Luke 6:46-49 (NLT)
“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 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 without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
It’s funny how time spent with the Lord is filled with as many twists and turns as a made-for-TV movie. I woke up this morning praising God that our youngest one had slept through the night. Praising the Lord for dismissing the looming fear that had been given her nightmares creating so much apprehension about closing her tired eyes and going to bed. Crawling out of bed, I went in to check on her to find a sprawled out snoring sleeper which blessed my heart after yesterday morning when I found her peeking from behind the covers way before dawn. God has not given us the spirit of fear. It made me mad that the enemy dare come into our home and rob our little girl of peace so we prayed for her. We asked the Holy Spirit to rise up in her. We asked the angels to surround her. We spoke to Jesus who promised to keep her in perfect peace as we reminded her that all she had to do was think about Him and not all those other scary things. We have built our home on faith. But this was not always the case, in the beginning we were enthralled at the Goodness of God to give us the home of our dreams. I remember when we realized that it would actually happen. The perfect house with the best schools big enough for our large family. I was so overwhelmed in the beginning that I did not even know what to do with it all. My husband and I are from humble beginnings. My earliest recollection of “home” was a long thin structure known as a “single wide” built on wheels easily moved from one place to another. Looking back, I realize that this house is more than we could think or ask but the real blessing of this place is Jesus Christ and the life inside its four walls.
We are the builders of our life and God is the supplier. He gives us all the elements and tools to build a strong structure on a firm foundation. Too many times, we begin to incorporate other things in our life that were never intended to be there. Rather than building our life to suit the Lord and benefit ourselves, we become overcome by the opinions of others and accept their input of what we should have and how we should live. The foundation is secure but the structure is not sound. We call Jesus our Savior but do not make Him our Lord. There I said it. You may not like it any more than I did when I made this startling discovery. But it’s true. I am a huge fan of all the home renovation and house hunting shows. I love when the prospective buyer rips up carpet to find hardwood. I am with the new owner that I would rip every stitch of carpet out and redo those floors. There is something about renovation that is satisfying because it takes an existing structure and brings out its full potential. God has given us this life. He also provided a firm foundation for our life. He set the “cornerstone” – His Name is Jesus Christ. The rest is up to us. It’s time to build your house.
Psalm 127:1-2 (NLT)
Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.
Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. I can attest to this because years after we built this house and moved in everything fell apart. We were living our life and enjoying the substance of it. But when it was discovered that our son had cancer, everything came down to the foundation of our life. A faulty foundation is a costly problem when buying an existing home. It doesn’t matter how “perfect” the home appears when the crack is discovered. When we heard the news, it changed our perspective of life. No longer worried about today or tomorrow it was our future that appeared to be compromised and forever seemed much closer than before. It was time to evaluate our life from God’s Point of View because how we lived day to day, what we wore, what we ate, and where we worked didn’t seem to matter anymore. Unless the Lord protects the city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. Several years ago, some thieves helped themselves to the contents of our house. We installed a home security system to detour future invaders. However, it would take years for our daughter’s to overcome the fear that was in their heart. Even though no one was harmed and nothing that belonged to them personally was taken, they did receive the spirit of fear compliments of satan. It’s true that he comes to “steal, kill and destroy” but Jesus came to give us a “rich and satisfying life” and He intends for us to have it. It is all about the foundation and structure of our life.
Ephesians 2:19-22 (NLT)
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
We have good friends who have just built a new house. Soon they will move to a new neighborhood. Their children will attend a different school. They are in the midst of change. However, in order to live in their new house they must move from their old one. You may be thinking “well of course they will”. But what we think compared to what we do and how we live often contradict each other. We are God’s Holy People which means that thanks to Jesus Christ we now belong to the Kingdom of God but then we do nothing to move into our new life. We go the same places, do the same things, think the same thoughts and live the impoverished life sin handed us when all along (like the prodigal son) we have a home that is brimming with provision, protection and peace that is waiting for us. Bad things will still happen to good people but since Jesus overcame the world – we will overcome them all. We are His House. God has made us the Temple to house His Spirit. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of our life and faith is the foundation upon which we build our life as a new creation. We become a Holy Temple for the Lord by investing our life minute by minute in transferring all of faith and trust into the Kingdom of God and releasing this world of our expectations. The house that I live in did not protect us from the storm when cancer came. But it was the Spirit of the Living God in us that has not only sustained us but has caused us to thrive and grow in the midst of great opposition. When everything else falls apart, our faith is strong when the foundation is Jesus Christ. Sometimes it takes a storm or two to reveal the premise of our life before it’s too late.
Psalm 112 (NLT)
Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.
I live by faith. I have confident hope. I am fearless. Sounds good doesn’t it. If faith and hope are not the foundation of our life, we have everything to fear. This morning I looked up the word “fearless” and all this poured out. The structure of our life is not the house in which we live, the people who we live with or even the church that we attend. Faith and hope are foundations that begin in our heart. If we have faith in the Lord and believe than confident hope is the product. This most definitely should change how we think and act which is basically how we live. These two vital components of living a righteous and godly life will change our “fear” prospective in our life. Perfect love casts out all fear. (I John 4:18) Instead faith produces confidence that what we believe will actually happen because Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Lord. (Hebrews 11:1) There is no higher power or authority in our life than to that which we have given. In other words, if you reside as a resident of this world and insist on building a better life here than you will be subject to the world’s authority who is satan. But when you make faith in Jesus Christ the foundation of your life, confident hope is produced that begins to transition you from death to life. Now Jesus is the highest power and authority in our life because we give our life to Him for safekeeping. But without investing any energy in doing what His Word says, or living by this newfound belief – we are living a lie that will be clearly exposed when the next storm hits.
Psalm 112 is a description of the life of godly people who live fearless lives. Such people will never be overcome by evil. They do not fear bad news. They are confident that the Lord will care for them so much so that worry is no longer a factor in their life. They do not waste their time foolishly stressing over their current situation but remain firmly anchored by confident hope. (Hebrews 6:19) These people have a firm foundation. It is called faith. They live in confident hope and expectation based on the Promises of God not the prediction of man. Such believers will live fearless lives in the Presence of God giving their life away freely for His Service knowing they are not of this world just simply passing through it.
I Corinthians 3:11-15 (NLT)
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
One of our little girl’s biggest fears is the end of the world. She caught an episode of a show about “doomsday preppers” and that was it for her. It focuses on people who live in constant preparation to survive the end of the world. This opens the whole can of worms in the church amongst pre-tribulation versus post-tribulation believers. She is terrified that people would try to come into other people’s houses to steal their food and take what does not belong to them. She is fearful that we must fight to defend ourselves. She has a very over-productive mind as you might be able to tell. God has not given us the spirit of fear or timidity but of love, power and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) The bottom line is that we are afraid to die. We are afraid to live, too. The enemy hands us worry and stress along with fear and anxiety and we graciously receive it. But the Power of God lives inside of us thanks to Jesus Christ. We do not have to be afraid but choose to which inhibits us from building and transitioning our life into the Kingdom of God which is a problem. It is called doubt. Doubt destroys faith which eats us the foundation of our life like a cancer. We must learn to focus all of our attention on the foundation of faith who is Jesus Christ. His Grace allows us to step out of sin and darkness that leads to death to have a brand new life. But like our new house, we had to take the keys open the door and move the contents of our life into it to take ownership. You must do the same thing in order to have the new life that you were promised. You can take everything with you except fear, doubt and sin, but then again who wants all that anyway. The Lord challenges us to leave our guilt and shame behind as they inhibit the building process. Rather than focusing on filling our homes with “stuff”, we should work on cultivating giving and generosity. Consider your home as field to cultivate prosperity. (Proverbs 24:27) It will take care of your household as the Lord provides seed for the sower. The Lord has placed your life on a firm foundation. (I Peter 5:10-11) It is up to you to prosper beginning with your soul as it overflows into the rest of your life.
Luke 14:28-29 (NLT)
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.”
There was a man who decided to build a mansion not far from our house. His master bedroom along was larger than our entire home to give you an idea of how big that thing is. In the midst of construction, he ran out of money. Not too long after that his marriage fell apart due to infidelity. Not too long ago, I was attending a school function with our daughter and he came walking in the classroom. As he stepped by me, I could smell that he reeked of alcohol. A few years earlier, everybody was talking about his prosperity and good fortune. Now his peers whispered behind his back about his failure. Three years ago, we thought we had it all. Our family would face the greatest storm that we had ever encountered. When many marriages fall apart when a child is sick, our marriage is stronger today than ever before. When most families are fractured by such a tragedy, we are getting ready to celebrate a wedding and new addition to our family. This is not anything we have done, but it is the foundation of our life – Jesus Christ. When everything was stripped away and the only hope we have is Jesus Christ – we found that He is more than enough. We counted the cost and found faith worth every bit. How is the foundation of your life today? When you dig deep, do you find Jesus? Fear is not evidence of His Unfailing Love but hidden doubt. Do away with it today by securing more faith in the foundation of your life. We are responsible for the life we live here on earth that it does not cause another to fall. (Deuteronomy 22:8) Our life is no longer our own if eternal life is our greatest aspiration. Nobody wants to die. But if you want to live, you must build your house on faith, hope and love – for these things are eternal!
Psalm 91 (NLT)
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
This is where I will build my house!