The church I was serving as pastor was constructing a new parsonage and there was a choice to be made about the foundation. One of the committee’s members wanted us to use a new kind of prefabricated wall. I favored using the tried and true, a poured concrete wall. My reason was that no matter how well the house was built, if those foundation walls failed, it would be a major issue. Though not a builder I knew that having a solid foundation was a key to the useful life of the structure. The footers and foundation are buried, out of sight, but a critical part of the construction.
It’s not just true of buildings! Our lives rest on a foundation. What serves best? My reading in the Word this morning were from Jesus’ wisdom. “Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:24-28, NLT)
Are your hopes, dreams, and plans resting on a foundation that will withstand the inevitable stresses and pressures of life?
If your physician tells you that the test confirms a cancer diagnosis, will you hold together?
If your spouse announces that he is leaving, will you collapse?
If the economy robs your wealth, will you remain steady?
It is neither pessimistic nor faithless to accept the reality that storms come to us all. As Jesus says, those storms will reveal the foundation. If our hope rests on Christ Jesus, we may be battered and bruised, but we will stand! Another passage from the wisdom of God about foundations teaches us that the foundation has eternal implications as well. “You are God’s building. Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” (1 Corinthains 3:9-15, NLT)
So, what is involved with building a solid foundation?
First, is a response of faith, acknowledging that salvation comes through Christ alone.
No one enters the family of God because they do enough ‘good things,’ or because they are born into the ‘right family,’ or because they have joined the ‘right church.’ We accept the gift of grace offered us freely by Christ’s death and resurrection. He must be the foundation of our relationship with the Heavenly Father. If we rest ‘on Christ the solid Rock’ we know that ‘all else is sinking sand.’ In Him we have an immoveable and eternal foundation.
Second, we draw our ultimate value as a person from knowing Christ Jesus.
I am not who you say I am, my true identity comes from my Heavenly Father Who I know through faith in Christ. My friend, what measure do you use to evaluate your worth?
A person who wins the DNA lottery born with a pretty face may cling to her beauty, enjoying the affirmation that comes her way through the years, but aging is inevitable. Does her life lose value when beauty fades?
Success is a very American way to determine worth. We admire the rich and famous. Those who control fortunes, who run the show, or who gain big followings are the envy of most. But, when fame or wealth evaporates, and it often does, what then? Is a person of less worth because his bank account is empty or his name unknown?
When we desire the will of God, more than beauty, fame, or wealth, we have laid yet another stone in that foundation.
Third, we remember that we are eternal beings, that life does not end when our heart stops beating.
The justice we desire, the results we hope for, the full realization of God’s promises are part of Christ’s eternal Kingdom. This side of eternity there will be things that are unfair, there will be dreams deferred, there will be promises that are unfulfilled, in our view. The famed faith chapter of the Bible, Hebrews 11, begins with a roll call of triumphant heroes. We love those verses, but then the Spirit reminds us that some “trusted God and were tortured, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free. They placed their hope in the resurrection to a better life.” (Hebrews 11:35, NLT) Such faith requires a rock-solid foundation!
James was inspired to write “Friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time. …The Judge is standing just around the corner.” (James 5:7-9, The Message) Yes, those who see over the horizon of time into Eternity by faith, are setting yet another stone in a foundation that will not shift.
I encourage you to examine the foundations of your life. Prayerfully, thoughtfully, ask the Spirit to help you understand the hidden things. Put your trust in God. Receive the gift of faith in Christ and shape each day, each decision, around His Word and will.
Let’s make this word from the Word our song.
“I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor come from God alone.
He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
O my people, trust in him at all times.
Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:5-8, NLT)
(Video of this blog at this link)
Where do I go
When there’s no one else to turn to
Who do I talk to
When no one wants to listen
Who do I lean on
When there’s no foundation stable
I go to the Rock I know that’s able
I go to the Rock
I go to the Rock of my salvation
Go to the Stone that the builder rejected
Run to the Mountain and the Mountain stands by me
The earth all around me is sinking sand
On Christ the solid Rock I stand
When I need a shelter when I need a friend
I go to the Rock
Where do I hide
‘Til the storms have all passed over
Where do I run to
When the winds of sorrow threaten
Is there a refuge
In the time of tribulation
When my soul needs consolation
I go to the Rock
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