Digging Deep

April 7, 2020
 
Matthew 7:24–27
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
 
Notice what Jesus says in a parallel passage in Luke 6:46-49
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
 
In other words, if you call me Lord Lord, if you have a relationship with me there is a foundation available to build on. But you have to do some stuff… the things Jesus says – that’s what you need to be doing. In Luke Jesus says you have to actually dig down to the foundation and build on something solid. It is harder to build on rock than it is to build on sand. But if you want a house that won’t fall apart when the storm hits… dig deep.
 
Sometimes people do kind of goofy things with their houses. There’s actually a house, in San Jose, called the Winchester Mystery House. Any of you ever hear of that one? The woman who built it was Mrs. Winchester. They tell you the story when you go through it. Apparently, her husband was the Winchester rifle guy, so she was heir to all that money, but he died and their child died and she turned to the occult.
And apparently, so they say, Mrs. Winchester developed this kind of odd belief that as long as she kept building that house, death would be confused. It would not come for her. She’d be safe. So, she builds this enormous house.

People do that sometimes. People get all wrapped up in their physical house sometimes. Sixteen carpenters worked every day for 38 years to build this house. It contains 2,000 doors in one house, 160,000 windows—more windows than in the Empire State Building—in Mrs. Winchester’s house.

The front doors of this house cost $3,000. In that day you could build a great house for $3,000. She spent that on the front doors, and they were used one time. The workmen who installed them walked out of them after they put them in. That’s the only time those doors were ever used. You can go upstairs and they lead to a ceiling. You can open doors that open to brick walls. Because apparently part of the deal in building this house was, she was hoping that it would confuse death.

She was still building her house when death came, and death was not confused. It took eight trucks working seven days a week for six and a half weeks to haul away all the extra stuff that she had compiled there. And then the trucks made one more trip and this trip was for her. Because no matter what kind of house you build, and there are some very impressive houses in the part of the world where we live, one day the truck’s going to come for me and for you.

That’s a constant. We’re all building houses, whether we want to or not—well or badly—we’re house builders. There is only one foundation that is worthy of building a life on… so dig deep.



Only One House Stands

April 6, 2020

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

Matthew 7:24–27

You’ve got to build your life on something. You’ve got to make somebody your authority. Jesus says, if you do that with me, if you become my child, if you make me your Lord, if you say – “Jesus, whatever you say, I will seek to understand it. That’s what I’m going to do with my time, my money, my relationships, my values.”

Then whatever storm hits you, you’re built on the rock, and you’re not slipping. Build your life on anything else, and you’re building it on sand. And one day a storm is going to come. And you may have a real impressive looking life, but it’s going to cave in.

Now the obvious question when you hear the story that Jesus tells—the obvious question when you hear about the guy who builds his house, but does it on the sand—is, how did he get into this mess? Why would somebody do something like that? And it’s interesting here. He did not deliberately set out to do something evil. Jesus doesn’t say he’s a wicked man. What’s the adjective that Jesus uses to describe him? He’s foolish. This is a human condition.

We often drift into trouble, we rarely plan to be in trouble. I can imagine a guy enjoying the beach, having a party and just crashing on the beach for a night. Next day he gets a little more comfortable and brings a sleeping bag. Next day there’s some kind of bed and then some furniture, later he leans up a little shelter. Then all of a sudden he finds himself living where he never expected. If you ask him if he planned to be there he would just say “it just happened.”

One night of drinking slowly becomes a life of abuse. One experiment with drugs becomes a lifelong obsession. A few wrong turns on the computer and you find yourself living with a dark secret of sexual addiction. A little success at work and you cash in your life for a career. Somebody flirts with you and in a moment of weakness you walk away from everything that was once important to you. Nobody plans to build on the sand… we drift into it one small step at a time until we find ourselves in a storm that we have no ability to overcome and everything in our world collapses.

Do you know what rock bottom means? It means everything in your life is washed away and you find yourself resting on the only thing that will never wash away; the solid rock. That rock is Jesus. You can rebuild on that rock. There is hope on that rock. And even if you have lost everything in the storms of life you will be welcomed and loved and forgiven and invited to share life with Jesus. Because He is not just the foundation for life He is our life. We can live and breathe and in Him and in Him we have our being. And when the storms come, and they come to every house, Jesus goes through the storm with us. And we can rest with the Apostle Paul who went through some storms himself but assures us with this:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38–39

 

 

 

 

 

 



Everybody Faces a Storm

Daily Devotion – April 5, 2020

 Matthew 7:24–27

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

The second thing we see in this story is that every house faces a storm. We are all house builders and we are all storm facers. As you read through Jesus’ story, His description of the two storms, the one that comes to the house on the rock and the one that comes to the house on the sand, they’re absolutely identical, word for word, because He wants to make it clear, this is not a story about how to build a house where there will be no storms.

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house”

And that’s too bad; because that’s the story we would rather hear. We’d prefer a story about two climates, two places with different kinds of weather—California and North Dakota. And the wise man built his house in California.

But Jesus doesn’t tell the kind of story that we would like for Him to tell. This is not a story about how to find some place where the storm never comes.

And I know, because of where we live, there are some people in this area, and probably some reading this who are saying, “but you know, I’m smart enough, and I’m rich enough, I got enough resources, and I’m successful enough, I can engineer a storm-free life but the current Corona Virus has completely shattered that myth.”

Jesus says no, you can’t. In fact, this is His prediction. Jesus says in

Matthew, chapter 6, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…”

Now, what’s His next line? Don’t worry about tomorrow because everything’s going to be great? The weather’s going to be really good? It’s going to be sunny tomorrow?

 “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries enough of its own. “ Matthew 6:34

Today’s trouble is enough for today. That’s good news, isn’t it? What’s Jesus’ prediction? Trouble today, trouble tomorrow. That’s the world where we live.

Everybody builds a house. You’re building an eternal soul. Everybody faces a storm. It’s going to come your way. Maybe it is right now. And that reveals what really matters. Because what really matters in Jesus’ story, the variable, the hinge point, the whole deal comes down to this, what are you building your house on?

What are you constructing your life on?

 Because life is not about storm avoidance. It’s not about trying to make sure that the circumstances are all smooth and pleasant. That’s why there’s rock and sand up here. You can build your life on rock, or you can build your life on sand.

Jesus says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

 




Daily Devotions 2020