Staff Corner – Greg Spires
Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scouts, was asked about the Scouts Motto: Be Prepared. “Prepared for what?” he was asked. His answer was as simple as it was sensible, “Why, for any old thing.”
But people aren’t always prepared. Why is that the case when it seems so sensible to be prepared? It might be tempting to think people are inadequately prepared because there is no way to anticipate the events they will face. People do meet unanticipated events occasionally. However, the primary reason people aren’t prepared is that preparation takes hard work and has a cost. Many people would rather risk not being prepared than to bear the effort and cost associated with preparation.
Preparation (or the lack of preparation) is the reality of the story Jesus tells about two houses: one built on rock and one built on sand. Why would a person rely on sand instead of the strong foundation rock offers?
First, there is the effort and cost involved. In an area with mostly sand, rock must be found by digging for it. The time, effort, and cost associated with finding rock hidden under the sand are significant.
Second, there is the consideration of whether such a foundation is needed. What is the likelihood there will be a weather event that would require such cost and effort? In an arid climate, a storm of that magnitude might be considered very remote. So, digging down to bedrock would seem a waste of time and money.
Finally, there is the consideration of location. If a house is to be built with a rock foundation, it can only be built where rock can be found. However, if a builder is more flexible and willing to build on sand alone, the house can be located anywhere. Having flexibility in locating the home would be useful so a homeowner could live near his farm, market, or place of work.
Here is Jesus’ description of that house on the sand in Matthew 7:27, “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 house on the rock is pretty much the same as the house on the sand until the day of the storm. On the day of the storm, the house on sand is revealed for its true nature: unprepared.
If each of us knew what storms the future holds for us, we could prepare just for those storms. But we don’t know what the future holds. We need to be ready for whatever might come – with our lives built on the firm foundation of Jesus as our rock. How do we do that?
The answer to that question we hear from Jesus in Matthew 7:24, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
To build our life on the rock of Jesus, we have to hear His words (through Scripture) and do them. Building our life on Jesus is no “tip of the hat” to Jesus or religion. Instead, it is trusting God enough to live our lives according to His ways, as described in His Word. Following Jesus means putting others first, above our own desires. Following Jesus means praying with Him, “not my will, but yours be done.” Following Jesus means walking by the Spirit in obedience instead of living according to the appetites and desires of our flesh.
When we follow Jesus, it might seem that those who reject or ignore Him face no problems. Sometimes it looks like those who have disregarded the Lord have it better! However, we need to keep two things in mind by faith. First, to have a relationship with God through Jesus is the greatest privilege and joy a person can have. Second, the foundation of the house is not revealed on sunny days. The quality of the foundation is shown on the day of the storm.
Be Prepared. Build your house on the foundation of life in Jesus.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Matthew
See you Sunday,