TEEN TREE           OF LIFE

A Person’s Toolbox for Successful Living

Part 1

June 27, 2021

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

The Blueprints

 

Before any construction project is successfully begun, there must be a plan outlining what you want to build. This is because that decision will determine the preparation work that will have to be carried out, the materials that will have to be gathered, and how those materials will be put together. Building a tree house is different than building a pond with a dock. Building a house is different than building a barn. Building an office complex is different than building a warehouse. While all buildings will have some similarities – such as a foundation, framing, and a roof – they will vary greatly in size and form depending on the particular purpose for which they are being constructed.

 

The same is true when it comes to the blueprints for a human life. People will naturally think that the blueprints for their own lives – to follow in pursuit of whatever they believe to be important – are perfect; but Solomon warns us about ignoring other people’s advice in PROV 12:15 (New American Standard Bible): The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a person who listens to advice is wise. That’s an interesting point if you think about it. How often do you refuse to listen to your parents’ advice or that of another adult? PROV 14:12 (The Message Bible) says this about thinking that your way of doing something is the best and only way: There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak.

 

People might try to justify their plans and actions, even insisting them to be good, but God weighs our motives and knows the truth behind everything we do and think. This is taught in PROV 16:2 (New International Readers Version): Everything a person does might seem pure to them. But the Lord knows why they do what they do. As an example, you may decide to take a job after school which has you working until 7:00 PM every night. The job would pay you a good hourly wage and it would allow you to have a nice amount of money to buy things for yourself without asking your parents for money. You see this reason as the deciding factor in taking the job. But you don’t realize that by working this late every night, you wouldn’t have time to do your homework or to have dinner with your family. It would also stop you from being able to do the chores you’re expected to do each day. Do you see that although this decision would allow you to have a job and some spending money, it would actually be a selfish and bad decision because of the time it would take away from more important responsibilities? That’s why you’ve got to let God design and build your house. In this way, your decisions will be based on His Word and His Will.

 

When God builds your house, you’ll make wiser decisions and live a life which glorifies Him. If you don’t, your life will be pointless. This is stated perfectly in PSA 127:1: If the Lord doesn’t build a house, the work of the builders is useless. God has a design for all mankind. He’s even provided the Blueprint which is the Bible.  PSALM 15 (The Message Bible) is a good description of God’s basic blueprint for every person. It describes the character of the man who is welcome to stand in God’s presence: God, who gets invited to dinner at your place? How do we get on your guest list? “Walk straight, act right, tell the truth. “Don’t hurt your friend, don’t blame your neighbor; despise the despicable. “Keep your word even when it costs you, make an honest living, never take a bribe. “You’ll never get blacklisted if you live like this.” Doesn’t that say it all? It’s so insightful!

 

Now let’s look at the basic character traits of godliness: integrity, righteousness, truthfulness, kindness, goodness, loyalty, trustworthiness, faithfulness, reverence, discernment, tenaciousness, being honorable, and being just. For Christians, God also adds additional things to these qualities. They are particular spiritual gifts, ministries, and the empowerment to make you unique in your ability to serve Him in particular ways and places. In fact, God has a general blueprint for all people with designs for each individual according to His Will.

 

Take note that God also has a plan for the wicked. ROM 9:18-23 (New International Reader’s Version) explains that there are both vessels of God’s wrath and vessels of God’s mercy: So God does what he wants to do. He shows mercy to one person and makes another stubborn. One of you will say to me, “Then why does God still blame us? Who can oppose what he wants to do?” But you are a mere human being. So who are you to talk back to God? Scripture says, “Can what is made say to the one who made it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Isnt the potter free to make different kinds of pots out of the same lump of clay? Some are for special purposes. Others are for ordinary use. What if God chose to show his great anger? What if he chose to make his power known? But he put up with the people he was angry with. They were made to be destroyed. What if he put up with them to show the riches of his glory to other people? Those other people are the ones he shows his mercy to. He made them to receive his glory.

 

JER 22:13–17 (The Message Bible) warns us about how NOT to live your life. It’s a blueprint on how NOT TO BE: “Doom to him who builds palaces but bullies people, who makes a fine house but destroys lives, Who cheats his workers and won’t pay them for their work, Who says, ‘I’ll build me an elaborate mansion with spacious rooms and fancy windows. I’ll bring in rare and expensive woods and the latest in interior decor.’ So, that makes you a king—living in a fancy palace? Your father got along just fine, didn’t he? He did what was right and treated people fairly, And things went well with him. He stuck up for the down-and-out, And things went well for Judah. Isn’t this what it means to know me?” God’s Decree! “But you’re blind and brainless. All you think about is yourself, Taking advantage of the weak, bulldozing your way, bullying victims.” In other words, what Jeremiah is saying is that those who want to build their lives (houses!) according to their own blueprint will find themselves, in the end, to be complete failures, regardless of what human accolades they may achieve. Jesus put it succinctly in MATT 16:2426“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” What blueprints are you using as the plans for building your life?

 

Preparation for Construction

 

Before a building can be constructed, preparation work has to be done. If there was something previously built on the site, it has to be taken down. There may be trees that need to be cut down or rock that must be broken up and removed. It’s important to note that the destructive aspects in the preparation work (which must be done before construction) is selective and not haphazard. You’ll want to remove only the trees that are sickly or that will interfere with the construction. You only want to remove the rock necessary for the construction project to work properly. You don’t want to take out the rock upon which the foundation for the building will be constructed. A bare piece of soft ground may make it easy for the construction of a building; but the foundation will be shaky. A bare property lacks the beauty you’d have with trees and shrubs for landscaping.

 

Be aware that there is a destructive work that God will accomplish in the life of an individual when He designs and builds that person’s house. But this destruction is selective in only destroying the sin and sinful philosophies. The apostle Paul describes this in 2 COR 10:3–6: The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way—never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

 

In this analogy between God building our house and a believer living in God’s Plan for his or her life, God takes over the property and has us remove only those things on it that will interfere with Him constructing a new building according to His own design.

 

{to be continued}

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