Building On The Rock
Jesus’ parable in Matthew 7:24-27 is about two men, one who built his house on the rock and the other on the sand. The “house” Jesus was referring to, of course, is not a building, but our individual lives, and the lives of our families. If we build our lives on the sand, Jesus said, when the storms of adversity, cultural pressure to conform, temptation, or the many other attacks that come against our faith come, the flood can wash away our weak foundations. What is true of us as individuals is also true of families. This is why how and where parents choose to build their “house” is so important, because the foundation they build on doesn’t only affect their own lives, but their children’s lives as well.
The problem is that, in life, it is sometimes difficult to tell if we are building on the sand or on the rock. Many families have been active in church for years, made sure their children attended youth activities, and enrolled them in children’s programs, only to find that such endeavors did not provide a sufficient foundation against the storm. In his book, The Legacy Path, author Brian Haynes suggests that the way we can tell if we are building our homes on the sand or on the rock is to ask ourselves, “What is my view of success and how am I living my life to achieve it?”
Those who allow our increasingly self-driven culture to define success for them and their children, looking to God to bless them as they pursue a Christian version of the American dream, are building their homes on the sand. On the other hand, those who allow God to define success for their lives, seeking him first and trusting that he will give them what they need as they trust and obey him, build their homes on the rock. It is not easy, from the outside, to distinguish these two approaches to building our homes. A home built on sand may seem as strong and beautiful as the one built on the rock. It may even stand for years unmolested, but the storms will come and the strength of its foundation will be tested.
In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus redefined success, challenging the conventional approach to religion and life and calling people to a different way of assessing themselves. He warned that the approval of men and the accumulation of things are ultimately sandy soil that is unfit for a sure foundation. But, he taught, those who pattern their view of success after the values of God’s kingdom, humbly seeking him and his righteousness, will build homes that endure. And he brought his sermon to a close with this timeless challenge, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock” (Mt. 7:24).
Pastor Jon EnrightOctober 1, 2022