Building on a Solid Foundation

My granddaughters love the song, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.”  They’re too young to understand what it means to build on a solid foundation, but they enjoy dong the hand motions, and it is instilling into them the need to build their lives on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.

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The song is based on a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  This teaching is found in Matthew 7: 24 – 27:

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

My husband is a civil engineer.  Recently, a client had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove soil from a building site that would not have properly supported the building and replace it with soil that would compact properly.  It was a lot of money for ‘dirt’ and it was painful for the client to write that check.  However, in the long run, it will save a lot of money over having to repair a damaged foundation.

Several years ago, the owner of a commercial building being erected near my office made a different, and very costly, decision. He took a chance that the engineer was wrong and poured his foundation on the existing soil.  When the building began to be erected, the foundation cracked.  The owner was then forced to tear out all the construction that had been done, replace the soil, and start again. He wasted much time and money–much more than if he had done the job properly the first time.

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We make these same type of decisions with our lives.  We can build on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ in the beginning and avoid costly mistakes and much heartbreak.  Or we can decide to do things our way until our foundation cracks and our world falls apart, before turning to the master builder for help.

Following Jesus does have a cost.  We have remove the ‘bad dirt’ of selfish ambitions and worldly pleasures.  In exchange, we build our lives on a structure that is strong and doesn’t crumble when the storms of life come our way. Unfortunately, many people don’t want to remove the bad dirt from their lives; they delay the decision to follow Jesus until storms destroy the life that they have build on a weak foundation.  Fortunately, Jesus does respond to them when they call out to Him from the rubble of their lives.  He cleans away the debris and provides a firm foundation for them to start the rebuilding process.  He cannot, however, reverse the clock–time has been wasted and heartache has ensued.  Any many times the problem which arose from a weak foundation have implications and cost for the rest of a person’s life.

Have you built your life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ?  If not, I urge you do not delay any further.  Only with Jesus as your foundation will you be able to stand firm against the storms of life.

Preparing for the Storm

I got an unexpected day off today as the Eastern seaboard prepares for Hurricane Sandy, the latest storm to head our way.  At a minimum, Sandy will bring with it a lot of rain and high winds, which is what we expect in the greater Washington, DC, area.  Power outages are also likely.  Those more directly in Sandy’s path will experience stronger winds, more rain, and flooding.  As the path of a hurricane is never certain, a wide region must prepare for a possible onslaught.

Although our area doesn’t expect to experience the worst of Sandy, most of us have prepared by stocking up on bottled water, nonperishable food, and flashlight batteries.  We’ve made sure our pets are safe and protected.  We’ve cleared debris from around our sump pumps and secured outdoor furniture that might become projectiles in strong winds.  Most government agencies and many business have closed for the day and most likely will remain closed tomorrow.

If the storm does not come our way, we will feel a great deal of relief and thankfulness.  Thanks to oft-maligned weathermen, we have had many days warning that Hurricane Sandy might head our way and those caught unprepared will have no one to blame but themselves.

Unlike storms of nature, storms of life hit us with no advanced warning.  We are going happily about our life when suddenly we are hit with a storm that wrecks havoc in our life.  It might be the unexpected death of a loved one or a diagnosis of cancer after a routine medical screening.  It could be the loss of a job or the loss of a dream.  We typically don’t have an advanced warning of these types of storms, but we know that we will all face them from time to time. 

How can we prepare for these storms?  I prepare by putting my faith in my Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus ascended into Heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell with us and guide us through life’s storms.  “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:16, NIV)  As we call on the Holy Spirit, He comforts us and guides us through the trials, or storms, or life.

I awoke this morning with the old hymn The Solid Rock running through my mind and I’ve been singing it all morning.  The chorus says, “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.”

I am truly thankful today that no matter what punch Hurricane Sandy throws at us, my feet are firmly planted on solid ground.  With Jesus Christ as my Savior, I have nothing to fear.

Are your feet planted on a firm foundation today?  If not, I pray that you will look to Jesus as your solid rock.

 

The Solid Rock
Lyrics by Edward Mote, 1797 – 1874
Music by William B. Bradbury, 1816- 1868
 
My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
 
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
 
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the vale.
 
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
 
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
 
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
 
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
 
On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.