Watch How You Build
baoliver, December 12, 2003 2:34:00 PM GMT
by Warren Baldwin
"Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house of sand. The rain came down and the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (Matt. 7:24-27).
When I was a kid we sang a song that was written to the words of this passage. We got to clap our hands and raise our voices. It was a fun song. But this passage is more than just about being about a fun song for kids. It is about life. Even eternity.
I've helped build houses. I know something of the process. A house gets built one two-by-four at a time. One brick at a time. It is a process.
And life is the same way. When we are younger we may look at a successful older person and say, "You know, when I am her age, or his age, I want to be a lot like that person. I want the financial success they have. Or I want the success in their family they have - married 35 years and still happy and in love. Or, I'd like to have a position in a company or a school like they have attained."
And you know, we can have it, if we work at it, one brick at a time. Success in any field does not come all at once. It is a process that we work on over time. Each decision. Each right action we take. Each act of unselfish service to others. Each exercise of self-discipline. Each extra college course or training program we subject ourselves to. Each act of character and honor. All of these mental decisions and actions are a brick or a two-by-four that we insert into the construction of our lives. And over time, we have successful life.
But the house is only part of the story. You can't add bricks or two-by-fours to a structure until there is something to build that structure upon -a firm foundation.
I saw a house in Wyoming a few years ago that was selling at an unbelievably low price. It was a large house in a nice part of town. And the bank was almost giving it away. Why? The foundation. It wasn't a good one. And the house was literally collapsing. Walls were cracking, windows were popping out. The house was a practically being given away ... because no one wanted it.
And Jesus said we better give ample care to the foundation of our lives. Of course, I think this is saying that JESUS ought to be the foundation of our lives. His values and ethics and priorities ought to become our own. But the truth is, Jesus said, many do not pick such a sure foundation. And they live their lives looking for happiness and meaning and substance only to be sadly disappointed. The walls of their lives crack and collapse, because their foundation is something or someone other than Jesus. Only one kind of life can stand the pressures and strains of this life and still emerge happy and meaningful, and that is a life built on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
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