Stand or Fall

Calvary Chapel

Seeing a house destroyed by a bomb for the first time leaves a lasting impression.

On May 18th, My wife and I, along with a team of others, arrived in Mykolaiv, Ukraine delivering aid. That same morning, several hours before we arrived, a 10 minute walk from where we stay on these trips, a Russian missile had slammed into a neighborhood. It completely destroyed several homes and damaged many others.

By the grace of God, no deaths or injuries had occurred. But that certainly didn’t minimize the trauma and chaos the shelling had caused those directly impacted by it, not to mention the whole war weary city. For many, a lifetime of history, memories, and possessions were lost, scarred or damaged beyond repair. The emotional and psychological toll will take years, maybe a lifetime, to access.

Witnessing all this reminded me of a passage from the Bible I have always been challenged by. It’s from the New Testament Gospel of Mark, chapter 7, verses 24 through 27.

In it, Jesus challenges the crowds following Him by distinguishing between those listening to His teachings and those actually living by them. Many people were attracted by His miracles and the excitement surrounding His controversial ministry but weren’t really hearing and responding to the truth of His words; truths which Jesus unapologetically declared made the difference between life and death, heaven and hell, salvation or damnation.

Like I said, controversial stuff.

It is in this context that Jesus uses the illustration in these verses to make his point clear.

He tells the story of two people. One builds their house on sand, while the other builds theirs on a foundation of rock. He calls the one building on the sand foolish, and the one building on the rock wise. Why? Because storms come. Foundation-testing storms always come.

In this world there will always be unexpected storms that will test the integrity of what we’ve built our lives on. Storms in the form of medical diagnosis’, financial collapses, family tragedies are just a part of the world we live in.

Death, sickness, depression, heartbreak, trauma are all storms that will descend unexpectedly, like a bomb, and reveal what kind of foundation we have beneath us.

Ultimately, what Jesus was saying to them, and is still saying to us today, is that the wise person will build their lives on the rock of God’s eternal, unshakable promises, and not on the shifting sand of this passing world.

Matthew 7:24-25 “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. 25 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.

Jesus gave us the promise that no matter how strong the wind that blows in life, no matter how high the floods may rise, and no matter how powerful the bombs that fall, our spiritual foundation will remain untouched if we are building on the truths and promises of God’s word.

So what foundation are you building on?

God invites us today to build on the eternal foundation of His love, which He revealed through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Christ Jesus the Lord. Through Him we have a sure foundation, the promise of eternal life that no storm in this life can take away.

2 Corinthians 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ.”

By Pastor Tim Mattox

Paphos Calvary Chapel

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