How are you building your Christian life? Is your foundation secure?
The dictionary reads: "a foundation is a prepared base on which a structure will rest". Jesus Christ prepared His foundation for all by paying for our sins over two thousand years ago. If we have trust and faith in Him, that foundation stands ready for all believers to start building their eternities through an unshakeable conviction that He is the only way to salvation. He gives each of us His master blueprint for working out our lives according to His explicit instructions.
If I ignore Jesus Christ and stand on my own desires and wants, I am building my life on a faulty support that is temporary. In my self-righteous state I may not realize I am building on perilous sand. But if I follow as He directs me, I will build my life with loving vigilance. Any foundation other than that of Christ is a shallow marsh which will swallow me up into regrettable behavior making my work worthless to God. My surety comes from choosing to build on the support I know is solid, and that is Jesus Christ. When we listen with our hearts to what He wants from us as His followers, we do not worry like the wicked whose houses will one day disintegrate because their foundation is makeshift and will not support what we build. No matter how beautifully constructed, no building can stand without a secure base.
Even though I make mistakes and build wrongly, with His help I can always start over with God's grace because one of His vital promises is forgiveness. Not one of us is perfect but we depend on the goodness of the Heavenly Father Who gives "second chances" to amend our lives and begin again. As long as there is life within us, God will give His forgiveness if we ask for it and repent of wrongdoing. But if my faith foundation is imperfect, nothing I build upon can ever be made right unless I, through strong faith, exchange it for 'the real thing".
Jesus tells us of the parable in Matthew 7: 25-27: "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it."
There is a story about a very wise man who called one of his faithful workmen and said to him, "Go into the far country and build a house for me. I am giving you the plans for the foundation. This is most important. Use them exactly as I have written. The decisions of planning and of actual construction will be yours for I know you do excellent work. But remember, I shall come to inspect your work very carefully because this house is for a very special friend of mine and is my gift to him. Do not stint on the materials but buy the very best so build using your talent and the guidelines that I have given to you.
And so the workman departed with a light heart for his field of labor. Material of all kinds was plentiful here, but the workman looked around and took note of the prices.
"Surely," he thought, "I know my business. I can use a bit of inferior materials for the foundation here and cheat on my workmanship a little there, and still make the finished work look good. Only I will know that what I have built has weaknesses. and I can have a little money left over to enjoy myself. My employer will never know because the house will look good".
And so, at last the work was completed and the workman reported back to the wise man that the house was finished.
"Very good. From what you are showing me, everything looks great," he said. "Now remember that I wanted you to use only the finest materials for the foundation and craftsmanship in this house because I wanted it to be a present to a faithful and an honest worker. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny new key. I knew I could trust you with this job. "My friend," the man continued, "you are the one I had you build it for. It is yours!"
The worker's face fell in disgrace and regret. He endured the praise heaped upon him because he knew he could not tell his employer what he had done. What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he would live in a home he had built none too well.
Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about what you are building, about how you are living your life. Stone by stone, brick by brick, you construct your eternity. Your life tomorrow will be the result of the choices you make today. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall you are choosing how you will spend your eternity. The plaque on your wall may say, "Life is a do-it-yourself project." but added to that should be, "A project that was built on the rock of Jesus Christ"
St. Paul tell us in 1 Corinthians 3:11-14: "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."
One day the Overseer will inspect my work as I stand facing Him. Will I cringe in sorrow as He surveys my lack of effort? Will He shake His head in disappointment when He sees how I built my life? Will He look with regret and sadness at all the inferior work I have done in my lifetime? I know He will see the times I turned away from what He taught in order to live my own way. He will look deep inside my heart and see the shoddy choice of materials I used for my own personal satisfaction.
Apocalypse 20: 12-13 also says "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Our Lord Jesus Christ will be the one who will test the foundation upon which we built our lives and the solidness and the structure of our buildings. Everything we have ever done, both good and evil will be revealed to us on that day. If we have rejected Jesus as the true foundation, the whole house will tumble and fall. But if I have built my life on His solid doctrine with Christ as my foundation, I will be called into His eternal kingdom.
I am the builder of my own eternity. Every deed I do in my Savior's name is added to what I am building on His precious foundation. For me, "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, and my strength in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower" (Psalms 18:2 ). I can choose to build on the rock Jesus laid down using the blueprints He gives me or I can choose to build on the crumbling sands of sin. I, alone, make this choice. But on the morning of my resurrection I will have to live with what I have built... forever and forever.