Matthew 7:24-27 The Message (MSG)
24-25 “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 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.
26-27 “But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter 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.”
A life without Christ as its foundation will fall. But a life with Christ as its foundation will withstand the storms of life.
In my previous life, before going into the field of education, I was an architecture major at University of Illinois (Go Illini!), and I also spent some time working in construction working for a lumber company. From my time spent studying designing a building, and my time spent on various job sites making deliveries and taking measurements for the lumber company, I know that in order for a building to not fall over and collapse, there are specific dimensions necessary for the foundation that lies below the building. Just look at what we know as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was built on ground that was too soft of a foundation underground. As a result, it is off kilter by about 17 degrees. Ever see a new high rise construction site in Chicago and how deep of a hole they need to dig in order to support the building above?
This parable also makes me think of something that my dad always used to say when I was younger. He would say, “you are hearing me, but you aren’t listening to me.”
With all that is going on in this country, and world to be honest with you, it doesn’t take much to see that we need the words of the Gospel now more than ever. In Dale’s sermon on Sunday, he talked about the number of people in the world who claim Christianity as their religion. But do all of those people actually behave in a Christian manner? Just read the comments on any political post on Facebook and you will get the gist of where I am going with this. I think there are many people that claim Christianity as their religion because they have in the past, or as a child, attended a Christian church service or two. But how many of those same people are still actively engaged in reading and studying scripture and then living out those words in their lives?
I know for a fact that, although I have been attending church for longer than I can remember, and have been actively involved in church life since I was a young kid. But I also know that it wasn’t until I was well into my 20s or maybe even 30s before it finally began to sink in. You know, I would read my Bible from time to time. I would go to church as often as I could. But it wasn’t always being applied to my daily living.
Now in my early 40s, the struggle is still real, in that I am not always the best person that God intends for me to be. But I continue to work on it every day by how? By building myself from the foundation up. I am by no means a Biblical expert, but I try to read and study as often as I can. When I find turbulent times in my life, I try to remind myself of what is most important, which is definitely not me, myself, and I. Instead, I try to re-center myself with God’s word to me, to us, through scripture. Again, I am far from perfect, but I work hard at it every day. I think if more of the 2.2 billion Christians in this world would do the same thing, the world (and Facebook) would be a better place.