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Word Construction

Jesus said a life well lived is one that is anchored on stable words. Human words are fraught with uncertainty and instability. Promises made today are often broken tomorrow. But God’s words endure. The same words that brought the earth and universe into existence can bring order to our anxious hearts.

How does it work? Knowledgeable home builders understand that good construction is based upon having access to quality building materials, skilled labor, and a detailed construction plan. Houses don’t just appear. They are built one block at a time—board by board and nail by nail.

So it is with human character. People don’t suddenly become caring, sensitive individuals with a desire to make a positive contribution to the world and God’s kingdom. Such a life is built over time with lots of words and the mortar of divine grace!

Someone figured out that The King James Bible contains 783,137 words. That’s a big number to wrap our heads around. So think of it this way. If you can type 60 words a minute, it would take you just over 217-and-a-half hours to retype the entire Bible. Can you imagine how long typesetting must have taken in the early days of printing?*

That’s a lot of words. Most of the words in Scripture are ordinary everyday words that can be used in many different ways. Yet there is something about their inclusion in God’s history, his story, that gives them special meaning and power. The power comes from God and is realized when we apply, or follow what he says.

On one occasion, while speaking to a large crowd, Jesus said:

“[The] words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”

“When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard” (Matthew 7:24, 26, 28, The Message).

Building Mansions

I’m building a house for you to live in,
And it’s made of silver and gold.
And if I go away to build mansions,
I will come back and take you home.

Building mansions for my family
Making room for those I love.
I’m building dreams for eternity
And I hope that you have room enough for me.

Long ago they built me a temple,
They garnished it with treasure from afar.
They filled it with gorgeous decorations,
But failed to see the need for a cornerstone.

What kind of house are you building?
Is it strong and will it last for long?
I can help you build something solid,
My promise is wrapped up in this song.

Building mansions for my family
Making room for those I love.
I’m building dreams for eternity
And I hope that you have room enough for me.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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