Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 49
     Job 15
     Luke 2
     I Corinthians 3
''According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.'' (I Corinthians 3: 10)
            I Corinthians 3 is filled with wonderful analogies and metaphors. The carnal Christian is called a baby in Christ. God's servants are presented as farmers where one plants, another waters, and God gives the increase. We are called the temple of God.
            It is important that we know that all that we build is going to be inspected by God. When God inspects us with His searching and refining fire, what will He discover?
            Are we to find that we have built enterprises of our own or a foundation of Jesus?
            Are we to discover that we have been selfish and personally ambitious instead of working with others and making full use of all the gifts that are provided?
            Will we discover that we have used perishable materials when He has made available the permanent?
            We are today living in a time of tremendous enterprises; a time when we are trying to work for God and that is where the trap is. Profoundly speaking, we can never work for God. Jesus is the Master Builder, He is also the Foundation. Even the greatest building must have the proper foundation.
            We must also be certain that He is the Master Builder in all of the projects we undertake. We must make certain that He is the Architect, the Contractor and that He controls us completely for His enterprise and His building plans.
We must also recognize that no one has a right to demand where He will be put to work. The Master Carpenter Himself must make all the decisions.
            The carpenter's tools had a conference: The hammer heard he was going to have to leave the carpenter's shop because he was too noisy. He agreed but said the screw must also leave. ''You have to turn him around and around to get him anywhere." Bro. Screw responded. ''OK, I will go but Bro. Plane must leave. All his work is on the surface. There is no depth to it." Bro. Plane agreed to leave, but insisted that Bro. Rule must also leave. ''He is always measuring everybody else as if he is the only one ever right." Bro. Rule then complains about Bro. Sandpaper. ''He is rougher than he ought to be, and he is always rubbing people the wrong way."
            Then the Carpenter of Nazareth walks in and begins to build a beautiful pulpit. In the course of the construction He uses all of the tools. When the Carpenter left at the close of the day, Mr. Saw said, ''I perceive that we all are laborers together with the Lord."
            Strange as it may seem, what the hammer does, the saw cannot do. What the sandpaper does, the plane and the screw cannot do. What the rule did, none of the rest can do, but all of them in the hands of the Master Carpenter are able to build a beautiful pulpit.
            All of us cannot do the same things, but yielded for the Master Builder we can build a great masterpiece together.
What are you building for eternity today?
            As you continue to pray for Brazil, remember that this is a land of more than 175 million souls. It is literally a melting pot of nations with much inter-marriage, so percentages given are not always meant to indicate rigid categories. There are, however, people in Brazil from mixed tribal races (34%), European (53%), Asian (1%), and literally a mixture of peoples from all over the world.
            How should we pray for Brazil? We can rejoice that there is a continuing spiritual hunger, and the Brazilian missionary movement continues to grow and mature. The great need in Brazil for the church is to have more relevance as a prophetic voice in Brazilian society. Godly servant leadership, spiritual depth, and effective modeling and training are numbered among the great prayer requests for this strategic country.
''I believe if there is one thing which pierces the Master's heart with unutterable grief, it is not the world's iniquity, but the church's indifference." F. B. Meyer