’s able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you and I can ask or think. So, trust Him, even through this moment. Look up say, “Lord see me through this one.” He will. He’ll go with you.
Now we’re in 1 Timothy, chapter 1, and now Paul is saying to Timothy: “Don’t give heed to fables.” We talked about that for a moment, “and endless genealogies which minister questions,” and the point that I was making just as we finished our broadcast the last time was that you and I need to pay attention to that which, instead of leaving a listener, or a student, or a congregation with questions, leaves them with a commitment. Preach for verdict, preacher. Your job is not just to expound the Word, your job is to lead your congregation to accept and apply the Word to their lives.
There’s a difference, you know. I have, I’ve listened to sermons’ words without the Word of God that were beautifully expounded, and the minister had an outline that was a jewel and everything was exactly in place, and all of the sub points began with the same alphabetical letter – all that. Beautifully constructed exposition of the Scripture, and perfectly dead. No action, no commitment, no appeal for action. Oh, my heart just burned to say to the minister: “Hey man, ask for a verdict!” Oh, if you’re preaching or teaching a Sunday school class or even leading family devotions, always point out that there’s an application of this Divine Truth, for you and for me.
Now, he says, “Rather, the minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in Faith.” My goal is building up the other person – godly edifying. To “edify” means to “build up.” We have an English word called “edifice.” What is that? That’s a building and it’s been put together on the basis of the plans drawn by the architect, and put together piece by piece, with brick and steel and stone, concrete, wood, glass, and all the rest. It’s an edifice, and that means a building, and “edify” is the verb that goes along with that concept – building a building.
Now, see, we have to ask ourselves, as we think of people upon whom we’ve had some influence, “What have I built into that life?” Paul said in 1 Corinthians, “Let everybody take heed how he built thereupon.” That has to do with the individual’s development of his own life, but Paul also said, “As a wise master builder I laid the foundation.” So, those of us who are ministering the word of God in the congregations or Sunday school classes or on the mission field or wherever may be, we also are building something into other people’s lives, aren’t we? Yes, we are.
So he said, “godly edifying” – building up the person in godliness. Now, what is “godliness”? Godliness is the quality of God in every department of life. Can you be a godly bricklayer? Yes, you can. Can you be a godly auto mechanic? Yes, you can. Can you be a godly mortgage banker? Yes, you can. Can you be a godly surgeon or nurse or lawyer or school teacher or janitor or graduate student or high school student or homemaker or whatever? Yes, you can. “Godly edifying.” Godliness is the quality of God in any department of life, and there is a godly way to do anything that ought to be done. There is a loving way to say anything that ought to be said, and there’s a godly way to do anything that ought to be done. You follow that?
Now, the Holy Spirit of God makes that real in your life. He indwells the believer. “If any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, Christ is none of his,” says Romans 8. “Know ye that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which ye have of God,” Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians, chapter 6. The believer’s indwelled by the Holy Spirit, but the believer needs to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and at times that comes a good deal later than the salvation experience itself, when the believer finally yields all that he is and all that he has or hopes to be to the blessed Holy Spirit of God, so he can be filled and can speak with power and blessing to others.
Be that as it may, you and I need to realize that the Holy Spirit of God uses us to build other lives. An awesome concept. What are you building into the lives of your loved ones? I asked somebody: “What kind of home life did you have?” Well, he said, “Compared to what?” And oh, I said, “What was it like, for instance, at meals?” He said, “We always quarreled at meals. We always tried to get away from the table as soon as possible because it was always a fight.” Somebody else said to me when I said “thank you” one time to him – and this was a college professor many years ago – I said “thank you” to him for something he had done. He turned to me, surprised, and he said, “You said, ’thank you’.” I said, “Yeah, sure.” Well, he said, “We never learned to say ‘thank you’ in my home.” He said, “I can’t ever remember either of my parents thanking me for anything. I can’t remember either of them ever saying that they loved me.” Oh, what are you building into the lives of your loved ones? Husband, wife, parents, children: What you building into those lives? “Godly edifying.” Godliness needs to be built into the lives of those with whom you and I come in contact.
I love to read the autobiography of one of the greatest missionaries, missionary to the Hebrides Islands, and he tells the story of his own boyhood, brought up in Scotland in a little Scottish thatched cottage. His father was a man who was a workman right at home. His workroom was half of the big kitchen, and the other half was given over to a big table where the family would gather to eat, and the stove where the mother would cook the meals, and then there was another large room with several beds in it where the family slept. There was a little hallway between those two with a tiny room like a closet that, too, opened into that hallway. John G. Paton, the missionary to the Hebrides Islands, tells us about his childhood. He says, after each meal his father would go into that little room and close the door, and he says, as I remember – I think I’m quoting it almost exactly – he says, “We children learned to creep quietly past that door even in our play, for we knew that inside that room our father was praying for us.” Then he finishes up that chapter by saying, “There were 11 children born of the union of James and Janet Paton, and in the resurrection every last one of them will stand up at the mention of their names and call Him blessed.” See, that’s godliness – building the quality of God into the everyday occurrences of life.
You ever stop to pray with your kids, aside from structured religious occasions like church or a family worship, if you have that? You ever stop to pray with them? You’re going on a trip – do you ever say, “Let’s ask the Lord to guide us now”? You’re engaged in some kind of a business venture about which the youngsters know – you ever stop and say, “Let’s ask the Lord to guide us in this”? You have some bills that you can’t meet – do you ever bring them to the table and say, “Let’s pray to our heavenly Father and ask Him to meet these bills”? I did that one time, a good many years ago when our two older girls were just, well, they were in grade school, I guess, and we had some bills and we didn’t know how to meet them, so one night I brought those bills to the supper table, and after the meal was over and we read the Word of God, I said, “Now, we’re going to ask our heavenly Father to meet these needs.” And so we prayed about it. Asked Him to help us pay these bills. We told Him we thought it would honor our Father if we paid our bills instead of not paying them. You know, in a few days, a man who owed me some money – but didn’t have to pay it for six months yet – sent a check paying the obligation in full, with a note saying, “I don’t know why I’m doing this – paying you early – but I feel I should.” And there was his check with that note: “I don’t know why I’m doing this but I feel I should,” and dear friends, it amounted to just a little more than the total of the bills I laid on the table that night.
See, bringing God into every day matters. I said to the young people at the college so often when I would speak to them in the chapel services, but I would tell them so often, “Pray your way through the day. Pray when you wake up. Say, ‘Good morning, Lord.’ Pray before you greet your roommates with a loving snarl. Pray before you tackle your first class. Something other than ‘Lord, a letter calling me today.’ Pray before you go on a date. Pray before you make a decision. Pray before you pick up the phone to answer it – you don’t know who’s on the other end of the wire. Pray before you open a letter – it may be a check or a bill; there is a difference. Pray before you make the great decisions that affect your life, your life’s work, your life’s companion, and other great decisions. Pray your way through the day, and then when the day’s finished you can turn out that pocket full of memories and thank your Lord for having led you all the way.”
Godliness – that’s what we’re talking about, and godliness builds up your life. If you build God into your everyday life, you’ll find yourself being built up as a believer. Now, the other thing that builds you up, of course, is the Word of God. “Building up yourselves on your most Holy Faith,” says Jude. The Word of God builds you up, and so every day you need to be in God’s blessed Word – reading it, studying it, praying over it, meditating upon it, and memorizing some passages. So, godliness in everyday affairs of life and the Word of God built into your mind and memory will edify/build up the structure of your life. We’ll go on with this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may we build up others by godliness in our lives and in theirs, I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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