It’s a thing of huge significance in a man’s life when he gets a new shed.
He has a new HQ, not to mention place of refuge and reflection. He is the envy of every other man in his street for here, safe among the garden tools and compost he is unchallenged lord of his little domain.
I recently had this experience of mellow bliss and used the attached pics to illustrate our Evening Harvest reflection which went something like this:
If we think firstly of the old shed that was rotten and ready to fall we have our first lesson – the limitations of a patch job. A coat of paint took the bad look off it temporarily but it didn’t change the fact it was done and needed a complete change.
We sometimes put a brave smile on our face and tell the world we’re fine. We do a good cover up on the outside but on the inside it’s a different story. Perhaps we’ve been hurt by others and are struggling with low self-esteem or the bitter reluctance to forgive. Perhaps we feel a guilty conscience over some wrong we did and can’t forgive ourselves.
Let’s not kid ourselves. A patch job won’t do. We need a profound, comprehensive change of heart. We need a complete change. We need to replace the rotting decay with something fresh and new. Paul writes in Galatians 6 v 7:
‘Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’
Now if we realise the need of this change with the help of God’s Spirit let’s understand secondly the need for well-prepared ground. No use in putting a fine shed on damp clay, it needs to rest on a strong, well-drained base.
‘No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Christ Jesus.’
The Christ, Jesus, Son of God, Saviour, Lord, Who gave his life on the cross as the all-sufficient sin offering on our behalf and rose from death to reconcile to God and bring to Heaven all who trust in Him – He is our rock, our anchor, our foundation. We rest on Him and what He has done for us and we are secure for this life and eternity!
So a patch job won’t do. But if we want to seriously rebuild our lives we’re going to have to prepare the ground by trusting in Jesus Christ and then be careful to use quality materials.
The New Testament uses these pictures of farming or building to speak of Christ’s followers spreading the good news and building healthy, growing church fellowships. We gladly surrender whatever time, talents, resources we each may have to this cause but the essential material we are to use is the message itself.
Jesus speaks in Matthew 13 of the word, the ‘message of the kingdom’, God’s redeeming, transforming love and newness of life through Jesus being like seed which must be scattered widely and generously. The Apostle Peter speaks of church members being like ‘living stones’ in God’s house.
So Christians have a calling, to share the truths of the Bible, particularly about Jesus as widely as possible.
Which brings me to my last point.
We need more than a cover-up, we need a complete change resting on Jesus and building with the best material the word of God but for His kingdom to spread and grow we need willing workers.
Are there any here tonight who will step forward and be counted to work in the Lord’s harvest field in this area? As we rebuild our hearts and lives by His grace, strengthened by the promises of Scripture, are we willing to share the heart of Christ for our neighbours?
May it be so, that when our Lord returns in glory we will not be ashamed or worse, but will hear his voice saying, ‘Well done good and faithful servant…come and share your Master’s happiness!’