Building Basics: Routine Maintenance
The best way to preserve a structure is routine maintenance. Ignoring minor issues allows them to grow into major issues. That leaking shingle will allow water in to saturate the drywall on your ceilings. Loose siding is a pathway for moisture to penetrate walls, resulting in the perfect environment for termites and rot. Cracked mortar around a foundation block will allow water into the basement. All tiny issues but they provide a conduit for your home’s worst enemy, water, to enter. Likewise, when our attachment to Christ is weak our worst enemy, sin, can creep in. We have personal and collective responsibilities to guard against sin.
God has provided numerous defenses against sin. It is our personal responsibility to know and believe God’s word. It holds God’s power to save us. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV).” Constant consideration of God’s word helps maintain faith. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:6-9 NKJV). Prayer, meditation, knowledge, and imitation of godly behavior are all necessary.
When deficiencies are discovered we are to confess and repent so that our spiritual health is restored. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (1 John 1:5-10 NKJV).
Collectively we have an obligation to edify one another. This is accomplished in song, in teaching and fellowship in worship. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16 NKJV). Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all (1 Thessalonians 5:11-15 NKJV).
Keeping up with routine maintenance allows a structure to function as intended and costly repairs are avoided. The same is true in our spiritual house. God’s word holds the power to both build us up and to maintain us. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV).
Maintain your spiritual house. Study, meditate and pray. Address your faults before they become failings.