Tuesday, February 6, 2018

I was reading 1 Corinthians chapter 3 recently to prepare a brief message for my Church's food ministry on Thursday when vv.s 9-16 sparked a special memory.        
I come from a hard-working family. My dad and grandfather built houses together until my grandfather became the county building inspector. Later, my dad emerged as a self-employed painter.  So as you can imagine growing up I had plenty of opportunities to practice building and painting. This practice affirmed my desire to go to college.
Fast forward years later to my point. My wife and I purchased our first home, which as many of you are familiar a starter home is just that--one you can afford which means it is probably older and needs a lot of work and this one met all of the above criteria. So with our parent's help, we begin the renovation process. As a paise to God, I should also mention my wife's father is a very gifted self-employed contractor. So with a grand vision and a great deal of help we renovated our first home.  
As is the case when a house begins to show age as well as wear and tear it is time for a remodel job to take place. The process of remodeling transforms the house or building in order to update it, make it more modern and livable, and save the cost of buying or building a new one. Remodeling takes what already exists and reconfigures it into something different, something updated and upgraded with new life.
Our House needed the floors sanded and refinished, painting--both interior and exterior, new closet doors, the entire bathroom remodeled (yes we only had one bathroom to share), new railing for the stairs, new tile floors for the bathroom and the kitchen, new insulation beneath the house, new appliances, new light fixtures, and not to leave out the exterior: new landscaping: new plants, even a new driveway.
This experience taught me to value the process of transformation. I gained a greater appreciation for the renovation experience.
The Question? Do we need remodeling as people? I think so. Good news God is in the remodeling Business
We are all born needing a remodeling job. All of us are born sinful and full of fleshly desires. As we grow, our sinful nature exerts its influence on our lives. It begins to train us to serve its lust for all sorts of things. It strives to encourage behaviors that are inappropriate, rude and selfish. No matter how good we think we are, deep within the core of our being is the sinful flesh with which we were born. 
The Answer, Yes, of course, assuming one doesn't want to learn this truth the hard way.
During the renovation process, I repeatedly thought of God's work in my life. For example, as I began to paint the exterior I first had to pressure wash the house, then replace rotten wood, SCRAPE and SCRAPE away the old paint before I could apply the pretty new color my wife and I had picked out.
In the same way, God takes special care to build us into the people we are intended to be. First, it begins with Christ as our firm foundation V.11 and then our cooperation to maintain a habitable dwelling place for God's Spirit, v.16. 
May we embrace God's remodeling project in our lives, allow God to take what already exists and reconfigure us into something different, something updated and upgraded with new life. And as a result, we have something beautiful to live in both inside and out and for the world to see.

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