Foundations!Trouble with foundationsis that nobody sees them.Roots.Trouble with rootsis that nobody sees them.And in our "show time" societymost people aren’t interested in foundations and rootsMost people want the skin deepthe show mefoundationless-Storyteller from DesperatePreacher.com
Foundations are one of those parts of a house or any building for that matter that most people don’t pay much attention to. We all figure that the contractor we have hired to erect our building knows everything about the building codes and understands the laws of physics and will put a foundation underneath that can’t be shaken. How many of you have checked the foundation of your houses lately? Is it still as strong today as when your house was built?
So, how many of you can tell me what are the requirements for a strong foundation, one that won’t be phased by strong winds or earthquakes? What type of foundation is best, poured concrete, cement block with rebar, or what about a wood foundation? Which one is the best?
I’m like most of you; I put my faith in the person I asked to construct my building to put the proper foundation in place so there would never be a problem for as long as I was alive. You do know that if the original design is flawed the whole house or structure will be susceptible to damage.
In order for a structure to be resistant to high winds or earthquakes the building design has to incorporate strong connections between the foundation, wall, and roof and connections between the walls, particularly at the corners and connections amongst all the components that make up a wall and roof. Connections and what they are made of are very important to a structure.
First, the proper foundation and footings needs to be in place at the proper depth and the proper width to carry the weight of the building sitting on it. And then the two have to be connected properly with bolts and/or plates up through the sill plate and into the walls.
Think about what I have just said and then think about us as human beings. I remember hearing my parents and grandparents talking about kids having a good foundation to build their lives on. I didn’t understand it that well then but now that I’m older and Linda and I have seen our own children more or less grown and out on their own I have a much better understanding what they meant.
Just as the a building must have a foundation constructed of the best materials with the exact physical dimensions to support the weight of the structure for a lifetime or two so our lives need a good foundation. So again, the same question as before, what is the best foundation for our lives?
Let’s start with the Old Testament lesson. It said that Noah was a good man, the most innocent man of his time; he walked with God. And when God told him to build this great boat it said that he did everything God commanded him to do. I guess that meant that he didn’t question him about any of it; he trusted that God’s word was enough. His faith in God to take care of him and not lead him down the wrong path was the foundation he built his life on.
The psalm we listened to this morning asked us to look at the beauty and wonder of the world all around us, to look at God with loving eyes. The psalmist knew that God would fight for us, that he would protect us. The foundation he built his life on was faith that the God who created this world would fight for him and protect him.
Foundations are seldom seen and don’t add a bit to the beauty of the structure but you won’t find one building plan that doesn’t have one. Well maybe you might find one or two, but you all know that kind of building is not going to be around long. It won’t be able to withstand the forces of nature. It probably won’t even last one lifetime.
Paul in his letter to the Romans reminded us that God has a plan for all of us, to rescue everyone who trusts in him. He said that our acts of faith show that we have a right standing before God and because we trust him we really live. Paul tells us that things have changed. It used to be that it was God who set things right but now it’s Jesus who is setting things right. And it’s not just for Jewish Christians but “for everyone who believes in him.”
Because God had a plan and created this solid footing through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ those who put their faith in Jesus are experiencing the glorious lives God wills for all of us. Like Paul said this is “pure gift,” there is absolutely nothing that we can do or could do to get ourselves right with God. We would just mess it up; in fact we often do make messes that he has to clean up for us. Getting the foundation right, trusting in God’s love through the sacrifice of his Son who took the world’s sins upon himself and died, went through Hell for us and rose again, is the first step in building a life that will stand up to the storms Satan sends our way.
It’s begins with the foundation but there’s more to it. In order for a house to be able to withstand the storms and forces of nature everything has to be connected. The connections between the foundation, the walls and the roof have to be solid and the connectors must be made using the right materials. I mean you wouldn’t think of using Liquid Nail to connect all the components of a house together would you. No, in some places you might use bolts and in other places you might use plates of steel or sheet metal straps to connect the structure together.
Connections are important in our lives too. We should begin with a good foundation, a belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior, but then we have to go one step further. We need to be sure that we have good connections. Without connections our lives can fall apart just as buildings do that don’t have all the components of the house secured properly to each other.
What kind of connections do you think we need? Houses or buildings use bolts, rivets, plates, etc but what type of connectors do we need in our lives? How is the foundation connected to the walls and the walls to the roof?
I believe it begins when parents make the decision to bring their families to church to worship and to be taught. I’m making the assumption that they have already given their lives over to Jesus and are now taking the next step.
That’s what church is. It’s about connecting mature Christians with new Christians, mentoring each other; it’s about being connected to each other in our relationships, supporting each other and holding each other accountable and loving each other. People who come to church are connected, connected with God and connected with other people who have come to worship God. Relationships develop in small groups and before you know it we are all held together by our connections.
When we begin by coming to church we learn that there is more we can do to build a strong life, a life that will withstand the forces of evil. We learn to build strong connections with God and each other through the study of the Word, through prayer, and in fellowship in small groups. We build connections when we are “sent” out into the world to make disciples of all nations. We are connected when we go out and tell others about God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. Each of these connections works to grow God’s family and make the church stronger.
It all begins with a strong foundation upon which to build. The body of Christ is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). Paul told the Corinthians that “No one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.” Jesus is the foundation stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, the sure foundation that the prophet Isaiah talked about.
Friends, our foundation is in Jesus. He is the rock we can rely on to be there for us and support us no matter what comes our way. With Jesus as our foundation we have not one thing to fear. It’s all part of God’s wonderful architectural plan for his church.
Through God’s generous love we are connected to him through Jesus Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are connected to Jesus and his teachings. We are connected to all God’s children when we go out and share the love of God with those we meet on our journey through this life.
Foundations to build lives upon and strong connections to hold everything together trusting in God’s plan for his church, that’s what our lives are all about.
My friends God loved you enough to send his Son to die for you so that you could be saved from your sin. God laid the foundation stone. Today God is calling you to take the next step, trust in his Word, give your life to him and be changed. Come and be connected to the One who gave his life for you so you could be freed from the hold sin has over you life.
God loves each of you and so do I. Amen.