Article: Building on the True Foundation | Pr. Lalachan abraham

God is the Divine Builder. Hebrews 3:4 says, “For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God” Man, also, is a great builder. Every one of us is building a life; some of us build our life based on culture. Basing your life on culture is like building a house on a constantly moving foundation. It does not work. Others build their lives on tradition. That does make a little sense. Nevertheless, no tradition lasts forever. It eventually wears out, becomes obsolete, and is invalid. In Mark 7:8 Jesus tells the Pharisees never to put tradition before truth. Many others build their life on logic and Reason. God gave us the ability to reason; we need to use it. However, our reason is not flawless, Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death”. The smartest among us will falter at times; Only God can be trusted all the time. Some others build their lives on emotion and feeling. If it feels right, they do it. If you live by your feelings, you’ll spend your life manipulated by your moods. If it does not work to build your life on culture, tradition, reason, or emotion, what should you build your life upon?  Let us consider what Bible says, Proverbs 24:3-4 reads, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

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The theme of the book of Proverbs is wisdom, the right use of knowledge. Wisdom is the foundation on which a house or family must be built. When wisdom builds a house, it stresses the importance of living according to the laws of God. Wisdom and Godliness go hand in hand. When wisdom builds a house, it builds a house where divine knowledge is a vital component of the home. The Bible is the foundation of all education and progress. One aspect of an education is studying. This requires immense dedication determination and discipline.  The greatest education is the knowledge of God. To get true wisdom, we must diligently study the Word of God.  An investment in true knowledge pays the best interest.

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The Bible teaches us that having knowledge simply is not enough. Knowledge is information and knowing facts about things. However, Wisdom is application and a gift from God alone. Knowledge becomes power only when we put it into practice.  Knowledge is for the head but wisdom is for the heart. Knowledge teaches you, but wisdom transforms you. More than information, wisdom is application. We live in a world that is drowning in information and starving for wisdom. Wisdom has three aspects: knowledge about God’s Truth, understanding God’s truth and applying God’s truth. Wisdom does not build a house based on ignorance, foolishness, and confusion. Wisdom builds a house that stresses the importance of learning, knowing, understanding and being teachable. Proverbs 16:16 says that having wisdom and understanding is better than having silver or gold.  Wisdom from God helps us in all circumstances.

Human beings of all ages, genders, nationalities, and ethnic groups are on a search for wisdom, truth, light, glory, immortality, purpose, meaning, significance and relevance. The greatest desire in the heart of every human being is of a perfect world. The greatest aspiration and pursuit of all humankind is the power to achieve this dream. We all want power, which is the ability and capacity to control circumstances and destiny. Whenever there’s a crisis, people want to know, “Who’s in charge?” They want to find out who has the authority and the ability to solve the problems, bring stability, and maintain a peaceful and flourishing life. Proverbs 24:5 says, “A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.” The chaos in our world and the uncertain nature of our individual lives reveals the absence of authority and power that can address our deepest needs and most critical issues. This is the reason many of us admire and try to emulate the talented, powerful, and influential; this is also, why we seek to cultivate a sense of hope and faith in the noble qualities of humanity.
Nearly 2020 years ago, Jesus Christ preached a profound sermon, which is Jesus’ longest, most detailed teaching recorded in the Gospels of Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7. It contains some of the most essential wisdom for building a genuine and successful life. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is the most significant sermon ever delivered. It was His longest recorded sermon, containing priceless wisdom for anyone who is serious about living a godly life. You cannot know wisdom without knowing Jesus. Colossians 2:3 says, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Those who heard Jesus deliver the Sermon on the Mount were amazed with its relevance. In fact, the crowd’s response to this incredible teaching is recorded in the last sentence of Matthew 7:29: “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” He taught with such force and clarity that it was obvious to all He was the source of the wisdom He taught.
The antidote for ignorance is knowledge, so God sent us His Word—His living Word in the person of His Son. In Sanskrit language, guru teacher/(गुरु) is ‘Gu’ (darkness) and ‘Ru’ (light).  A Guru teaches so that the darkness of ignorance is dispelled by light of true knowledge or wisdom.  Christ came to remove our ignorance about God and His Kingdom and to teach us of our heritage and relationship as children of the Father. Jesus is the light of the world. Light means knowledge. He came to show us who we really are and to expose the false and deceptive kingdom. To put it another way, Jesus came to introduce us to ourselves and to call us to become the people God always knew we could be.

Lord Jesus Christ, referred to Himself as a teacher, others called Him “Master Teacher” Forty-five times Christ is referred to as Teacher in the Gospels. Jesus Christ was the greatest Teacher who ever lived in history. Note his own words “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet, for I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” (John 13:13-15):
There is no teacher in the history of the world that has come close to Jesus in influence, principles, power, purity, practicality, and purpose. His Example was the Greatest Example. His Teachings were the Greatest Teachings. His Impact was the Greatest Impact. Jesus was not just a Teacher; he is, forever,” the Master teacher” Jesus was not just passing out knowledge; he was instilling WISDOM. While Moses gave laws, Jesus gave us grace and truth and he taught us relationships. His two great commandments were really two great heart attitudes: First. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength:” Second. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Jesus Christ taught the highest truths that were ever taught, He promoted the purest ideals that were ever presented, He gave the greatest wisdom that men ever heard, He was the wisest of men and the greatest of men. His principles can be applied by all but never refuted. His lessons, if followed, will make people grow and become perfect. His instructions, if followed, will make people holy. His Spiritual insights, if applied, will make for a healthier and happier person on the inside and a better person to be around on the outside!  Jesus taught us everything we need to know to live a good life here and prepare for a great afterlife.

There is no culture in the world where the teachings of Christ have gone that has not been transformed or improved.  The greater the teaching was applied the higher the impact.  There is not one single instance of someone practicing what Jesus taught and him becoming the worse for it. There is nothing that can be said about the teachings of Jesus but that following them makes for a better society, a safer neighborhood, and a more wholesome environment. Being a disciple of Christ not only improves the disciple, it improves the neighbor’s life too.
Jesus cleared up misconceptions of spirituality and set standards of holiness, and exposed the false teaching of the scribes and Pharisees. When He finished his teachings, Scripture says that the multitudes were amazed at His words. Christ’s words recorded in Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 are often called the Sermon on the Mount. The reason for this designation is that Jesus “went up on a mountain” (Matthew 5:1) to deliver this message. Apparently, He did this to make it easier for His audience to hear what He was going to say. Jesus’ sermon begins with a description of those who would be blessed by God. For instance,

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” -“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:6-7).
Contrary to the way earthly kingdoms operate, where wealth and power bring privilege, God promises that in the Kingdom of God, the lowly, who exhibit qualities such as meekness and mercy, will be blessed. Next, Jesus explains the role of his disciples as “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” By living righteous, kingdom-focused lives, In the Kingdom of God the attitude of the heart matters as much as the action. Therefore, anger is just as sinful as murder, and lust is just as sinful as adultery. Jesus exhorts his disciples to pursue heavenly rewards rather than earthly gain. Heavenly rewards result from righteous actions done with a pure heart for God’s approval rather than the praise of men. He exhorts his disciples to treat others, as they would like to be treated.
In many ways, Jesus’ teachings during the Sermon on the Mount represent the major ideals of the Christian life. For example, Jesus taught about subjects such as prayer, justice, care for the needy, handling the religious law, divorce, fasting, judging other people, salvation, and much more. The Sermon on the Mount also contains both the Beatitudes (Mathew 5:3-12) and the Lord’s Prayer (Mathew 6:9-13). Among the many things Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount is the absolute need to build our life on a sound foundation. He offers us a simple yet powerful illustration of two homebuilders to drive home His point. The houses in His illustration represent life, and the wind and rain are divine judgment:
”Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Jesus focused on the fundamentals of faith.  This parable has two main elements. The first element is the quality of the builder, but the second element has to do with the foundation, and as we think about the foundation, upon which we build our own lives. Two men and two houses, one founded on rock and the other built on sand. Both buffeted by wind and pelted with rain. The house with a solid foundation remains standing. The other collapses. Jesus uses this easy-to-understand yet profoundly vivid picture to direct us in building the right foundation for our lives. There are only two choices: either you build on a solid and stable foundation or you build on a shallow and weak foundation. If we are going to build on a solid foundation, we must actually do what God wants us to do. Your House is only as Strong as its Foundation. Remember the times of testing reveal the foundation on which we have built. Those who follow Christ teachings are wise, building their lives on a firm foundation. While there are several similarities, there are some major differences between these two types of people. Those differences are worth noting.

The reason people have such misery with life is that they attempt to build their lives on shaky ground. Their foundation is not solid. In order to build on the solid foundation we must submit to God’s will, it is imperative that those within the home submit themselves to the words of Jesus  and allow the saving power of Christ to transform their heart and mind.  Accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior is the first step to having a wise and godly household. Just recall the story of the man who built his house on sand. (Matt 7:26-27) “But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The Man who built His House on the Sand – he built his house with little preparation. He found a spot for his house and began to build.  Sand is unstable, ever changing and moving. Sand offers no stability. We live in a world where we want everything in a hurry. People build on the sands because it is easy. It requires little effort. Just a little change here, and a little change there, and they can fool themselves, and everyone around them in to thinking they are right. A life built on the sand requires no commitment, no sacrifice, and no faith. People who build their lives on religion, self-righteousness, and false hope will not serve God. They will not sacrifice. They only walk the easy path. Sand builders like instant results, instant rewards, instant satisfaction, and instant pleasure. They are shallow people who love the heights, but hate the depths.
Sand is not a good place to build a house. Sand can never provide a firm foundation. In this context, building on the sand speaks of people who hear the Gospel, but instead of believing the Gospel and coming to faith in Jesus, they believe they can build their lives on the shifting sands of human philosophy, wisdom, opinion, and religious activities.   They hear the Gospel, and believe its general message, but they choose to follow God on their own terms. They build the house of their lives on self-will, self-fulfillment, self-sufficiency, self-satisfaction, self-esteem and self-righteousness. Theirs is a works based religion that has the appearance of being right, but that lacks the power to save the soul. Apostle Paul describes that kind of person like this: “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,” (2 Timothy  3:5)
In Matthew 7:24-25, Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  The word “rock” refers to “a large outcropping of rock; the bedrock.” While one man built his house on the sand, the other dug deep. He dug until he reached the bedrock and built his house on the rock. The rock does not move. It is unchanging and stable. Rock offers a good foundation for a house. Building on the rock speaks of people who hear the Gospel and believe it to the point that they build their lives on it. The “rock” is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the same “rock” mentioned in Matt. 16:16-18. Rock builders understand that Jesus alone has the power to save their souls.
Rock builders hear His Word and they conform their lives to it. They hear what the Bible says about Jesus, that He is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh to the Father but by Me,” John 14:6. They hear that message and they receive it with all their heart. They hear, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16. They hear, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matt. 11:28. That message strikes them like a bolt of lightning. It comes into their hearts with absolute clarity. They hear the truth about Jesus and they believe it. They embrace it. They yield to it. The message changes their lives.
What God tells them to do in His Word, they do. What God warns them no to do, they avoid. They pay any price, walk any path, and do anything the Lord tells them to do. The house built on the rock is built by someone who realizes that God deserves the best, they sacrifice, they work, they do anything to honor the Lord. The rock builder’s obedience to the Word of God proves they love the Lord, John 14:15. Rock builders hear the Word of God, the Gospel, and make it the foundation for their lives. You can have two houses, but the one with the strongest foundation will outlast the one with weaker underpinnings..
The Sermon on the Mount is an invitation to enter the Realm of kingdom of God. Jesus describes what it means to live under the reign of God, not just in heaven, but on earth as well. This is also, what it means to pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask that God’s will be done on earth as in heaven. In applying this prayer, we pledge our allegiance to God , so that we might live our lives in such a way that we’ll be salt and light in the world. To live under the reign of God means doing for others, as we would have them do for us. Let me conclude with three simple principles to construct a life that lasts:
1. Build your life on the reality that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, what does it mean to build your life on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ?  “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and  acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock”. First, he says, “The one, accepts Jesus as his personal savior, commits himself to Him. Scripture also says, “…if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) That is the first building block for a life that lasts. Christ is Lord over all because he is God.  Christ is Lord and savior over all because in his human nature he has accomplished perfect obedience, has won salvation for us. Because of his resurrection and ascension, Christ has been enthroned at the right hand of God the Father, with universal dominion: Lordship was at the very heart of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. Paul makes this clear in Romans 14:8-9: “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord.  Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died, and rose and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” For Jesus to be Lord of your life means that He is the ruler, the boss, the master of your whole life. He cannot be Lord of a part – He must be given control of the entire life – the whole life.
2. Build your life on the stability that is in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Every sensible person knows just how critical laying a strong foundation is to the stability of a building. Life is no different. You and I must dig deep into the bedrock of Jesus Christ and his words, if we are to weather the storms that will hit our lives. What does that mean? First, he comes to Jesus, and accepts him; and secondly he hears the teaching. The second thing is that he hears the teaching—he listens to it. And the third thing is that he puts these things into practice. It is very simple three-step process. You accept Jesus as savior, you hear what He says, and then you put it into practice.  It means knowing Christ and His word and doing what we know. Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). If anyone recognizes Jesus Christ as his or her Lord, then the first requirement from such a person is utter and total obedience. If you have repented of your sins, confessed them to God, and then placed your trust in Christ, then He is your Lord and He has all rights and authority to have Lordship over you.    Jesus Christ is the only sure foundation upon which we may hope to stand.  He is the basis for who we are and all that we hope to be.  He is the rock upon which our faith is built. Jesus came to not only give us eternal life, but also give us a life to the fullest here on earth. (John 10:10)
3. Build your life in the light of eternity that is in the Lord Jesus.

We often live without a sense of eternity and without a sense of urgency or seriousness. We are often too careless or casual in the decisions we make, the relationships we establish, the priorities we live by, and the overall way in which we live. But we are always “one breath away” from eternity. Our lives were eternally chosen by God (Ephesians 1:4), and His purposes in and through our lives have been eternally purposed.  We were created by God and for God and until we understand that, life will never make sense.  If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose. It is only in God that we discover our origin, our identity, our meaning, our purpose, our significance, and our destiny. Every other path leads to a dead end. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, It is far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions.
The Bible frequently reminds us that life on earth is brief. We are strangers, and pilgrims on earth. ”A moment after a man dies he knows exactly how he should have lived. The absolute certainty of death gives the Gospel its urgency.” ”For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10)  Our relationship with the Lord   Jesus will determine where we will spend eternity (heaven or Hell), but for believers (saved ones) how we live here on earth will determine how we spend eternity (with rewards or regards). If that is the case, as believers everything we do ought to be done with eternity in mind.  Jesus reminded us that if we are going to make an investment in our lives we are to do it with eternity in mind: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mathew 6:19-21). What does it mean to lay up treasures in heaven? It means to use all that we have for the glory of God.. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”. Live with eternity in mind. If it’s anything other than faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you’re standing on shaky ground.  Christ, and Christ alone, is the solid rock on which to build a life of faith.  Edward Mote wrote it well, in his familiar hymn.

“My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”
May God help us to search our hearts hidden intentions, and replace any self-centered motivations with the eternal and excellent way of Christ? Then our works will be of eternal value. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”(2Corinthians 5:10)
God bless.

Pr. Lalachan abraham

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