Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Foundation Fractures


Paramount to everything built upon it is, foundational integrity. Being in the construction business for 15 years as a contractor/owner, I know very well the value of a good foundation. The integrity of the foundation will serve as a structural strength barometer for the rest of the house or building. If the foundation is weak, it compromises the complete structure.

Jesus spoke very candidly about the type of foundation we should and should not build upon in Matthew 7.

Jesus said,

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

25And 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.

26And 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.

27And 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.”

So, according to Jesus, a strong foundation is a mixture of 2 ingredients.

  • Hearing His words
  • Doing His words

Also, according to Jesus, a weak foundation consists of 2 ingredients as well.

  • Hearing His words
  • NOT Doing His words

So in both scenarios, there is hearing involved but the success of a strong foundation rests in doing his words, not hearing alone. I think this is precisely the truth James was reiterating to the Church in James 1: 22-25,

22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

Foundations are fractured because there is no action involved with the hearing. Churches are filled every week with hearers only. It is deeply rooted in the consumer mentality. They come to church and hear the preacher speak words of action. They are encouraged to “get out” and impact someone’s life with the truth of God’s word but do they? More often than not, many don’t. As a result, their own foundations are fractured and falling apart and yet they wonder what is going on. Doing involves feeding, clothing, giving, listening, visiting and other things that have become inconvenient in many of today’s Christians. Sadly, helping someone isn’t our prime objective for the day. Conversely, helping ourselves is. What a waste of Time, Talent and Treasure that God has so graciously given to all of us. Even if you don’t have much, you have enough to share with someone the things God has blessed you with.

I grow weary of the seemingly idle discussions about what we should be doing for those that are hurting, dying and starving, and I believe action needs to take it’s place. Do you need strength? Help someone who is weak. Do you need a financial miracle? Give to someone out of your lack. Do you need healing in your body? Pray for someone who is sick. Take action upon the words of Jesus Christ in obedience and I believe God will bless you in return. Forget about yourself for just a little bit and focus on the needs of others. Strengthen your own foundations by helping to strengthen the foundation of someone else who is weak. We can talk and blog about it until the Sun shines no more but what good have we really done? None!

If you comment on this post, please do so with an idea of what this looks like, i.e., putting action to Jesus words. What are some of the things you are doing right now not what you want to do but what you are doing! God bless you as you DO his words after hearing them!



I'm not sure how to play it in my post, but click here to watch a video that I believe touches the heart of this post.

6 comments:

Jamie said...

Shannon,

Another great post. In many ways, it is much like my post "One thing". That is what I'm trying to do. One thing every day. To be honest, some days I have trouble coming up with what that one thing is. Sure I help people, counsel others, give etc. But what is the "one thing" I can add that I'm not doing now? Something that is making a difference. Not just for the American Church, but the Church Worldwide.

Shannon said...

Jamie,
Thanks!

The search for meaning is often found in the smallest things. I truly believe that the smallest of gifts can often yield the greatest of rewards. I wouldn't sweat it too much. Here is what I told my church tonight. If you will make yourself available to God, he'll bring opportunities your way. Small, large or somewhere in between, but He'll bring opportunity your way. The real task, as I see it is making certain we're not so self-focused that we miss what God is showing us. With all the demands on our time, talent and treasure, it's easy to forget about others. It sounds like you really are interested in helping others and do so as the opportunities present themselves!

Thanks for your comment :)

Stewart said...

I think we are called to practice 'everyday acts of mercy'. We need to be 'grace-full'. That looks very different each time it happens because it means we must treat everyone according to their need at that time. I guess that means we need to live with an awareness of others.

Shannon said...

Stewart,

I agree with you that being aware of the persons need at the time is key. Again, I think that means we have to be less inward focused and more outward focused. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

colin said...

Being, in a manner of speaking, disabled (needing someone with me at all times for assistance), most of my contribution has been made through prayer. Prayer for my terminally ill niece, prayer for the sick in our Church, prayer for those I have met blogging, etc.

Much of what has been in my heart "to do" for others has been done willingly by my children instead (mowing lawns, raking leaves, chopping wood, shovelling snow, working at the homeless shelter). One of my greatest frustrations, in fact, is that I am unable to do much (not a whine, just a fact).

This year my wife and I are looking at sponsoring several children through Dalit Freedom Network, Canada. The Dalits are people in the East Indian four stage caste system who do not even place. They are those who are not even considered human (they are completely without hope). This organization, affiliated with Operation Mobilization, is geared towards humanizing those considered inhuman. The gospel message, and particularly the Judaeo / Christian story of Creation, is a truth that has had a significant impact on these outcasts.

Shannon said...

Colin,

I think it's commendable what you do for others in prayer. Jesus prayed often for those that he was associated with and prayer, as I see it, is the activator of God's hand in our world. As I've mentioned on your blog, I think it's great what your children are doing for God and people. Colin, I wouldn't minimize what you do as "not much", it sounds like you're doing quite a bit already. Thanks for sharing!