Remodel or Start Completely Over?

Dear Church Family,

As each of you are fully aware, we are surrounded by construction here at the church. We have witnessed over the past months the office building demolished, sidewalks and concrete steps dug up, mature trees pulled out of the ground, and parking areas moved. Enormous amounts of soil have been moved, concrete poured, and gravel spread. A new building is now taking shape. We have started over completely.

However, that’s not all of our construction story. If we take a look inside of the present building, we see signs of remodeling. Walls removed and new ones built, bathrooms moved, doors and entrances are changed to fit into the design of the new building, and stairways no longer exist in their original spaces. We have begun to remodel the old so that it can be used efficiently with the new.

I remember when we lived on the farm in Fines Creek. We kept a few cattle and horses, which meant that fences were necessary. Some of these fences were decades old when we moved there, so they had become quite ineffective for keeping livestock in a pasture. From time to time, I would find myself making decisions about certain sections of the fence. Should I repair or rebuild completely? Sometimes it was easier and more efficient to repair the part of the fence in worst shape; at other times, it was better to tear the fence down and completely replace wire and posts.

Over the past few weeks, we have been deeply engaged in a sermon series around how we can be remodeled and reconstructed under the eye of the Holy Spirit. When we see our need to be changed from who we are and have been, into who God wants us to be, forgiveness is available, and a new life can begin. We may start to see that there are habits, behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts which need to be completely thrown out. We realize they have no place in our new life with Jesus. A fresh start is necessary. This is a gradual process of giving those things to God for elimination and replacing them with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

We also find that there are gifts that God has given us, which maybe we have been using for the wrong purposes. Those need to be remodeled by God’s cleansing and transforming power. Our abilities, our talents, our personalities, and our intellect will need a make-over, a divine remodeling. God can take what He has given us and make it all good and usable for His work and our full redemption. Our plans and purpose in life take a new direction.

So, just as our church made a decision months ago to begin a building project by placing the work into the hands of a contractor, we must see the need to give our lives to the Divine Contractor. By taking our hands off our lives in surrender, we allow God to shape us into who He wants us to be.

Paul writes, “So then, if anyone is in Christ, that person is part of the new creation. The old things have gone away, and look, new things have arrived!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) So, as we prepare to begin new church life in a new building and remodeled older buildings, let’s make sure that we have begun to allow renovation in our faith walk with Jesus. Our part is a re-focus on personal prayer, Bible study, quiet time with God, worship, and sharing our love and compassion with others. Those are the tools given to us as we allow God to make the changes in our lives.

Rev. Tim McConnell

Pastor of Congregational Care

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