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Read an Excerpt
Building Blocks to Great Faith
By John Gondeck
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 John Gondeck
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePart One
The cornerstone is the beginning of any building, from which every level, angle and the corner begins. It is the most basic element. The cornerstone is of primary importance. The Cornerstone that will be discussed throughout the chapters of this book is Jesus. He was brought into this world to show us the Father and to lead us to Him. Jesus said "if you have seen Me you have seen the Father". This took place over two thousand years ago in a place called Bethlehem and as Jesus grew and started His ministry prophesies were being fulfilled. Psalm 118:22 tells us "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone". Jesus spoke of this scripture while speaking a parable to the chief priests and scribes (Luke 20:17, 18).
A master craftsman is needed to cut the cornerstone for a building. It must be precise, it must be level, it must be solid and it must be without flaw. The building could fall and crumble if even one of these ingredients is missing. The footer is poured and then the cornerstone is put in place. If it is not precisely at the correct angle it will throw the whole building off. If it is not level the building will topple as it goes up. If the stone is not solid it will crumble and cause the whole building to collapse and if it has a flaw of any kind it will not stand the test of time.
Isaiah prophesied of this saying "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line." Do you see that down through the ages God had a plan to send His Son. The prophets spoke and wrote of that day. This stone was tried. God knew that the Word would do what was expected. This stone was precious. The Word of God is very precious and costly. This stone was sure. God knew that the cost was very great and the stone was perfect in every way. The stone would not fail. This was the Lord's doing, He planned it from the beginning. The scriptures for told of His coming and it was marvelous in our eyes. There was never a virgin birth before Him and surely there will never be one after Him. Down through the ages of time the prophets prophesied concerning the coming of the Messiah. They told of His virgin birth and the place where He would be born and the people began looking for Him and yet, when He appeared they would not believe Him. Jealousy and envy broke out over Him and finally they nailed Jesus to a tree.
During His three years of ministry He not only showed Himself as God in the flesh, but, He also showed God's love toward man. He fed over five thousand people with just five loaves of bread and two small fish. He healed many that were afflicted, maimed, blind and deaf. He set in motion the building of His church.
Peter records that we should be coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, we also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. We are living stones even as Jesus is a living stone. Tom Peers says in his book "Fit, Function and Flourish" that you are a stone in the spiritual house of the local church. In the natural, if a stone in a foundation of a building is missing or out of place, two things result: the entire structure is weakened, and more pressure is placed on the stones surrounding the one missing or crooked. And this is exactly what happens when people do not function or get involved in the local church and choose to remain benchwarmers or pew-sitters.
We therefore, being living stones, should walk in Christ being rooted deeply in Him. Since we received Christ we should also be made strong and built up in Him. We should be abounding in our faith of which we have been established and taught with thanksgiving to God.
I know that when I came to Christ many years ago my life was changed. I didn't know how or what or even why. But, God had a plan and I and my family were in it. We had purchased a house in Baltimore and remained there for a short time when an uneasiness started brewing within me to move. I wanted to have every part of my being in Him and we started to look toward Carroll County, God had other plans. We found ourselves on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in a little town called Denton, not knowing what all God had in store for us. And so the walk began. I gave my heart to Jesus in a Southern Baptist Church, so, when we moved it only seemed right to look for a Baptist Church in the area. These were trying times for me in my business so I got involved in the church and I started reading my Bible more wanting to learn all I could. Then my first test came. A year prior, my son had dehydrated so bad that we had to take him to the hospital. It is very difficult to go into a hospital room and see your little baby with feeding tubes stuck everywhere trying to get him hydrated once again. And again, a year later, he went into dehydration. By this time I had read the scriptures about the laying on of hands and they shall recover. So, that night, with everything that was going on, the crying and moaning, I decided to lay hands on him and declare the scriptures. He went off to sleep on the bathroom floor and slept through the night. The morning came early with little foot steps scurrying down the hall. We were sitting at the table and he came up to us and said that he was hungry. We fed him and he never had to go back to the hospital again. This was the first major step for me as I began to grow spiritually. My foundation was being established. The scriptures tell us that we have an everlasting foundation.
We need to look to Jesus more and man less because He is the author and finisher of our faith. Jesus looked beyond the cross and all the shame that went with it and He saw you and me. He knew all that we would ever go through, so, He endured the cross so that you and I would never have to. We, too, need to look beyond our troubles, our illnesses and this life here on earth. God has a purpose for each and every one of us.
Let us take a closer look at This stone. This stone is the Word of God Who was in the beginning with God. He always was and always will be. He was born of a virgin and grew as any other child in those days. His earthly father was a carpenter by trade and He also learned the trade. But, He also was being taught the scriptures. Try to imagine reading and learning the scriptures that prophesied of you and your life and death. He was so learned in the scriptures that even at the age of twelve He was found in the temple asking questions and listening to the teachers. How many children do we find doing that today? Come to think of it, how many adults do we find doing that? Those that heard Him were amazed at His understanding and the answers that He gave to their many questions. So Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and He had God's favor as well man's. Jesus went to John to be baptized and when He came up the Holy Spirit came upon Him and a voice was heard from heaven which said "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased". He was then led by the Spirit into the wilderness being tempted for forty days by the devil. He defeated him by the Word of God. The day came when, at a wedding feast, His mother showed her faith in who He was as she told the servants to do whatever He said and the water was turned into wine. He left the carpentry work and His ministry had begun. This stone was rejected and yet became the Chief Cornerstone.
The Cornerstone was laid for me back in 1973 at Shelbourne Baptist Church located in the Maiden Choice area of Baltimore County. When we moved to the Eastern Shore in a little town called Denton we started attending Calvary Baptist Church. It was there that more stones were laid one upon another as I grew in the Lord. I found myself going where the church did not want to go, I needed more of God. I desired the deeper things of God and soon moved on to the Greensboro Pentecostal Church. More stones were laid and more growth took place. But, I needed more. I felt the call to a Bible school taking place in Salisbury, Maryland and so I went. It was there that a whole new dimension was opened up to me and I met George Wheatley, the Associate Pastor to Cambridge Christian Fellowship. There I stayed for some time constantly building and growing, watching what God can do if we would let Him. With circumstances surrounding our travel on Sunday mornings we found ourselves finally settled in at Denton Wayside church. One Friday evening my youngest daughter was working at Mc D's when a youth pastor from the Wesleyan camp invited her to the camp meeting. She liked what was going on and was then invited to church in Harrington, Delaware. I found myself going to a Sunday morning service there just to check out what was capturing my Mary. I was torn between the two churches, Denton Wayside and Calvary Wesleyan. I soon made up my mind and have now been attending and participating as a member, Calvary Wesleyan church for the past eleven years. It has been a time of building and growing and expanding my inner man. God has surly taken me down many roads to get to where I am today and for that I am truly grateful. My traveling days may be over and then again, maybe not.
How about you? Has your cornerstone been laid? If so, have you been building upon it? How far have you come since that day? Are you still adding brick by brick, stone by stone on a daily bases or weekly bases? If not, you should be, for this is the only way to do great exploits in your life for God.
Chapter TwoPart Two
Jesus is the head of the church body. There are many members, but all the members are of one body, so also is Christ. By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. The physical body is not made up of just one member or one organ but of many and so the "church" body is the same, many parts, each with a different function. If the foot should say, "because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. We are many members and yet one body and the one member can not say to the other "I have no need of you". In order to function the way God intended the church to function we need to take care of each other. Just because there are many different titles above the door, (Baptist, Wesleyan, Methodist, etc.) doesn't mean that we ignore or look down on that part of the body. When one part of the body hurts we all hurt. We must remember the rippling effect of someone doing wrong and how it casts a shadow on all who call themselves Christians. If your arm were injured would not the rest of the body come to its aid to help it heal and recover? Why then should the church be any different? It grieves God when one of the members is hurting and no one comes to their rescue.
The purpose of His church is to love the unlovable from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith. How many times have we passed by someone that is hungry or cold and did not stop to help by offering a meal at a near by restaurant or taken them somewhere to get warm. We should make prayer a priority, Jesus did. By prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God. With the right heart attitude God will give you what you ask in faith believing.
Positioning yourself for maximum impact would be a great way for growth to take place. Do you really want to reach the lost, ask God to position you. Do you want to be effective in the local church, ask God to position you. There was a time back in the mid 1980's that, during a service where the preaching was heavy, that I heard a still small voice inside of me saying I want you to go to a bible school in Salisbury, Maryland. God was positioning me for things to come. I checked it out, however, I did not have the monies to attend. I let the instructor know that I really felt the draw to be there but I had no monies to pay my way. He told me to not worry about that and to come. I met a young man there by the name of George Wheatley who was an associate pastor of a church in Cambridge. The bible school was brought to the area by Word of Life Bible School in Farmers Branch, Tx. I finished the course and George became a part of my life. I started taking my family to the church where he attended and I met the Pastor, James Rawleigh. During this same time I was going through a time with kidney stones. My wife knew of it and Dr. Jensen knew and was recommending I go to the hospital for treatment. One Sunday morning, the children were in their class and my wife and I were in the sanctuary as the Praise and Worship began. The pastor stopped the service to minister to someone. He prayed in tongues (which I was used to from the days at the Pentecostal Church) and then he said "someone here is having problems with their kidneys, no, kidney stones, the Lord wants to heal you. Come up front." I looked around to see if anyone was moving, no one. He again made the plea, still no one responded. My Baptist background was saying "this doesn't happen any more". And yet when he made the third and last request for that person to come forward stating that the anointing was going to be lifted, I stepped out. I knew that my healing of kidney stones happened immediately when I took that first step and I went forward for prayer. To this day, nearly twenty years later, I have never had another bout with stones. God healed me when I took that first step of faith. He positioned me to meet George and He positioned George to invite me to where God would meet with me to reveal Himself in yet another way.
Talking about Positioning for maximum impact, what about the Israelites at the Red Sea, wow! God had brought Israel out of Egypt with a mighty outstretched arm and now they find themselves between the Egyptians who were after them and the Red Sea. God told Moses to stretch out his rod toward the Red Sea and it parted so that Israel passed through on dry ground. As the Egyptians pursued Israel God brought the waters back together drowning all the Egyptians and their horses in the sea. How about that for an impact? The word of what had happened went before them throughout the land and the inhabitants feared them. Then there is the story of Sampson, a mighty man of God with great strength, who at his death slaughtered more of the enemy than during his life time when he was positioned between two pillars and there pushed against them until the building collapsed killing everyone. The book of Acts records the story of Philip who was positioned near an Ethiopian who had great authority. During the discussion of the scriptures Philip preached to him Jesus. The man gave his heart to the Lord, was baptized and as they came up out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away and the eunuch saw him no more. He went his way rejoicing.
There was a Samaritan woman in the book of John who came to the well to draw water every day and we see here how she was positioned for maximum impact. Jesus was there on a particular day that she came to draw water and He shared the love of God with her. We find that she ran back to tell the town about this man and they all came to see for themselves. God has not changed. He has been positioning people for maximum impact down through the ages. How many times have we been positioned for maximum impact?
Excerpted from Building Blocks to Great Faith by John Gondeck Copyright © 2010 by John Gondeck. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Chief Cornerstone....................1
Chapter 2: The Church....................9
Chapter 3: Measure of Faith....................17
Chapter 4: Abraham Kind of Faith....................25
Chapter 5: Walking By Faith....................31
Chapter 6: Witnessing by Faith....................39
Chapter 7: Acting on Faith....................45
Chapter 8: Test of Faith....................55
Chapter 9: The Approaching Clacier....................65
Chapter 10: Mountain Moving Faith....................75