Built to Last
February 1, 2023 | Rob Bloss
I’m neither an architect nor a builder, but I value excellent craftsmanship. I appreciate those with a creative vision and those who bring it into being. But unfortunately, my limited skill set and selection of tools often hinders my own aspirations.
My earliest memory of designing and building anything was in 7th grade woodshop. My future as a skilled tradesman ended under the level eye of Mr. Helzer. He took one look at the wobbly night stand I had fashioned and proceeded to dismantle it with a swift whack of its base against the cement floor. Don’t feel sorry for me. All was not lost. I learned to persevere, and I eventually landed a solid “C” for my efforts.
Any architect knows that a solid foundation is essential to any building project. If you get it wrong, you might as well start over. The foundation determines the success (or potential catastrophic failure) of everything that follows.
You can’t become what God wants you to be on a faulty foundation. We’re given a lot of different options for what will be the foundation of our lives:
Popular culture. Some people think they’ll simply do what every other person is doing. If it’s popular, that’s what they do, too. Yet what’s popular today won’t be popular tomorrow. Basing your life on popular culture is like building a house on a constantly moving foundation. It doesn’t work!
Tradition. Other people build their lives on what has always been done or how their parents did it. That does make a little sense. Tradition becomes tradition because it works. But no tradition lasts forever. It eventually wears out, becomes obsolete, and is invalid. In Mark 7:8 Jesus tells the Pharisees never to put tradition before truth. It’s a good reminder for all of us.
Reason. God gave us the ability to reason; we need to use it. But our reason isn’t infallible. Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” The smartest among us will falter at times; it’s to be expected. Only God can be trusted all the time.
Emotions. Some build their lives on a feeling. If it feels right, they do it. But feelings can mislead us. If you live by your feelings, you’ll spend your life manipulated by your moods.
If it doesn’t work to build your life on popular culture, tradition, reason or emotion, what should you build your life upon?
Jesus answered the question and taught the importance of a solid foundation when he shared a parable in Luke 6:47-49(NLT):
“I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
Jesus explains the difference between a wise builder and a foolish one. A builder who is wise hears the Word of God, applies it to their life, and as a result, stands firmly through turbulent times. However, because the foolish builder doesn’t obey or apply God’s principles and instructions, they wobble and fall apart when a raging storm hits their life.
Following Jesus faithfully and His Word obediently is what it means to build our lives on a firm foundation. This is how we grow as disciples and become effective disciple-makers. Getting the foundation right makes all the difference. It determines whether we stand or fall when we are pummeled by life’s inevitable storms, when we are attacked from within with doubt and fear or from without by temptation and trials.
To help us understand the basics of our faith, to equip and encourage us to persevere and pursue a life connected to Christ and obedient to His call on our lives, we have designed four core sessions at Fellowship.
FOUNDATIONS is all about the basics, the essentials of a rock-solid, gospel-centered Christian life. We will talk about A Connected life, A Christlike Life, A Life of Service and a Life on Mission. These sessions will be offered on Wednesdays from 6:30-8:30pm on February 8 and 22 and March 8 and 22. Light refreshments and childcare is included.