Build on a Solid Foundation: The Foundation of Jesus Christ
Why does the foundation of a house matter? What difference does it make if a home is built on sand or dirt? Who cares if the foundation is level, smooth and free of fissures?
What a home is built on, how it’s built and what it’s built with matters.
It matters because any of the wrong materials used for the foundation and the home will come tumbling down. The integrity of the foundation gives the rest of the home strength,support, and the best structure to survive storms.
Have you ever seen a home that is tilted? Maybe one side sinking into the ground? Have you ever seen the work that goes into repairing foundation cracks and the leaks associated with the cracks?
When the cracks begin in the foundation the signs are difficult to see at first, and then as time goes, other issues arise in the home. Cracks in walls, leaks, doors not closing or not opening. Little foundation cracks can cause big problems.
Foundation repairs are difficult enough when the foundation was laid with the proper materials. But can you imagine the challenges for a homeowner whose home was built on improper material?
Poorly laid foundations – no matter what the cause – are costly and will not last.
The same is true for the foundation of our lives. Each life is built upon a foundation. The foundation is laid by our biggest influences. As we grow up, if the foundation is not built with materials made to last the storms of life, our lives will exhibit the symptoms of a cracked foundation.
The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3 addresses the topic of solid foundations with the church.
Paul hammers home three critical points that we need to keep in mind as we walk through this life.
His first, and I believe the most critical point of this teaching to the church of Corinth and to us is this:
Jesus Christ is THE FOUNDATION.
Paul affirms this with his instruction, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (v. 11)
Paul’s instruction begs the question of us. What is the foundation of our lives made of? Who, and what is our life built upon?
I think if we are honest our foundation is built on some of Jesus – but also – some of several others things. Some beliefs, ways of living & mindsets passed down from generations before us, some teachings we have picked up along the way that are not based on Jesus.
How do we know if our foundation is built on something other than Jesus?
Ask. Ask with a prayerful and surrendered heart. Ask God to reveal to you through his Holy Spirit if there are foundation blocks that have been laid in your life that are not Jesus. And then ask for the courage to remove them and replace them with Jesus.
Paul goes on to teach about the building itself. Paul’s instruction moves on to that of the instruction we receive. Whose teaching are we following, listening to? Whose standards are we following or trying to live up to? Whom are we trying to perform for and please?
Ultimately are the messages we accept & follow that guide our lives the TRUTH . Fundamentally Paul is instructing us to be careful on the how, what and why of living. The “truth” we are following after.
This instruction leads to the second critical point of Paul’s teaching, which is:
Build your life with care.
“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.” (v 10)
Paul highlights the importance of how we build, and that the building we do should be done with care. Care requires that we don’t allow just anything to influence our lives. Care requires that we have a filter. The filter of the Holy Spirit. When we build our lives with care we are mindful of the quality of the material we use to build.
Paul then illuminates the very matter, or substance of what or whom we are living. The substance of what our lives are built upon and made of is like choosing the choicest of materials available to us versus a peel & stick tile. The peel & stick may seem like a cheap, quick fix – but it will not last. Neither will a life build upon false, counterfeit teaching and faith.
The third critical teaching this passage of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians is this:
A life built upon any other foundation than Jesus will not last.
“If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)
Fires, storms, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes or tsunamis. Our world is full of natural disasters that point to the importance of our homes & buildings being structurally sound.
Having a home or building built on a solid foundation could mean the difference between life and death for those in the storm’s pathway.
Life or death.
The same scenario is true for our eternal life. As the storms of life blow through they are a testing ground for the structural integrity of our lives. Do we have a solid foundation (Jesus)? Are we living by teachings that are made of lasting material – that will endure the fire?
I have not yet been through a hurricane since living in Florida.Though there are days when I feel emotionally overwhelmed, exhausted and like a hurricane of fury has ridden over me. And I can tell you that the testing of faith – the shoring up of my own foundation has been tried.
When Zach, my brother, passed away I was shaken but not destroyed. My faith was encouraged through the process of him leaving this earth and after I have seen the masterful hand of God in our lives move & work in ways I never imagined.
Through this trial, I had a choice to make. I could choose to press in and really believe what I said I believed for all the years before. Or I could choose to not believe.
I could choose to embrace God’s eternal best for us – despite my lack of understanding. Or I could choose to try and make sense of every element – pushing me away from believing God’s best plan is unfolding as he works to take even what is messed up and broken and use it for good!
Each day we have a choice. Embrace the truth of God. Embrace the solid foundation. Embrace the TRUTH. Each day we get to choose who and what we listen to. We get to choose what we allow it to infiltrate and influence our hearts, minds and spirits.
Let’s choose as we move into a brand new year to allow the Holy Spirit to filter all that is not of God, all that is not his best for us and all that will lead us astray from his truth.
Be blessed today, be encouraged today, be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in you.
Best wishes for 2022!