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Successful Living

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Successful Living

MATT 7:24 “EVERYONE THEN WHO HEARS THESE WORDS OF MINE AND DOES THEM WILL BE LIKE A WISE MAN WHO BUILT HIS HOUSE ON THE ROCK. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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.”

The Scriptures compare the building of two houses - one built on sand, the other on the Rock. Jesus emphasizes that only those who build on the Rock will stand. The Scriptures communicate we are to live a prepared life, that we are to anticipate the danger and build on a solid foundation. There is a Day of Trouble coming, we cannot stop it, but we can prepare.

Anyone who has watched the construction of a skyscraper has learned there is as much steel and concrete under the ground as above. The wise builder builds for safety. He foresees the danger and builds on a strong foundation. No man can stand against an enemy for which he has not prepared; no man can live right if he builds wrong. Trees without fruit and clouds without water have no value.  What profit is there if a man gains the whole world and loses his soul. 

If beauty is the builder's priority the building falls. If money is the priority the building falls. If the builder makes his own fulfillment the priority, the building falls. If I build my house on who I am, or who I want to be, then my house falls. What is our priority? Is beauty, comfort, money, reputation, or image the priorities upon which we build? If I build on my own emotional needs, then my house cannot stand. But, if our lives are built upon the Person of Jesus Christ, and if we make Him our priority, then we will be saved. We will be strengthened, fortified, and hardened against the Day of Trouble when it comes.

There is nothing better, nothing more secure, nothing that settles the heart more than living a life according to the plans of the Master Builder. It will not fail, it will stand against every storm, and you will enjoy peaceful rest. 

Upon whom we build goes to the heart of our faith. We can build on people we admire; we can even build our life on the message and values of our favorite political figure. It is common to build on the thinking of family or close friends. We can adopt any worldview we wish, and we can build our life on what makes sense to us, but Jesus says only if you build your life on what God says will you be saved. Typically, a person builds upon ground which promises the most success with the least trouble. And, if we are a person that seeks to please others, we will build where they build. 

For the foolish person a beautiful house is the priority. He ignores the Word that says outward beauty offers no protection from the Approaching Storm. The Serpent, when tempting Eve, advised her to ignore what God said and eat the fruit. He said it would improve her life. To Eve, the fruit looked pleasant to the eye, and the tree looked like it would make her wise. Satan's ways have not changed, he wants you to see life with your eyes while rejecting what God says. Satan's strategy has not changed, his message is the same - if it looks good then build where you like, your life belongs to you, and your fulfillment is the priority.  

We can get upside down in our faith. We can think the Christian life is inviting Jesus into our way of living. But that is not really God's purpose for us. God invites us into His way of living. Life is not about what I think but about what God thinks. If we're upside down we can think Jesus exists to bless our priorities. Again, the opposite is true. We are created to bless God's priorities. We are created to honor God and bring Him Glory, He is not created to honor and bring us glory.

God's plan is to build our life on the Person of Jesus Christ. I can build on myself, or, I can build on Jesus, not both. A man cannot serve two masters. We cannot conform God to our life and allow God to conform us to His Life. I must choose whom I will serve. If I make life about me and what I want, then I am building on sand. The Day of Trouble is coming and every house built on sand will fall. This is what God is saying! 

It’s very easy for me to be the center of my life. My heart tells me if I can have what I want then I can be happy. I hear the same thinking just about everywhere - me, my fulfillment, and if I can only have what I want then all will be well. I can think Jesus was slaughtered just so I could have what I want. This kind of thinking puts me at the center and will eventually fail. If I'm the center, then God is my servant, and He must build on me. But this is not true, I am His servant, He is the Center, and I and called to build on Him.

Jesus spoke of two roads, one narrow, one wide. Daily, we are faced with this choice. Both have the same label, both say “this is the Road to Life” But Jesus said only the “narrow road” leads to eternal life. God’s agenda for our life is Christ, He is the Narrow Road. Paul said to live is Christ. Paul didn’t bring Jesus into his agenda, rather, Paul allowed God to bring him into His agenda which is Christ.

God’s predestined purpose for every born-again Christian is transformation! Before the foundation of the World, God determined that He would have a people who are conformed to Christ - they would be holy and without blame, and they would love Him.

God's stated purpose for every born-again Christian is not reformation but transformation. God is not looking for a better, happier you, but a New You that is conformed to Christ. God is not trying to improve your life; He is trying to end your life. He has put your old life in the grave and has now joined you to the Resurrected Christ. The priority of your life is Christ. In Him we live and move and have our being. In Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  God has made Jesus every person's priority. Have you made Him your priority? 

He is not trying to give worldly success He is building a New Man that is transformed into the very image of Christ. God has called His People to put on Christ. Transformation delivers you out of your own kingdom and into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. This is building on the Rock!  

God bless you,

Jim

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Thank you,

Jim