MATTHEW 7:24-27…“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 sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Years ago, a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He was constantly advertising for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that rage along the Atlantic coastline, wreaking havoc on buildings and crops!
Finally, a short, thin, middle aged man applied for a job. “Are you a good farmhand?” the farmer asked.
“Well, I can sleep when the wind blows” answered the little man. Although puzzled by the answer, the farmer desperate for help, hired the man.
The little man worked hard around the farm, busy from dusk till dawn, and the farmer was satisfied with his work.
Then one night the wind howled loudly from offshore. Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed his lantern and rushed next door to the farmhands sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled “get up, a storm is coming, tie things down before they blow away!”
The little man rolled over in his bed and said firmly “no sir, I told you I can sleep when the winds blow”
Enraged at the farmhand’s response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot, but instead he hurried outside to prepare for the storm.
To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarps, cows were in the barn, chickens in the coop, shutters tightly secured, and everything was tied down.
The farmer then understood what the hired hand meant…and he also returned to bed to sleep while the wind blew!
In short…the foundation was set to withstand the upcoming storm! So, how about you? When life’s storms come around (and you know they do) is your foundation secure in Jesus Christ…can you sleep when the winds of life blow?
The Message translation of the above verse (with emphasis) puts it this way…“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter (a wise man) who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter (a foolish man) who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.
So, Are you building your life on a foundation of Jesus…or the world?
By the way…The foolish man probably thought he beat the system! No foundation…moved right in…sitting by the fireplace…in his lazy boy…feet up…watching tv. He was probably laughing at the neighbor digging a foundation. But who was laughing in the end?
Interesting to note that both houses may have looked the same on the outside!
We can be the same way…we want a foundation built on a relationship with Jesus…but we look for the easy, one hour on Sunday method. We may not be willing to invest the time to build a solid foundation on God and His Word.
Many times, we get so wrapped up in “life” that we fail to connect with our God who gives us that life!
Once upon a time, a very strong woodcutter asked for a job in a timber camp. The pay was good and so were the working conditions. For those reasons, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he would work. The first day, the woodcutter felled 18 trees. “Congratulations,” the boss said. “Great job!” Motivated by the boss’ words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring down 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder yet, but he could only manage 10 trees. Day after day, he finished with fewer trees. “I must be losing my strength,” the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on. “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?,” the boss asked. “Sharpen? I’ve had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been so busy trying to cut trees….
Pretty profound! Are you too busy to “sharpen your axe” so to speak? Too busy to build a strong foundation on Jesus as your Lord. If you are too busy for the Lord, then you are just plain too busy!
Is your foundation strong when the storms come…because they will come? And remember that the storms will come whether your foundation is strong or not!
In our bible story the house faced 3 types of storms…Rain on the roof…wind against the structure…flood on the foundation. They all came at the same time.
We get hit with many types of storms…and maybe many at once.
I knew a woman whose husband died (emotional storm)…she went to his funeral visitation and fell down the steps and broke her leg (physical storm)…got it air casted, came back and got locked in the bathroom stall (situational storm)…and then a snow storm came at the cemetery. Life can be tough (we are not in the garden of Eden!)
- Maybe you have a physical storm! (health issues…maybe coronavirus…or the “C” word)
- Maybe you have a financial storm! (lost work and or benefits due to a job loss…or maybe poor stewarding)
- Maybe you have an emotional storm! (loss of job, death of a loved one, loneliness, depression)
- Maybe you have a spiritual storm! (Life has been tough, and you wonder if God cares…or you don’t feel like He hears your prayers)
Regardless of the storm… Psalm 46:1… God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. The storm will come but Jesus can be your solid ground to stand on, and to hold an umbrella over you.
I encourage you to assess the condition of your foundation…
- Is it based on God’s Word? Upon the fact that God hand made you, that you are a sinner, and yet you are precious to Him. The fact that Jesus paid for your sins…that He loves you unconditionally?
- If you have a foundation of sand (worldly values) ask Jesus to be your sure foundation. Seek His will and purpose for your life… through bible reading and prayer. (Talk to me about next steps)
- Remember that a foundation is there to build upon…not to be a vacant lot. Our baptism starts the building…but what does God want to build on you?