“That house … did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
Western Oregon sees a lot of rain. As a result, some houses that are built near streams and rivers will slide down the muddy banks, collapsing into a heap of rubble.
Jesus uses this imagery to describe the tragedy of a life built on a poor foundation. The sandy foundation Jesus warns against is that of a life seeking to be accepted by God on the basis of our own good efforts. We tend to think that if we try really hard to be good, and we work strenuously to show God our strong moral character, God will love us, accept us, and bless us more. In the end, however, that way of life is disastrous. We end up crushed under the weight of our inadequacy or feeling self-righteous and prideful.
The trouble is, no one can hear Jesus’ words and put them into practice perfectly—well, almost no one. As 1 Peter 2:4-6 tells us, Jesus himself is the true rock, the sure foundation. He lived the life of perfection that we cannot live, and he gave up his life so that we can live. Because he took on our punishment, we can build our lives on Jesus and be assured that we will never taste the shame of our guilt and failure before God.
Are you building your life on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ?
Lord, “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
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