Wednesday, September 25, 2013

OMTL Day 25: "Sticks and Stones"

But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.
              --Matthew 7:26


Jesus told a story about two builders. They were both building the same thing -- a house. They both faced the same problem -- a storm. But in the end, one house stood and the other fell. The difference? Where they built. The house that stood was built on the rock. The house that fell was built on sand. 

Sand is soft and comfortable and easy to work with. Rock is hard and uncomfortable. Sand conforms to your shape. Rock requires you to conform to its shape. 

It's tempting to build your life on sand, that is, to hear the teaching of Jesus and go your own way, do your own thing. That way of life may look easier and more comfortable at first, but later, when the storm hits, it's not so great. 

Later in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul talks about building again. This time he's talking to Christ followers -- those who are building their lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ:
Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames (1 Corinthians 3:12-14 NLT). 
Imagine your life as a house--a house that you are building. Your first choice is where to build--on the rock (Jesus) or on the sand. 

After you make that first important decision, you continue to build for the rest of your life. The choices you make about how to invest your time, talent, and resources are like additions to your house. If you invest in things that are of no eternal value, then you're building your house with sticks. The problem with sticks is they don't last. They will burn up in the fire of God's presence.

But if you invest your time, talent, and resources in things that last forever--like people--God's Word--God's Kingdom--then you're building your house with stones. Stones don't burn when exposed to fire. They last forever. 

The point: There are things you can do now (in this life) that you'll appreciate then (in eternity). Following Jesus is not just a matter of saying the Sinner's Prayer and then biding your time until you die and go to heaven. You still have a life to build. And you can build a life of God-centered choices and Spirit-empowered actions that will follow you into eternity; or you can build a life of self-centered choices and flesh-driven actions that may feel great now but will be revealed as worthless when you get to heaven.

There are things you can do now that you'll appreciate then.

TODAY'S CHALLENGE: 
What could you do today to invest time, talent, or some of your resources in something that will make an eternal difference? 

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