Summary: The foundation we build our life on is absolutely critical to what kinds of followers of Christ we will be, or maybe whether we’re His followers at all. It takes two key things: 1. hearing the Word of God 2. responding in obedience to God’s Word
How Firm A Foundation
March 11, 2007
I want to start this morning by showing you a few pictures. This is a plague of many homeowners in the Tulsa area. It’s especially a problem when we have the kind of prolonged drought we’ve had in the past few years here.
Now, when we moved into our house, we had, I think, five piers already under the front of the house, which is more than 30 years old. That’s because before we moved in, the house’s foundation sagged some. Within a year of moving in, we had another three piers put in on the side of the house. Near the end of each summer, the first several years we lived here, I’d see cracks develop in our kitchen and laundry room. Our front door would also get a little bit tight, but it wasn’t a real problem. By the end of the fall, when the normal fall rain came, those cracks would close up and be gone for another year. We’d get winter precip, we’d get our usual heavier spring rains, and the cracks would be almost, or completely invisible, at least until we experienced our usual hot, dry summer, and by August they’d be back for a few months.
We’ve lived in our house for eleven years now, and this was the pattern. Up until about two years ago that is. The last two or three spring seasons haven’t been nearly as rainy as usual, summer’s been typically dry, and the fall and winter seasons haven’t brought nearly as much rain as usual. That all adds up to a real rain deficit, which means very dry soil around my house, which means my house is moving, and not only making these cracks more permanent, but it’s creating new problems – cracks in many other parts of the house that were never there before, a front door that only opens with great difficulty, etc.
Now, I’ve done everything I know to do to alleviate the problem, short of hiring a foundation company to put in more piers. So don’t come and tell me, gee, Bill, you need to keep your foundation watered in the summer. I’ve done that – you should have seen our water bill this past summer. I keep hoping we’ll have an extended season of rain, because in the past, it’s made a real difference in the problem.
But thus far, we’ve just lived with the inconveniences it has caused, hoping it won’t cause more permanent damage. If you brought your Bibles this morning, turn with me to Luke 6 – we’ll see the connection here as we go along.
Luke 6:46-49 (NIV) 46 "Why do you call me, ’Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
I’ve been thinking a lot about foundations in recent weeks. There are two reasons for that. One is the pictures I just showed you. That’s another story, and it may be a costly fix, when I can grit my teeth and make myself get someone in who can fix it.
But the other is what we’re going to look at this morning. It seems that many of the messages God has brought to us in recent months, come down to foundational truths, and I find myself being reminded of how important that these foundational truths are to what God is speaking to us as individuals and as a church body.
Just two examples – from the first messages of the New Year. On the first Sunday in January, I spoke about hope, and I believe the Lord showed us clearly that the hope of salvation is the basis for any hope we have. It is the foundation on which all other hopes are built. We cannot hope in anything unless we have the hope of eternal life. Without that, we’re building our hope on sinking sand.
The following week, the second Sunday in January, Gordon preached, and many responded to the Word that week. I began to think about why that was – what was it about Gordon’s message that struck such a chord with the body here?
There were certainly many things about Gordon’s message that spoke to people that Sunday. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that many if not most people were responding to some things that were really basic. They were foundational truths, truths on which we all know we must build our faith, and the practical outworking of our faith.