Posted by Joel Tiemeyer on Aug 25, 2018

Bricks or Stones 

Opening Scripture: I Corinthians 3:10

 

I Corinthians 3:10

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it.

 

I have one question, “How are you being built?” (Take care how he builds upon it being the foundation of Jesus.)

 

Bricks

Exodus 5:6-18 

6 The same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, 7 “You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.’ 9 Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.”

10 So the taskmasters and the foremen of the people went out and said to the people, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I will not give you straw. 11 Go and get your straw yourselves wherever you can find it, but your work will not be reduced in the least.’” 12 So the people were scattered throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. 13 The taskmasters were urgent, saying, “Complete your work, your daily task each day, as when there was straw.” 14 And the foremen of the people of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, “Why have you not done all your task of making bricks today and yesterday, as in the past?”

 

We have 2 issues at hand in the account, Captivity and Bricks. The work load of the bricks increased the intensity of their captivity.

Some of you may not know it at this moment, so I will ask, “Are you captive to the brick?”

 

            Conformity - Bricks are built in a mold; but you were created in an Image!

                        Bricks are built out of a mold so they are all the same shape, size, weight and dimensions.

                        Society has driven us to conformity and to try and “fit a mold.” This is why there are so many factions. It seems like everything is trying to make everyone fit into a “Mold”.

                                    You name it…  it is “Pick which box you want to fit in.”

                       

Captivity – Conformity will always lead to Captivity. This is why comparison is so dangerous.

Comparison to people is literally trying to conform to someone else.  

Commercial:“Like Mike” Everyone wanted to be like Michael Jordan.

Sports Jersey: You put on that jersey with another person’s name on it.

Magazine Covers:They are specifically meant to make you feel inferior, so you will buy a product to “be like the picture.”

Society is trying to conform, Jesus is desiring to transform!

 

In the passage we just read, the worst thing about the bricks, is the Israelites had to build them in their own power.

            Here is the problem: Anything you build in your own power you have to sustain in your own power!

                        Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit…”

 

Stones - Society is trying to conform, Jesus is desiring to transform! But transform us into what?

Matthew 6;18

18And I (Jesus)tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

I Peter 2:4-5

4 As you come to him (Jesus), a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stonesare being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

Mold or Made?

If you have ever seen bricks being laid for a wall or house you know that you don’t have to pay much attention to which brick you grab because they were assembled in a mold.

If you have ever laid stone for a walkway, wall, firepit or anything with stone you have to pay close attention to which one comes next.

            It is like a puzzle. Stones are Unique!

 

The opposite of Conformity is Unique.

            Psalm 139:13-14 13“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

 But if you only understand that you are unique you simply become a “Unique Captive.”           

Uniqueness without Unity only makes you a unique captive.

    5 “you yourselves like living stonesare being built up as a spiritual house”                                    It takes unity in the stones to build a house out of them.

Break the Mold

I Corinthians 3:10-14

10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it11For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - 13each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.14If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

We want you to “Break the Mold!” This is why we have dedicated ourselves as Elders and Staff to your Spiritual Formation through Next Steps and Group Life.

            You are not a Brick but a Living Stone. We are determined to find your Uniqueness!

            When we find your uniqueness, you will find your “Fit”! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

 

The Question:

Will you “Break the Mold?” That is something only you can do.

If you are tired of making bricks without straw, a captive life, Break the Mold by taking one step.

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