Hi! For today's post, I'll be talking about how we as christians can build our lives on Jesus, and why it's important to have him as our foundation in life. Everyone, whether they know it or not, has their life built on something. People build their lives' foundation on anything from fame, to money, to their accomplishments, numbers on social media, to anything else that they want.
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells us exactly what he wants us to build our life on:
"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." - Matthew 7:24-27
This passage is the last passage from the sermon on the mount, right before Jesus leaves to heals a man with leprosy. People were astonished at Jesus's words because of the authority that he gave and the way that he preached. One thing that I have always loved about Jesus is that he gives analogies and visuals when he teaches. He likes to paint pictures with his words. When I read this, I couldn't help but think of a home with Jesus' words all around it, enlightening it and building it up. His words, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your might, love one another, do not judge, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry," and more were painting visually in my mind.
In the Bible, God tells us to hide his word in our heart. This is what Jesus wants us to do when we hear his words. Instead of his words going in one ear and out the other ear, forgotten, he wants us to cling onto what he's saying and found our lives on it. His desire is to have his words building a foundation underneath us and around us.
"Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock."
Jesus's first command from this passage states that we should hear Jesus's words and do them. In this passage, Jesus is comparing our obedience to his commands to the foundation of a house.
If a house didn't have a firm foundation, it would unsettle everything else. The house would be weaker due to the foundation, no matter how strong it is. For us as followers of Jesus, we should take into account how important our faith's foundation is to us, and whether our foundation is rocky or sandy.
What has the Lord been placing on your heart lately? Has he touched on a certain thing that he wants you to pay attention to? If you're wondering how to begin to lay a firm foundation with Jesus in your life, a good way to start might be by listening to what Jesus is telling you today and following his words.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment." (Matthew 22: 37-38)
"And a second like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22: 39)
"Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," (Matthew 5:44).
"Do not be anxious about your life, what you eat or what you will drink," (Matthew 6: 25).
"Pray without ceasing," (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
These are just a few of the things that you can build your life on by doing them. Jesus says in John 14:15 that if you love him, you will keep his commandments. If you want to grow your relationship with Jesus, you need to follow his words.
I would rather read a verse or two a day and apply it to my life like Jesus wants me to do, rather than read three chapters a day and not apply it to my life. As followers of Jesus, he doesn't just call us to read the Bible- but to follow and carry out the words of Jesus in the Bible. Of course no one is perfect, and we all will mess up, forget, or disobey- but Jesus still loves us anyways. It's all about taking it day by day.
We don't do these works in order to gain his love, because he loved us first. We are already enough for God because of what Jesus did for us. Nobody is forced to follow Jesus; it has to be by our own will. The truth is, everyone has to make that decision in life because there are only two choices. Jesus wants us to do his will because he loves us and we need him, not because he's trying to control us or patronize us.
The first step you can take today towards having a firm foundation with Jesus is to not only hear what he has to say, but to also do what he says.
"And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand."
Every time that I've felt a sandy foundation in my life where I'm not following Jesus has been deeply regretted. It never went well, no matter how hard I tried. There are seasons where we just drift away from God whether we try to or not- either something else caught our attention, we're running from something, or we have a list of excuses as to why we can't spend time with God every day. Whatever the reason is, I promise you, it's not a good enough reason to walk farther away from God.
Even my dog during storms cries from outside and continuously scratches the door until she comes inside, because she knows that she'll be safe from the storms if she's in the house. She has a firm foundation inside a closed in house, as opposed to sitting out in the middle of the storm, hoping she'll be safe.
This might sound simple, but how many times in life have we allowed ourselves to barely survive through hard times in life instead of knocking on the door and calling out to God to save us? When we need provision, safety, peace, rest, joy, love- why don't we call out to God when those hard times come? Maybe for some of us it's because we think that our own sandy foundations that we've built on our own need to be sustained on our own. Sometimes, even as christians, we subconsciously think that we still need to carry the heavy load without Jesus, but that's not true. Some of us have grown used to our own foundations that we've built in life, and we feel like we have to keep that up.
In this passage, Jesus is inviting you to place your foundation on him and not the world. One of my favorite words in this passage is the first word: Everyone. Jesus claims that everyone that hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on a rock, not just the seemingly perfect christians that go to church every week, or never miss a quiet time. He says everyone. That means you, too.
I don't know who you are, what your name is, or what your life has been like- but I know that Jesus knows it all, and he is still including you towards salvation and a relationship with him. This passage is for the person that doesn't know God just as much as it is for the person who's known God for years.
No matter what your past or present has looked like, no matter the sins, mistakes, and things that come to haunt you everyday, you can take the first step in changing your foundation today to being with Jesus instead of trying to do it all on your own or allowing the world to tell you what to do.
If you feel ashamed to come to Jesus after such a long time of distancing yourself from him, know that he's also talking to you here. Even if you haven't talked to God in awhile, you feel too dirty for him, or you feel like you don't deserve him today, this invitation is for you, too. Although nobody really deserves Jesus, he still always reaches out. This reality of relationship, a firm foundation of protection and love, and purpose is for anyone out there.
If your life feels like it's falling apart, it's becoming too much to handle or bear, or it feels empty and depressing- I want you to know that just because you have a sandy foundation today, doesn't mean it has to stay that way. Jesus has the power to shift that. After all, he said this for a reason. We have to put our faith in him.
Jesus isn't in the business of shaming you because of your faults- Jesus is in the business of loving you despite what your faults are, because of what he's done for you. You can't earn this love- it's already free and available to you. You can call on Jesus and ask him to help you build a solid foundation with him today. You can cry out to him and knock on his door, asking him to save you from the storms. I promise you, he'll let you in.
Jesus doesn't expect you to be perfect. As long as you're striving to be intentional with him no matter what way it is- through journalling, singing, writing, or any other way- Jesus is proud of you. Every day will not look the same, but Jesus will always be the same. His words will always be a firm foundation.
Thank you for reading, and all glory to Jesus!
Lately, which foundation has your life laid on?
Which foundation would you like to have?
Can you think of a time that Jesus's foundation on your life sustained you through a hard time?
What first step can you take today to being on a firm foundation with God?
"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)