Foundations are important. A faulty one will make the whole building unstable.
One Sunday on the way to church, our son, Andrew, who was 15 at the time, declared, "I'm going to make a tree house today." When we got home, he bounded into the back yard looking for a prime location, and we watched him go to work. About dusk, he came inside proudly telling us about the foundation he had built.
When my husband, Ron, went to look at it, he discovered it was very crooked. One side of the foundation was held up by a post that stood on bare dirt. It had already started sinking, and the foundation was no longer level or firm. The next day Ron helped Andrew rebuild the foundation so it would be safe. Andrew was not thrilled because he was ready to build the walls. It took a while, but they got the foundation level with a solid platform under the post to keep it from sinking again. Then Andrew put up the walls and roof. Years later, when he went off to college, the foundation of that treehouse was still level.
Building A Firm Foundation
Jesus taught a parable on the value of having a good foundation. "I will show you what everyone is like who comes to me and hears my words and obeys. That person is like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the floods came, the water tried to wash the house away, but it could not shake it, because the house was built well. But the one who hears my words and does not obey is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. When the floods came, the house quickly fell and was completely destroyed" (Luke 6:47-49, NCV).
In the parable, Jesus said the man "dug down deep." Laying a foundation requires a lot of hard work! There are also a lot of things to consider. It takes precision to level the ground so the foundation itself will be level. If it isn't level, problems will abound as you start to build. It is hard, dirty work. The environmental situation must be assessed. How high is the water table? What are the drainage patterns? What type of soil is present?
And the list goes on. You don't want to pick a location prone to mud or the foundation will not hold the considerable weight of the house.
When a building is started, initially we don't see anything going up. All the work you see is going down. Laying the foundation correctly can be very time-consuming.
When we look at our spiritual foundations, we need to be just as thorough. If we build on a faulty spiritual foundation, it can cause major problems in the future. First Corinthians 3:11 (WEB) says, "For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ." Jesus Christ is our foundation. First Peter 2:6 (NIV) says, "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." Again, the one we trust in is Jesus. Those who put their faith in the foundation, or cornerstone, of Jesus will never be put to shame.
What does it take to fully put our faith and trust in Jesus? It takes relationship. Paul reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:10, "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame." God is not waiting until we enter the portals of heaven to have a relationship with us. Jesus died, so we can begin a marriage-level relationship with Him now!
The deeper your relationship with Christ, the stronger your foundation. God says, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me" (Prov. 8:17, NKJV). When we seek Him, He captivates us with His love, majesty, goodness, beauty and so much more. The more we know Him, the more we trust Him and are willing to obey Him.
The parable of the house on the rock shows the benefit of making Jesus our foundation. It also reveals that lip service is not enough. We can know all about Jesus, recite Scripture and say all the right things. But only those to believe enough to obey the words of the Lord have a solid foundation. The apostle James reiterates this teaching, "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead" (James 2:17).
James even gives an example of dead faith in verses 15-16, "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?'"
James is giving an example of to the new command that Jesus taught in John 13:34-35, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." If we know of brothers and sisters in Christ who have urgent needs, and we have the ability to help but do nothing, we are not obeying Jesus' command to love one another as He has loved us. In that instance, we would have a faulty foundation.
To continue reading this article, please visit somebodycares.org.
Dr. Jodie Chiricosta is vice president of Somebody Cares America/International. She teaches and consults on a variety of Christian living and leadership topics and is an occasional guest on A Word In Season with Doug Stringer and Friends on Charisma Podcast Network.
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