As you begin, read 1 Corinthians 3:11.
“That, over there, used to be McGurer’s place,” he said to his grandson. “From here, all you’d see was wheat.” He shrugged his shoulders and spat on the ground.
Looking over the construction site, you’d never have known it. McGurer’s field had become an open-air shopping center, which was now being razed and redeveloped into a medical complex.
Because his grandson liked trucks, he brought him to see the construction. What his grandson couldn’t see, however—and what his grandfather was trying to show him—was the difference between building over something and building upon it.
Sometimes, people build over things. They try to erase the past. A farm disappears, and a mall appears; the mall disappears, and a medical complex arises. The past is gone, erased, forgotten.
Too bad it isn’t that easy to build over events in one’s life. People try to do it all the time. They move to a new place. They launch a new career. They sever relations with their family. But memories endure.
In the kingdom of God, relationships matter. Even the broken ones.
Which is why it’s so wonderful to hear the apostle Paul proclaim that God does not build over. He builds upon. God’s love is radical. His love changes lives—not by erasing the past, but by forgiving it. When Christ died on the cross, God took upon himself the brokenness of our sin; when Christ rose from the dead, God gave to us new life in him, life that no longer runs from the past but brings the past to Jesus and builds upon it in him.
When relationships break, when families fracture, when you want to run away and start over, return to the radical love of God. In Christ, God forgives with a love stronger than death. He takes that which is broken and builds upon it in love.
Prayer starter: Father, I bring you the past I can’t erase and the future I can’t create. Bring me to Christ, my sure foundation . . .
Editor’s note: This devotion is taken from CTA’s new book for Father’s Day and men’s ministry, Built to Serve. If you’re looking for ways to recognize, encourage, and celebrate dads and the other men in your church, take a look at all the value-priced items in this product line. It comes with many free, downloadable resources, too.
© 2014 CTA, Inc.