Read |1 Corinthians 3: 10 - 15|
Today, I was reminded of the simple beauty that is story time, as I called my middle school children to the rug for a read aloud. They came and huddled on a the soft rug, some gathering their limbs together in the embrace of their tightly knit arms, whereas others spread themselves on their bellies with faces cradled in their palms. In the diversity of their postures, one thing was clear-they were all leaning in to hear the who, what, when, where and why of the colorfully illustrated tale I held in my hand. One child, not able to wait for my introduction to the text blurted out, "Are we reading The Three Little Pigs?" We were not.
But, I have been thinking about that story: about the three little pigs, who each set out to build their own homes and then the trial that comes in the person of the Big Bad Wolf to test the quality of their homes. I believe you are familiar with how each fares in the test. The first builds with straw, the second with sticks and the third with bricks. The first and the second, finish in advance of the third. But when the test comes, it is the one who labored in agreement with wisdom in spite of the costs, whose home remains.
All the pigs began building on the same foundation. All the pigs were building with the same purpose: they all wanted a home in which they would be happy and safe. All the pigs had the same gift of time. All the pigs had the same access to materials. Yet, only one built a house that could stand the test. Only one built in agreement with wisdom.
In this week's Scripture reading, Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ is the only foundation of the Church. (1 Corinthians 3:10). All believers are given a new life in Jesus Christ on the basis of His perfect life, death and resurrection. Each is tethered to the Rock by grace through faith (reliance on the perfection and sufficiency of Jesus Christ). (Ephesians 2:8). This is the common ground. He is the common ground. And in this common ground are all the riches of heaven to be appropriated for the edification of each believer and the glory (fame) of God. And time, He grants to each of us, knowing that in it He is able to bring to completion what He has had in mind from the beginning. (Philippians 1:6). He gives. He supplies.
Yet, we are invited to co-labor. We are invited build upon the common ground, a life that has as its every referent Jesus Christ. We are called to live a Christ-centered life. A life in which we build contribute to the building of God's house, by the faithful and steady acts of daily obedience by His Spirit. We don't need to improvise in order to build in wisdom. The wisdom of God is manifest in Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit resides in us to counsel us in the way that we should go, so that at the end of our lives, we might rejoice to hear him safe, "Well done good and faithful servant. Well done!" (1 Corinthians 2:12 - 16 and Matthew 25:23). And in the space between here and heaven, we can stand in confidence that the Big Bad Wolf cannot destroy what God has in and through us made.
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God: seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His Spirit dwelling within us, confident that in living the truth by Holy Spirit reliance we will be transformed into women who so clearly bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body that we will come to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.