For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 1 Corinthians 3:11-13
My career as a pastor can be summed in one phrase… asking many questions!
I was a Senior Pastor for 49 years and now I’ve been a Founding Pastor for several months.
The job description is the same… asking many questions. I have a good friend who says, “You ask too many questions.” I can’t help myself. I work in a profession where people ask me questions and I ask them questions to help me answer their questions!
Let me ask you five questions:
- Have you memorized any verses of scripture lately?
- Can you list two specific answered prayers?
- Do you know how you are to serve God today?
- Who is mad/upset with you and what are you doing about it?
- Have you ever discipled someone?
The above are my top five questions (or variations of them) that I ask others. Why? They quickly indicate a person’s spiritual health.
If you don’t feel well, someone might ask about a fever, blood pressure, or these days, if you have been around anyone with COVID. When you take your car in for service you might ask, “Can you change the oil, rotate the tires, and find the cause of that smell coming from the back seat?”
The five questions indicate how you are doing with the four foundational disciplines of the Christian faith – prayer, Bible, fellowship, and evangelism/discipleship.
You won’t find Jesus or Paul listing these four disciplines in one place. You will find Jesus talking about a good foundation (Matthew 7:24f) and Paul describing how he laid a good foundation with the Corinthians believers (1 Corinthians 3:10-13).
Jesus tells us about the foundation. Paul teaches “no better foundation than Jesus” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Pastor Grant asks five questions about your foundation.
Jesus, Paul, and Pastor Grant! I’m honored to be on the list!!!
From years of Bible study, reading biographies of great saints, and observing believers, I know that you build a good foundation through Bible, fellowship, prayer, and evangelism/discipleship.
Back to my questions.
- Bible? Not only reading regularly but memorizing specific life verses. Try Matthew 6:33, Romans 12:1, and 1 Peter 5:6-7.
- Prayer? Prayer lists are very helpful.
- Serving God? Do you understand your spiritual gifts, ministry, and depend on God for effectiveness? (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
- Why have you offended others? Who has a problem with you? Maturity receives forgiveness and extends it to others.
- Discipled/prayed with someone to accept Jesus? A source of joy.
Don’t feel guilty if you answered “no” to one or two questions. Feel guilty if you answered “no” to three or four. Question your salvation if you answered “no” to all five.
And, after the guilt or doubt, know that Jesus loves you and that… Pastor Grant asks too many questions.