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This is a Faith column.
Anyone in the construction business knows the absolute importance of a good foundation. By the way, I want to thank all who work in that industry, no matter what your trade is. Your work in all kinds of weather to build homes, factories, schools, churches, medical facilities and roads is appreciated.
As Solomon was building the Temple in Jerusalem, he knew the importance of a good foundation for that magnificent structure.
“At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.” I Kings 5: 17
I find it interesting that in the previous verses we read that Solomon had 70, 000 carriers and 80, 000 stonecutters in the hills along with 3,300 supervisors. While they were not all cutting stone for the foundation, many of them were. That was a lot people expending a lot of effort to provide quality stones for the foundation. The wisest man that ever lived knew the importance of a good foundation.
Jesus knew the importance of a good foundation.
“Therefore 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 on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7: 24-27
If you grew up in Sunday School, you may recall singing the little song and its motions based on this passage. I suspect what most people remember about this parable is the house on the rock and the house on the sand and what happened to them as the rains came down. Maybe it makes you think of times you were at the beach as a child or with your children or grandchildren building sand castles. You spend hours building and then the oceans’s edge creeps closer and closer, and finally the castle is swept away.
It’s is the meaning behind the parable that is important. Jesus said a good foundation was hearing his word AND putting it into practice. On the other hand, he said an inadequate foundation was hearing his word and NOT putting it into practice.
Millions or maybe billions of people have heard some of the words of Jesus, but how many of them put them into practice? Let’s look a few of Jesus’ words found in the Gospels of the New Testament.
“Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” (John 3:3)
Have you put these words of Jesus into practice? Have you been born again?
Here are some more of his words found in John 3: 18.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3: 18)
Have you put these words of Jesus into practice? Have you believed in the name of God’s one and only Son? The word “believe” means more that acknowledging that he exists, but it means obedience to the Son.
What about you? What kind of foundation are you building your life on? If you not only hear the words of Jesus but also put them into practice, then you have a foundation of rock. If you only hear the words of Jesus but do not put them into practice, then you have a foundation of sand.
Paul also referred to the importance of building your life on a good foundation in I Corinthians 3: 10-11.
“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Here Paul is referring to his ministry. The foundation of all Gospel ministry is Jesus. There were those in Paul’s day peddling other foundations for life besides Jesus. Likewise, the foundation of the individual Christian life is Jesus.
It grieves me that some churches have abandoned the great hymns of our faith. They are rich in theology. Check out some of the lyrics from “How Firm a Foundation,” penned by an unknown author and first published in 1787:
How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word
What more can He say than to you He has said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to His foes
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake
Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ and his word are a firm foundation. I pray that you are building your life on Him and His Word.
Chip Warren is the past president of the Albertville Ministerial Fellowship.
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