Imagine the most beautiful brick building you’ve ever seen. A glorious and immaculately built building. This beautiful building is going to represent the church. I know you’re probably thinking, “but the church isn’t a building!” And you are absolutely right. Jesus used illustrations of a physical nature to often describe and give the proper imagery we humans need to see the spiritual picture. In fact, many times we see building, foundation and cornerstone in some of examples of His church. (Matthew 16:18, 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:20)
Imagine now that the name of each member of your congregation, both past and present, is written on individual bricks of this building. The bricks are the people that make up the Lord’s church. The mortar is like the word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Colossians 2:2). It cements us together, binds us together and gives us the ability to stand strong. Christ is the foundation.
Imagine now that some of those bricks are missing. There are holes all over this building. How does that change your view of the beautiful and perfect building that once stood? This is what happens when Christians fall from their faith or when they sit back and do not do the work of the Lord as they should. When all are working together and in harmony as the Bible instructs and commands us to, we stand tall and full and beautiful (1 Corinthians 15:58, Colossians 1:10). When we lose a brother or sister to the sinful world, that hole where their brick was laid does not fill with another, it remains a hole. The same can be true of those who do not work for the Lord (Revelation 3:15-16). They come and fill the pews Sunday mornings, sometimes Sunday evening (if they don’t have other plans) and sometimes on Wednesday evenings (if the kids don’t have a school event.) They don’t study and read at home, they don’t teach their children to know and love God, they don’t fellowship with the church at every opportunity.
Do we want the church to be one filled with holes? Is this something that God wants? No, He wants a full and strong and active church. One that is full of those who love Him and love their brethren and also love the lost and want them to be saved and added to the church. God doesn’t want the old abandoned buildings that are crumbling and falling. The church hurts when in this state, and so does the Lord.
How do we fit into this picture? Are we one of the bricks that is struggling to try and spread out longer and taller to fill the gaps? Or are we the ones who have created the holes? Christ died so that all may be saved (Luke 19:10, Romans 5:8). He is the master builder and it is our job to work for Him and to help those who are lost find Him. We collect the bricks, the Lord adds them to the church (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
How can you be sure you are not a missing brick? Do you love the Lord with all your heart? How do you show Him your love? Do you read and study every day? Do you pray without ceasing? Do you share your love and knowledge of Christ with others? Do you live a life that lets your light shine so that all may know you are a follower of His (Luke 5:16)? Do you love and help your brethren when in need (John 13:34-35)? Are you there to encourage and lift up one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11, Romans 15:1, Galatians 61-2)? All of these things start with one step, one day, one word of encouragement, one hello. And over time, it becomes easier and easier the more we work together. The less bricks that are missing, the easier it is for the church to stand tall and strong. Together we are united and one, just as the Lord has planned (Ephesians 4:4-6). If you have found yourself one of those bricks who has fallen to the ground, who has gone missing, please find your place in His church again. Get active and get back where Christ wants you and needs you, where His church wants you and needs you. If you are one of those bricks that is still part of the building, please do not delay, go and search for those missing bricks (James 5:19-20). Some may be right before your eyes and some you may need to search a little harder for. We all know someone who has fallen from their faith that needs a reminder of God’s love and salvation for them. Do not delay, for we do not know what tomorrow will bring (2 Peter 3:10, James 4:14). Let us present to the Lord His glorious church (Ephesians 5:27).
[Tweet “We all know someone who has fallen from their faith that needs a reminder of God’s love.”]
by Stephanie Verlooy
Stephanie currently lives in Austin, TX where her husband is as student at the Southwest School of Biblical Studies. She is a stay at home mom to her two children Mason and Nora. When her husband Life graduates they plan, Lord willing, to return to Wisconsin and work with the church in Rice Lake.