I have found over the years that I am not really good at building things with my hands. I think the truth is, I lack patience in that area. I assemble basic things but if a set of directions has more than three points to it, well... my desire is often to wait for my husband.
My husband and I are complete opposites when it comes to detail work. He lives in the detail- as part of his profession he programs CNC machines and checks and double checks models from the lines of code he writes before his work goes to production. And when he builds something he believes in doing things right the first time.
HE is the guy you want helping you to build a house or a deck- not me! He strives for accuracy. I strive for speed.
|Tom building the road back to our home - 2004|
The Book of Proverbs says that "Fools make haste." And when it comes to building- I have to admit that Biblically speaking- I am a fool.
I shared that truth yesterday with my children and they giggled to think of Daddy being wise and Mommy being a fool in this way. I figure they may as well hear it from me. : )
They have got to see my eyes glaze over time and again when I share some wonderful 2 day building project I have in mind only to find out it is really a 2 week one as my husband begins to talk about drawing up plans, doing prep work, ordering special tools... all sorts of things I have not considered.
|Sarah, Faith and Michaela just before the cement footings were poured - 2005|
While I am always tempted to forget, I should know from experience that you can't just build. When we began the process of building our home together I saw that first hand. The girls and I remember the countless hours their daddy spent clearing trees, and all the sticks we had to pick up, and even then we still were not ready to build. We had to hire men to come in to grade and compact the land we had cleared and attempted to level. Once compacted, the ground had to be tested for the correct compaction ratio. And if the numbers didn't work, we would have needed more compaction done.
After all that compaction was done and checked, trenches needed to be dug. Cement footings and all sorts of reinforcements were calculated and prepared- and all for something that would be unseen once the house was up. True, the foundation is critical to the house's ability to remain standing, but unseen nonetheless.
|Tom and Uncle Ray measuring, cutting and leveling each board - 2005|
On Sunday, we heard a sermon on the verses in Matthew 7:21-23. You know, those verses that strike fear into every heart- when Jesus declares that He never knew some of the people who were calling Him "Lord, Lord," even though they were casting out demons and doing wonderful works in His name?
I think these verses especially scare us because often we read them out of context. I wanted to share with my girls this week that God is not involved in a bait and switch scam. It wasn't that these people were serving God, but oops- they missed something and now they have eternity to pay. Because if that were the case we should be terrified and ask- if they didn't know what they were doing, well then how can we?
God does not want us to be confused or deceived. In context what Jesus is saying is quite clear and of course restates what He has been stating through the whole of Scripture (and punctuated quite often with the words "do not be deceived"). He frames these "I never knew you" verses right between warning people about false prophets who look like sheep, but do not bear good fruit (Matthew 7:15-20) and the parable of the wise and foolish builders who also looked very similar on the outside but had different foundations (Matthew 7:24-27).
|The girls always helping when they can- rolling out visqueen under the house - 2005|
We know that the wise man built his house upon the rock- we even know the hand motions to the song, right? But what is the rock that Christ was speaking about?
Many people say the rock is God or Christ. And, as John MacArthur aptly puts it: "Yes God is a rock, yes Christ is the chief cornerstone. But I believe what our Lord is saying here is simply this, these sayings of mine become the rock bed foundation of the church, the true church, the redeemed church."
What is Jesus saying?
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of mine,
and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man
who built his house on the rock."
Jesus says, as He has always said, that true faith will result in a life characterized by true obedience. It is not enough to be a builder who hears the word. We must be a doer of the Word (James 1:22).
|Bathing baby Lydia in the sink of the camper we lived in for 18 months (I thought it would be 6). :)|
The goats dressed like sheep and the houses looked similar Christ said. The Pharisees had the outward works of church attendance, Bible reading, giving money to godly causes. But that alone was just sand. In fact we know they prayed, fasted, and had a reputation for being spiritual- still sand.
Outwardly they had a house, inwardly hatred, covetousness (idolatry), and were revilers. Faith is not only outward works.
Arthur Pink says, "They bring their bodies to the house of prayer, but not their souls... They are sticklers for immersion or early morning communion but they take no thought for keeping their hearts with all diligence. They boast of their orthodoxy but disregard the precepts of Christ. Multitudes of professing Christians abstain from external acts of violence yet hesitate not to rob their neighbors of a good name by spreading evil reports about them... for His fear is not before their eyes."
|The girls playing in the prairie- they were so excited to become country girls!|
On the other hand, there is a new movement in the church which preaches a new gospel that faith can be divorced from obedience. It is said we do nothing. And while it is true that we do nothing to earn our salvation, true saving faith must be more than just belief. For even the demons believe but are not saved.
True faith builds on the rock. True fear of God motivates the believer to be a doer of the Word.
John MacArthur says, "The only validation you will ever have of your salvation is a life of obedience."
|More unseen work- under the floors.|
God does not want us to be deceived. If our lives are patterned by self will- sin that we will not repent of- then our church attendance and other outward 'sacrifices' mean nothing.
1 Corinthians 6:9: "Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers (those who try to destroy others with words), nor extortioners (people who steal indirectly by taking advantage of others financially) will inherit the kingdom of God."
Galatians 5:19: "Now the words of the flesh are evident, which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God."
However, if we are focused on God's will and putting to death our flesh by obeying His Word, we have an indication that God is at work in us creating for Himself those who worship in spirit and in truth.
We will all sin- no doubt about that. Even studying these verses I found things to confess and forsake in my own life. But that is the heart of it- we must repent (confess and turn from sin), rather than excuse it away. That is building on the rock.
We cannot build a house that will stand if we forsake the foundation. Our foundation must be hearing the words of Christ and doing them.
Don't you love that God is consistent? He does not change. There is no bait and switch. No new doctrine of men that need sway us. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Amen.
"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of
God our Savior,
who desires all men to be saved
and come to the knowledge
of the truth."
~1 Timothy 2:3-4
Blessings as you build upon the rock,
James 1:22 - "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
1 John 2:3 "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."