Let me introduce you to my temporary home for a few days: a beach house called Steven’s Studio. It’s one of three (www.3beachhouses.com) built by parents to support their children in college, and they’re all really cute, roomy enough for four people, close to the beach, and relatively inexpensive.
But let me tell you one of the interesting things about Steven’s Studio: it rocks. It’s fairly unsteady. When you’re up on the top floor, you can tell when someone is coming up the stairs outside. You can tell when people get out of bed downstairs. The whole house just moves. And I’m not sure if it was built to be that way or if beach houses with multiple stories always sway. I just know it’s a tad disconcerting.
Today’s verses are Matthew 7:24-27.“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
This is a story Jesus told, and it’s one of the more famous ones so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve heard it before.
It’s a commonly held fact that if you don’t build a house on a solid foundation, your house isn’t going to be able to withstand the storms that blow through. That’s a fact we know in Kansas very well. But I have a sinking suspicion people on Galveston Island know it too. When Hurricane Ike blasted through Galveston in 2009, it did ridiculous amounts of damage to the coastal areas. And beach houses, though built to be sturdy, weren’t able to stand up to the winds.
Granted, beach houses aren’t really built to withstand immense winds. They’re houses on stilts after all. But how many times do we build our lives like a beach house?
When it comes to building a life, we really have two choices on where to break ground. We can either choose to live our lives based on Scripture and scriptural principles … or we can choose not to. It’s the difference between the rock and the sand. One is solid; one is shifting. One will allow a building to withstand a strong storm; the other won’t.
Yes, sand has its place and its uses, but it’s not good as a foundation because it doesn’t have any consistency. Foundations need to be solid, unmoving, unyielding as a rule.
The Bible tells us what is right and what is wrong. It tells us how to please God, how to live, how to treat others, how to look at ourselves. It offers an answer to every question, a hope for every despair, a promise for every day. In a world of shifting values and inconsistent people, the Bible is a rock.
It’s good to look into the future sometimes because storms are a part of life, and it’s good to be ready for them. So if you build a life knowing that storms are coming, you’ll build on a solid foundation.
But if you build your life on culture or on our world’s perspective of right and wrong or on socially acceptable values, when the difficult moments of life come at you, you won’t have anywhere to turn. Because all of those things, although they may have some virtue on their own, change with the tides. And you’ll end up like our beach house–swaying with the wind, shifting with the motion of its occupants, unsteady even on still days. And that’s no way to live