20 Feb Lay the Foundation
There is a popular t-shirt that I’ve seen numerous times since we have been back in Texas that says, “I wasn’t born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could.” Evidently, that is the truth. I read recently that some 350 to 400 people move from other states to Texas every single day of the year. All that one needs to believe these statistics is a drive around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Construction for new homes and apartment buildings is seen all over the metroplex. In some areas, all that you can see for miles is two-by-fours being hammered and bricks being laid.
Here’s a fact about every new building being constructed. Every construction crew knows the importance of first laying a solid foundation. The blueprints may call for multi-million dollar exterior and interior designs but none of this is possible without first building the forms and then pouring the cement.
What you are about to read may seem too basic and totally unnecessary. But, believe me when I state that it is so, so needed. Here it is … make sure that a solid spiritual foundation is cemented through salvation before you build the spiritual walls and install the spiritual cabinets and tile the spiritual floors.
Here is why I’m writing this post. In many pulpits and children/youth services, incredible series are being preached to people that haven’t established a relationship with Christ. They aren’t born again. Week after week, people sit in services and never hear a single message about God’s gift of salvation, receive a challenge to make a decision, and have the time provided to respond to the work of the Holy Spirit. If salvation is mentioned at all, it is squeezed into the service’s final two or three minutes as a last minute add-on at the end of an unrelated subject. Consequently, these sermons are being preached to individuals without a spiritual foundation on which to build a Christian life.
How often should you provide an opportunity for people to be born again? Well, as seen here around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, people are constantly moving in and creating a need for the foundation crew to do their job. Also, there are those who have been a part of your ministry for years that the Holy Spirit has been able to finally remove the terrain’s roughage so that a foundation could be laid. So, this can’t be a once-a-year, get ‘r done, check-it-off-my-to-do-list occurrence. Provide the Savior the opportunity to save and do so often.
One more quick note. Am I dissing the sermon series and children/student ministry curriculums? Am I saying to only preach salvation messages to the exclusion of other powerful messages and series of messages? Not at all. Many are needed and effective. Use these series to bless your people and cause them to grow in Christ. But, first, lay the foundation. It’s only after the new birth foundation is established that these series and curriculums will build the beautiful, healthy Christian lives.