There's a storm a coming -what kind of foundation do you have?
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25And 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. 26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27And 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.
|PRAYER~~~~~Matthew 7:24 – 27|
These words conclude one of the greatest sermons ever preached. Jesus Christ brings to culmination the great Sermon on the Mount, and he does so with a poignant truth about two men. These two men raise the question, what kind of foundation are we building on? These two men can be seen in terms of a comparison, a contrast, leading to a clear conclusion.
I. They shared the same Vision:
These two men had the same vision. They both wanted to build a house. Their dreams were the same. Their longings were the same. Their desires were the same. What makes these two men alike is that their view of the future was on par. They both wanted to build a house.
The concept of building a house – in its most immediate interpretation – would be to erect a life, to build a life worth living, to build a life that’s significant, to build a life that is going somewhere.
You could relate it to building a family, since families live in homes. And you could say both men wanted to have vibrant, dynamic, strong households. Of course the church of Jesus Christ is called the household of faith, so we could apply it to building a ministry.
You are probably building all three. You’re building a life. You want a life that you are proud of, that God is proud of, and that when you look back on it you are glad. You want a family that’s strong and stable and vibrant and alive and committed.
You may be in Ministry and you want a ministry that will stand the test of time. You want a ministry that will please God you want a ministry that will stand forever. All of us fit into this brief story. Both men had the same vision.
2. They both listened to divine Truth:
Not only did both have the same vision, they both went to the same seminary, because it says both men “heard these words of mine.” Both men went to the same classroom and had the same professor.
You don’t get any better that this church, because in this case, the written word was communicated by the living Word. Jesus himself was the professor.
Both men were oriented to listening to divine truth. Both men were committed to making themselves available to divine input. We’re not talking about one man having a love for hearing the truth, and another man a total distain for it. We’re talking about both men availing themselves to Scripture.
So the comparison between these two men is they have the same vision. They want to see things rise from the ground and go higher – a life, a family, a ministry, or all three. And they have the same instruction, the same instructor, as they avail themselves of divine truth.
3. They faced the same Storm:
These men lived in the same neighborhood. I know what you’re saying. You’re thinking, I’ve read this story, and I don’t see anything about the location of the houses.
They lived in the same neighborhood because they were both affected by the same storm. The description of the storm is precisely the same in both cases, and affected both men. Both men were subject to the same storm, which meant they were in reasonable proximity to one another. They suffered the same storm.
Everybody here is affected by a storm. Everybody here is affected by the negative realities of life or ministry or family. It may not be the same, but one thing is true for us all – we do get rained on –Amen? We do get rained on.
Life is not always sunshine. Life is not always exciting. Life has its moments of tears. We all share the same vision – we want to build something; same training – we want to hear something; and same storms – we all have to face something.
Let’s Look at Some Contrast between these two men.
1. There was a contrast in character:
Those comparisons in this story are paralleled by some contrasts, some things that made these men different from one another. First of all, these men possessed two different characters. Jesus calls the first man a wise man. He calls the second man a moron. The Greek word for “foolish” is where we get our word moron from.
One is viewed as wise, a wise man who wants to build something, a wise man that gets spiritual training, and a wise man in the storm. The other man is a foolish man who wants to build something, a foolish man who exposes himself to divine truth but merely listens to it and does not apply it, a foolish man in a storm.
Wisdom, in Scripture, is the ability to take divine truth and apply it to life.
The fool in Scripture is not necessarily the person who lacks information. It is the person who does little or nothing with the information received. It is the person who fails to apply it to their life.
So these two men were fundamentally different. Don’t get me wrong. They both had dreams. They both had training. They both had storms. On the outside they would have looked like Siamese twins, but in the description given by the Lord, it says they were fundamentally different men.
2. There were different foundations.
The contrast that demonstrates the fundamental difference between these two men is foundations. It says that the wise man built his house upon the rock, and it says the foolish man built his house upon the sand.
While both men have the same vision, while both men have the same dream, the same training, and the same storm, they did not have the same foundation.
What’s the difference between building on a foundation of rock and building on a foundation of sand? What made one a fool and one a wise man?
When Luke tells the story in Luke 6:48, it says the wise man dug deep. It cost to build on rock. You can build on sand fairly cheaply. To build on rock is hard work, to build on sand takes little time. It cost time and energy and effort and additional funds if you’re going to go deep. You can be cursory if you only want to stay on top of the shifting realities. You can be quick about it on sand; you can’t go to fast on rock.
This difference between the two men is fundamentally rooted in the fact that the second man, the foolish man, was building a house for show. The man building his house on rock was building a house to last. The second man was not concerned about how long the house would be there. He just wanted to make sure for however long it was there people would want to drive by and look at it. It was for a public persona, not for depth.
~ Illustration ~
Minister on fast track
A life, a home, or a ministry that is not properly founded on the right foundation is a tourist attraction.
3. There were two different results:
The biggest contrast of them all is the results, because it says one house stood and another house fell. Not only did it fall, “it fell greatly.” It was a total collapse.
What does the Lord want us to learn? What is his fundamental point? You have to notice something in the text. If you were to drive by both men’s homes, you would not discover there was a difference. If you were to talk to the men, you would not know that there was a fundamental difference.
The only time you would discover there was a difference between these two men and the lives, homes, or ministries they erected was during the storm. Only the storm reveals the nature of your foundation – I said the storm will reveal the nature of your foundation.
See as long as the sun is shining, you won’t think about what you’re built on, you may not care about what you’re built on, but the storm has a way of letting you know what kind of foundation you’re resting on.
What Kind of Foundation are you building?
Notice the language. In both cases “rain descended,” “floods came,” “winds blew, and burst against that house.”
Whenever you have rain, floods, winds, and houses being knocked down, that’s a hurricane. Hurricane season came on both of them.
I wish the Christian life was really like the way some televangelist declare it to be – “Come to Jesus and its all sunshine, come to Jesus he has keys waiting for you for your new BMW, come to Jesus and he’s got the house in the suburbs and he’s got the healing for your every disease. Come to Jesus for the pie in the sky.”
You can build a great show house with that kind of preaching. But according to the text there was a hurricane. Nature was unleashed and rain fell and winds blew.
Storms test our foundations:
Now you have to understand something about foundations. You can’t pour them when it’s raining. You can pour a foundation before it rains. You can pour a foundation after it rains. But what you can’t do is pour a foundation when it is raining.
Whatever foundation you’re going to have, you need to get solidified before the storm, so when the storm comes you’re not in a crisis.
I love the story in Mark 4 where Jesus tells the disciples “let us go over to the other side.” Jesus lay down in the boat and went to sleep. The boat was filling with water because they ran into a “lailaps”. That’s where the wind coming across the hills surrounding the Sea of Galilee created an upheaval on the sea.
It is called a lailaps, a fierce gale. It was slapping the boat all around, and the water was descending into the boat, and they were in jeopardy. They were in a storm, and Jesus was asleep. They thought “what good is having a God who will go to sleep on you?”
When you need him most, he’s snoring. When you need him most, he’s chilling. The key isn’t that Jesus was asleep. The text says Jesus was asleep “on a pillow.”
When you are on a long fight, on a plane, the stewardess will ask “sir, do you need a pillow,’ being interpreted, “are you planning to go to sleep?” Jesus didn’t fall off. He was on a pillow. That meant he planned to sleep on them.
This was intentional snoozing. Their theology was in an uproar, because they said, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
Don’t you care? How could you be this quiet now? When the sun was shining, we did not need you But now we are in trouble and you’re sleeping. “Don’t you care that we perish?”
Jesus awakened from his sleep and asked what sounds to me a very insensitive question: “Why are you so timid and so easily ruffled?”
“Jesus, we’re getting ready to drown. That’s why we’re so easily ruffed. What kind of question is that”? Jesus comes to the front of the boat and says “Peace be still.”
That’s an interesting term. I would have thought Jesus would have said, storm, be still. He said, “Peace, be still.” Why would he say that? Because you see, he had told them when they left the dock:
Gentlemen, we, all of us, are going to the other side. We are going to leave here, and we are going to wind up at the other side.
Storms have a way of causing you to forget what the Lord has said. Storms have a way of causing you to forget the truth of God. Storms have a way of keeping you from applying in a storm what you learn in the sunshine.
Their problem was not hearing the truth. They heard Jesus says, “let us go to the other side.” Their problem was applying the truth in a bad situation.
I like how that story ends. After Jesus quelled the lailap, it says, “They became very much afraid.” They were scared of the storm, and then they saw the Lord, and then they got really scared. “What manner of man is this?’
Why does God give you a storm? Because it lets you know what kind of foundation you’re on. Only in a hurricane will you discover whether you’re really resting on the truth of God or whether you’re merely listening to it. There’s a lot of difference between saying amen on Sunday and saying amen on Monday in a storm. There’s a lot of difference in worshiping God when all is well and worshiping God when all is wrong. (Katrina)
But if your foundation is sure, then it will be the application, and not merely the information, of divine truth that will hold you steady.
The Goal of biblical preaching is not merely to inform the body of the menu of the truth of Gods’ Word. It is to bring them to the place of partaking of the meal.
It is not merely to tell people, thus sayeth the Lord. It is not merely to explain to them what the Lord has said. It is to bring them to a change of action based on the truth of God, based on the application of what God said.
In other words, every time you have a hurricane, God has given you a new opportunity to demonstrate you are resting on a sure foundation
I don’t know what storms, hurricanes, or tornadoes you will face. You’re either just coming out one or you’re in one, and if not, one is around the corner waiting on you. There is a storm coming.
I do know this, this Savior was built with your storm in mind. He is your foundation, which involves the truth of God applied in the realities of life. Foundations are not merely the information to stand on. The Word of god is not simply to have a Bible under your arm or on your coffee table.
It is to have the truth of God as the modus operandi of decision making. What differentiated these two men? Both heard, but only one applied it to his life.
I wish I could tell you that hearing God’s Word means no storms, but that’s a lie. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I can tell you is that adhering to God’s word means whatever storms there are - won’t have the last word.
?Would you stand with me this morning?
Illustration: When I was growing up my father purchased for me a balloon boxing bag. You hit it, boom, and it hit the floor. Bing, it bounced back. Boom, Bing, boom, Bing. I remember getting mad one time and kicking it. Whop, boom, Bing. It just kept coming back.
You know why it kept coming back? Because at the bottom of the bag was a weight. The foundation of the bag was a weight heavier than the rest of the bag, and so the weight at the bottom determined where the bag finally wound up no matter what you did to it.
I wish I could tell you that life had no difficulties waiting around the corner, but the Bible doesn’t tell us that. God doesn’t tell us that. Jesus doesn’t tell us that. The Holy Spirit doesn’t tell us that. So we shouldn’t be telling you that.
But what you can tell yourself, your family, or your flock is that when the storms of life go BAM, you, because of the weigh of Christ as your foundation, will come back Bing.
When Satan goes whop, you’ll go Bing. When all hell breaks loose, wham, bam, bam, bam – whop whop bam, you’re going to say bing, bing, bing, bing, because the man who built this house on a rock, after the hurricane was over, his house, his life, his family, and his ministry still stood.
What are you building your house on? What kind of foundation does your temple rest on?
Prayer, sure foundation, help in a storm, leaning on God’s word.