Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What are you building your life on?

In the teen Sunday school class that my brother teaches, we've been going through a 4-part video series called Dug Down Deep. I highly recommend it. 

The first session was entitled, "What are you building your life on?" 

In other words, what is the one thing that you think about most? What do you fall back on in times of struggle? What keeps you going?

All aspects of life begin with our thought-life. (Proverbs 4:23)

The answers to these questions vary greatly, even among Christians. We could be trusting in our current circumstance, a steady bank account, or our own self. You may build your life on whatever you want, but there is only one foundation that will give you unconditional peace, joy, and purpose. Everything else - even money - will fade away. (see Matthew 6:19-21)

There is only one thing that will truly matter in the long run. 

This foundation is - you guessed it - Jesus. 
We as Christians may tune this out because we already know it. We may think, "I'm saved, so I'm built on Jesus." If you truly confessed your sins and made God the Lord of your life, you are His. But do you live like it? 

If we put our faith in ourselves, we are putting our faith in the one who goes through life not knowing what will happen. If we put our faith in the Lord, we are trusting the One Who created that life, the world, and all the events that take place in it. 

Why would we hesitate to give up our lives to the God Who gave His life for us? 

Just like a house, the foundation will make it or break it. If you choose the wrong material, it may survive in times of steady weather, but it will collapse from an intense storm. It's the same way with your life - if you are building your life on something other than Jesus, than you may feel just fine when things are stable, but when tragedy strikes, you are no longer supported. 

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 

And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 

 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

Faith in Christ can't be shaken by anything - not even the ultimate storm (death). As Romans 8:35-39 states:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 

39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Even as Christians we become easily distracted with the things of this world. We can unintentionally build our life on the sand, because salvation alone doesn't necessarily keep our life built on the Rock. As Jesus says,

 "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." Luke 9:23

We need to totally surrender to God daily. We will live a life of "not I, but Christ" that Paul mentions in Galatians. We are no longer living to please ourselves, but to please God. (see Colossians 3:23 and  Ephesians 6:4-8). 

As we dedicate everything we do as an act of worship, we should feed ourselves with the truth (reading the Bible) and allow the Spirit to lead us. Why? Because we are not our own; we were bought at a high price that we didn't pay(1 Cor. 6:19-20). Our sinless Savior paid that price. That is why we owe Him our lives.

Every small decision we encounter is no longer met with "What do I want to do?" but "What does God want me to do?" True discernment is not swayed by what everyone else is doing. If we think of our life as a web diagram, then before we were saved, the word "me" was in the center circle. All the other aspects of our life - education, job, hobbies, etc. - all stemmed of the "me" in the center. It was "yes, I'll help that person, but how does that help me?" However, now, "God" is at the center. All the other aspects of our lives should stem out of a desire to please God. "Yes, I can follow that dream, as long as it glorifies God." Or, even better, glorifying God comes first, and the dream just radiates from that desire.

I don't know about you, but I've got a lot of work to do.

Of course, we can not get to where we need to be by mere human willpower - only through the unlimited power of God. Together, let us strive to lean on Christ, our only solid foundation. 

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