Chapter 3: The Builder

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How do you see yourself? For me, I struggled with a poor self-image as evidenced by the previous chapters. Though I would push forward, my heart was riddled with indecisions and fears. Some people may call it pure stubbornness. In truth, it was a determination to not be perceived as weak or a failure.

How does God the Father see me? How does God see you? It was vastly different than you would have expected. How can I be certain? I could point to many great Scriptures; however, I have something better and I am certain you will benefit from it.

First, I need to give a little background or the chapter will not make sense. My father was in the construction trade for most of my life. He helped build many houses and apartment complexes in New Jersey.

In time, I came to know that he enjoyed looking at old houses. As his son, it makes sense that I’d have a similar enjoyment. It is something my father never knew. My dad died in March 2000.

Years later, I was introduced to a video game called Minecraft and to the larger YouTube community. If you don’t know, Minecraft is not just about mining; it’s about building beautiful structures. Guess what attracted me to the game?

 My father would have been surprised to discover that I enjoyed looking at different homes and building. Yet, I would not have surprised my Heavenly Father. He already knew about it and God had no problems in using these different elements in a vision.

In June of 2014, Shore Vineyard Church, South Toms River, NJ, hosted something called “The Real Hope Conference.” Bob Hartley and Eddie Boasso were the main speakers. As per our normal routine, Shore Vineyard’s worship team would set the atmosphere with a soft and intimate style of contemporary music.

For me, it is difficult to see the lyrics on the projection screen. So I’d drift into my own style of worship and enjoy the singing. Sometimes my mind would drift off and I’d be somewhere else. In some cases, I would be focusing on something or God would show me something.

 On that Friday, I drifted off into what appears to be a dream. In the dream, I found myself standing on a hilltop that overlooked a lush green valley. In the valley, I saw a beautiful house that seemed to be of the Victorian era.

For some reason the slope of the roof appeared to be made of a deep green colored wood. The outside wall appeared to be made with bricks of granite. I can still see the large windows on the different sides of the house. If I recall, the house appeared to be on two levels. I could also see marble pillars in the front part of the house.

As I continued to look, I could see the builder had added a variety of little details to the house. Outside the house was a beautiful array of colorful flowers. It’s truly the home of a gardener and I’m no gardener. I’d love to give more details; however, the picture grows dim, over time. Yet, the beauty lingers on.

While I stood there, a figure was seen flying around house. I could see that he was doing all kinds of work on the house. The young man was busy adding the look of textures to the roof and adding variations to the granite walls. I could not tell what he did with the marble pillars adorning the front of the house.  It was clear that the young man was an artist and that he was skilled in construction. He seemed oddly familiar.

As I beheld this strange scene, the young man’s voice drifted up to my ears. He was saying, “Don’t be afraid to step out and try something new.” It was not the only words of encouragement that I was hearing. He was also inviting his listeners to join in and help build something. I did not have to ask, “Who is this guy?” I had watched his YouTube channel many times.

“What the heck is he doing here?”

I quickly looked around for I knew this dream was no ordinary dream. It came from my Father. It did not take long to find Jesus walking towards me.  I asked “What is the meaning of this, Jesus?”  He asked, “What do you see?” I told of what I saw and I asked “What is John doing here?”

“You are the house that John is working on.”

In God’s eyes, I am being called beautiful and it’s a far cry from my own picture of myself. A friend on John’s channel suggested that I offer a contrasting picture. He’s right. If I had to build a house in Minecraft it would likely be a small cozy cottage. It would not be a Victorian mansion.

Yet God clearly doesn’t see us in such a fashion. If anything, we’re called “a pearl of great price that’s worth buying”, “a silver coin worth finding” and “a treasure hidden in a field that is worth getting”.

Why do you suppose God sent His Son if He didn’t see us as wonderful treasures? In God’s eyes, we are a treasure worth possessing, yet a terrible price needed to be paid for us.

Though my good works do have their place, my good deeds will not gain me admission into Heaven. Rather, it is because Jesus paid the price and opened the door for me. It’s because of Jesus that I shall not perish, but have everlasting life. It’s because of Jesus that I have a hope and a future that goes beyond this world.

Let’s go a step further. I did not intend this chapter to be a salvation message. It would be a little strange as I already knew Jesus as Lord and Savior.

There’s more to it. Do you recall the scene of John tweaking the design of the house? Why was he working on a house that’s already finished?

When I accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, I did not magically transform into a finished product. Only a vain fool would think such a thing. In truth, Jesus is continuing to do a good work in me and Jesus is faithful to finish it.

Guess what? It’s not overnight. See Philippians 1:6.  “…being confident of this, that He Who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” What? Did you think there was a magic wand involved?

How does John figure into this? Did you notice the focus on the name John? As I considered his role, the Spirit brought to remembrance 1 Corinthian 3:9. It says “For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building…” In other words, we’re not to sit in the backseat and do nothing.

At the same time, we’re not a project that God needs to do. God the Father sees us with the eyes of love and God desires to help us. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

What does John have to do with this beautiful scene? At the end of the dream, I could hear the young man shouting something. “Remember, I was named after the apostle of  LOVE”.

 John the apostle is best known for declaring this simple truth. God is love. In 1 John 4:7-9, John says “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”

I will end this chapter with this one comment. On the one hand, the dream is directed at me; however, it is not for my eyes alone. You, the readers, are the house being built. It is you who are being called a beautiful masterpiece.  In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him and he with Me.”

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