Sandcastle or Fortress?

Written by: Josh Powell

Several weeks ago, my family and I decided to go to the beach.  The weather outside was perfect, the beach conditions were calm, and there weren't crowds of people swarming our favorite spot.  We knew it was going to be a great day.

One of my daughters decided that she wanted to build a sandcastle and dig a moat.  She gets all the buckets and shovels together and starts clearing the space where she will build an amazing structure.  Then the digging begins.  She starts digging the moat, scooping the used sand into the bucket.  She then poured out the bucket (efficiency doesn't run in the family), took it to the water, and filled it up.
She runs up to her spot, water is splashing all over as she runs, sets the bucket down, and proceeds to fill the bucket with sand she just poured out (see-efficiency).  She stirs up the sand and water, making it a play dough type texture. Finally, it's ready to be turned upside down and the grand reveal.  VOILA!  There it is. An excellent bucket-shaped castle that she was so proud of. Then all of the sudden, a huge wave hit the shore and takes her castle away (I know we have all been there).  

That makes me think of our faith in Jesus and reminds me of something he teaches in the Sermon on the Mount.  In Matthew 7, Jesus is wrapping up his message and then tells them something very practical.  Something very profound.  

"24Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock"……." 26 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.  a great crash." – Matthew 7:24&26

We have spent the last 4 weeks talking about the Sermon on the Mount and what it means to live "The Good Life."  We have looked at practical ways to love others, serve others, and become more and more like Jesus by following his teachings.  These verses in Matthew 7 are no different.  

We all have the option to build our faith on the solid foundation of Jesus, choosing to put his teachings into practice.  When the storms of life come your way, is your faith built on the firm foundation of Jesus or yourself?  If you are relying on yourself to get you through, if you say "I" or "me" more than "He" or "Jesus," then your house is being built close to the water, just waiting for that wave to come and wash it away.

What would it look like for you to build your faith in Jesus?  The next time something comes your way, and you want to look inward, look upward and thank God for the blessings you have been graciously blessed with.  Read scripture and etch the promises of God on your heart.  Pray continuously to give all your fears and anxieties to Him.

Take steps towards Jesus this week, and feel how much more sturdy your house is. 

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