Pillars hold up important, heavy things.
Life itself has pillars, strong principles that support those who choose to live. The Psalmist, speaking for God Himself, introduces the metaphor:
“I will appoint a time,” says God; “I will judge with equity. Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking, I will make its pillars fast.”
This is good to know, isn’t it? God has installed principles into the living process that are strong, like marble columns of truth that hold up the temple of life. Where can we go to discover these pillars? You know the answer. We go to the Book He has given us.
The Worship/Service/Rest Pillar
- Jesus summarized all the commandments of the Old Covenant into two for the New Covenant: Love God with all you’ve got and
- Love people.
These two commandments join worship and service into one powerful pillar. We are designed to be in a loving relationship with God that captivates us completely—heart, soul, mind, and strength. This relationship provides us the strength, wisdom, and patience to love people and to serve humanity all our days.
The word used by Paul in Romans 12:1 develops this worship/service concept.
- NKJV” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
- NIV “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.”
The reason for the two different translations is this: the original word means both service and worship. From Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament words:
latreia – primarily “hired service,” is used (a) of the “service” of God in connection with the tabernacle, Rom 9:4; Heb 9:1… (b) of the intelligent “service” of believers in presenting their bodies to God, a living sacrifice, Rom 12:1…
We must add the Sabbath principle to that of worship/service. Rest from our labors gathers strength for our worship! These strong pillars will support one’s whole life on this earth.
The Pillars of Paul
The Apostle Paul identifies three pillars of the spiritual life—the three “best things:” Faith, Hope, and Love. There is no way to overstate the importance of these pillars.
- Faith is essential. We do not walk in the wisdom of this world; we walk in faith—believing before there is proof. We do this by embracing the substance of things hope for and acting on the evidence of things not yet seen. Without this pillar it is impossible to please God. With it, all things are possible.
- Hope is energy for the soul. With faith in place a seed is planted deep in our hearts and it begins to grow. There is a confidence in the future quite unrelated to current events or the status quo. Hope holds us fast to our faith as contrary winds blow. We emerge from the storm stronger for the testing.
- Love is the connector. We are not meant to trudge through life alone. We are designed for fellowship—with God and with people. Connected above and all around by love, we are insulated from cold and warmed by the proximity of God and His people.
The Pillar of the Word
How can we be sure of these pillars? Because they are “Bible!” The Book He gave us describes the pillars of life. This mighty column has been proven to hold up the lives of believers since Moses brought down the tablets of stone from the Mountain. Jesus battled Satan armed with the Word of God. He came “in the volume of the book” to redeem us from a collapsing life. The Apostles stood on the Word and changed the world. The church fathers, led by the Spirit of God, sorted out the false from the true and formed the canon of scripture and thus it has remained. Heaven and earth will pass away before the Word would ever fail.
Live your life today. Rest your life on the pillars of God: Worship/Service/Rest; faith/hope/love; and the everlasting Word.
We give you thanks, O God, we give you thanks, calling upon your Name and declaring all your wonderful deeds. “I will appoint a time,” says God; “I will judge with equity. Though the earth and all its inhabitants are quaking, I will make its pillars fast. I will say to the boasters, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not toss your horns; Do not toss your horns so high, nor speak with a proud neck.'” For judgment is neither from the east nor from the west, nor yet from the wilderness or the mountains. It is God who judges; he puts down one and lifts up another. For in the Lord’s hand there is a cup, full of spiced and foaming wine, which he pours out, and all the wicked of the earth shall drink and drain the dregs. But I will rejoice forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.He shall break off all the horns of the wicked; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
Mark 12:28-31 NKJV
Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Romans 12:1 NKJV
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NKJV
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
1 Peter 1:3-5 NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 John 4:7 NKJV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
1 Peter 1:22-25 NKJV
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.
Lord Jesus, You are the firm foundation of my life. Help me build well upon the pillars of the faith: Worship/Work/Rest, Faith/Hope/Love, and the Eternal Word of God. Help me today to be faithful to you in thought, word, and deed. If I make a false step, correct me. If I lapse into despair, remind of Your promises. If I am unloving, rebuke me and show me how to make it right. If I am enchanted by the lies of this world, convict me, reprove me, and bring me back to the truth of Your Word. Let this day be one of faith and faithfulness, love in word and deed, and joy in my eternal hope. Thank You, Lord! Amen.
How Firm a Foundation
Words: (disputed) “K;” Music: Anonymous
1. How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2. “In every condition, in sickness, in health,
in poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth,
at home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
as days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.”
3. “Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.”
4. “When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.”
5. “When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all-sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.”
6. “The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved