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Build Where it Matters

I have a terrible habit of turning on the TV just for background noise, and the occasional Stop-and-Stare. One of my favorite kinds of shows is fixer-upper types.


About a week ago or so there was an episode where a 100-year-old house was being refurbished. The floors were crooked. Almost like you were at the House of Mystery. Turns out the house had been built on an old sandy river bottom.


There are many reasons why building a house on sand is not a good option. Coastaldreamlife.com says the salt content in sea sand tends to absorb the moisture found in the atmosphere resulting in dampness. Also, the presence of chlorine in seawater infiltrates through the sea sand, which, if combined with materials like steel and iron, can reduce its carrying capacity, ultimately leading to corrosion. If you build a structure on sea sand, it will not be durable.


My mom lives on the Oregon coast in Waldport. It’s a quaint coastal town with a bridge practically as long as the downtown area itself. There is a section of housing that is build right on a sand jetty, very near the water. I don’t remember exact details but mom was invited to look at a house that was being refurbished. The contractor/friend had taken sheet rock off a portion of the living room walls. Mom said the space between the studs and sheetrock was filled with approximately 2 feet of sand. It was that was that way throughout the entire home.


Sand moves. Sand shifts. Unless you combine sand with something else, it will not stay put.


Living on the beach comes with its problems, and to create or build, whether a house, business, or relationship, it takes a solid foundation.

Jesus had just finished preaching about being the salt and the light of the world. He had spoken the Beatitudes. He had talked about why He was here, to fulfill the law, not abolish it. He warned about anger and hatred being the same as murder. He also compared lustful thoughts to lustful actions. He spoke on divorce and making promises; he counseled not to seek revenge and to love your enemies. He encouraged them to give to the needy and he taught them how to pray. He spoke of fasting and not trying to accumulate worldly wealth, but rather keeping your mind fixed on heaven. He commanded do not worry about anything and told those in attendance they were not to judge others.


He spoke about asking God for good gifts and he warned of the narrow and wide gates. He spoke of true and false prophets and he ended all of that with this:


“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.


“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.” Matthew 7:24-27 The Message Bible


I’m reminded of that childhood song I learned so very long ago,


The wise man built his house upon the Rock, (x3)

And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up, (x3)

But the house on the Rock stood firm.


The foolish man built his house upon the sand, (x3)

And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up, (x3)

And the house on the sand fell flat.

Like Matthew, Luke also documented portions of that day and I appreciate that he added a few words. Luke 6:48 says, “they are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock.” NIV


He “dug down deep”.


King James says, he “digged deep.”


If we have not done some digging and planted our feet of faith on solid rock, the storms of life will take us out.


But how do we get there? The first step is to develop a relationship with Jesus. Oh, you have one? Then let’s go deeper.


The first step to go deeper in your spiritual life and draw close to God is to confess all known sins to God in prayer. David did this in Psalm 51:4. There we read that he confessed his sin to God and God alone. The Scriptures teach that confession of our sins restores a Christian’s relationship with God.


“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.” Psalm 32:5 (NASB)


Confession removes the guilt if we believe His promises.


“Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19 (NASB)


The second step to a deeper relationship with God is to pursue holiness by being obedient to God’s commands.


We seek to please Him.


“finding out what is acceptable unto the Lord.” Ephesians 5:10 NKJV

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:5 NKJV


His commands reveals that God wants us to be holy as He is holy.


“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 NIV


He urges us to flee sin.


“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22 NIV


The spiritually mature Christian is the one who will ultimately fulfill God’s desire described in the passages above. (Source: neverthirsty.org )


He wants us to be wise and make wise decisions, but we are not to boast of our wisdom. He wants us to be healthy and strong, but we are not to boast of our strength. It’s okay to be rich, but He does not want us boasting about our wealth. In fact, there is only one area where we can boast.


“This is what the Lord says: “Let no wise man boast of his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast of his might, nor a rich man boast of his riches; but let the one who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises mercy, justice, and righteousness on the earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 NASB

How can a Christian go deeper into the things of God?


The answer is to confess your sins to your Heavenly Father and then run from sin. Secondly, be filled with the Spirit, pray and dig into the Word of God and apply it to yourself. Next, boast about Him in your daily life, and lastly, know that He is the Lord who exercises mercy, justice, and righteousness on the earth. Why? Because He delights in those things.


That is the solid rock foundation we can build our faith on.


by Jeanette Stark – Wednesday, January 25, 2023

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