The mystery of building a life
太7:24-27; 路6:47-49; 1/10/2021; BCBC/IOUC; Rev. Paul Wang
In last week’s sermon, we were told that the mystery from lamp to light is to live out the light and witness God’s glory. If one’s life is not built up, how can he or she witness for the Lord? So, what is the secret of life building? Let’s look at the first point:
Foundation of rock
Since it is building life, the foundation is very important, agree? First, choosing to build on a rock. What is a rock? It is a big hard rock that can be used as the foundation for building a house. Today we have to build a house with armored concrete foundation, which is actually equivalent to building a house on rock. Building a house on rock because it is stable, does not shake, and can be used for a long time. Our faith is based on eternal view and we long for kingdom of heaven. How can it last if it is not built on an eternal rock? It is not difficult for us to see people walking on the road of faith, and some people leave after a short distance. What about you? How far are you going to go? Going far or near is related to the foundation we lay. Where are you going to build the foundation of your faith? Remember, building on the rock is your own choice and no one would force you.
Next, putting God’s words into practice. Have you ever thought about what Rock means? Yes, I believe everyone knows it, it refers to the word of God. Choosing to build on the Word of God means to make the Word of God the driving force of your life. I hope that everyone can understand that God’s words and the opinions produced by God’s words are two completely different things. It’s a pity that we usually don’t understand the point so that we regard relativity as absoluteness, right? I can persist on the relativity that I affirmed, but I cannot force others to identify with my relativity. Agree? God can allow the church to experience persecution similar to early church, and he can also convert the Roman emperor to the Christianity in 317 AD. God can allow the Chinese church to experience the persecution of the Cultural Revolution, and allow the church to have decades of room for development. Of course, he can also allow the church to experience the persecution today again, couldn’t he?
Lastly, going through trials and hardships without collapse. Why does God allow America to have Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Truman, Clinton, Obama, Trump, and Biden? Every U.S. election may bring trials and hardships, big and small, do you agree? Was the storm heavy in Washington on January 6th? Does it have a big impact on you? What is left in your heart? Is it anger, sadness, disappointment, or hatred? The Bible says, The Lord sits enthroned over the flood. May I ask, does God reign in your heart? Do you believe that God is still in control? Do you have the heart of Jesus Christ in your heart? Is the gospel more important than your political bias? Are the storms of the US election taking away the rock in your heart? Let’s take a look at the second point:
Collapse of sand
What is sand here in the scripture? Sand means the uncertainty factors, which move our focus away from God. Therefore, the Bible says that the end of sand has collapsed. Can you understand? First, collapse is also a choice. There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. You say you believe in Jesus, but you don’t obey Him, and don’t take the Bible as the only criterion. The only ending would be being collapsed and destroyed, can you understand? When we are used to talking with too much certainty, and absolutize the relative issue, then collapse would become the high probability option. How the foundation of the house is built, how the structure is unfolded, the order to lay the roof tiles, have all become the decisive factors for collapse. Think about it, in our minds, how many are based on Sola scriptura? Or are there other determinants besides the Bible? Have our flesh, background, history, shadows, hatred, worries, hobbies, habits, pride, prejudice, darkness, etc., become the backdrop for our choice to collapse?
Second, not following God’s words. Maybe we have great enthusiasm, high passion, and a lot of involvement, but it has nothing to do with God’s words. Can this be you? It’s not surprising, right? There is a brother who wants to be an elder after a long time in the church. The pastor did not approve his requirements, so he spread rumors in the church and drove the pastor away. The co-workers encouraged him to pray, but he said: There is no need to pray on such matters? This U.S. election may be shocking for many people, or even disappointing. A sister called me from a country at Oceania and asked me: Pastor, Trump is not elected and Biden is elected. What should I do in the future? I said, does it have anything to do with who is being elected? No matter who is elected, don’t they all have to face this problem? Does the word of God affect you?
Lastly, ignorance is the neglect of God. I believe no one wants to build the house on the sand, right? What good will a house collapse do to you? Since you have believed in the Lord, you don’t want to deliberately disobey God’s words, right? But this problem is very a paradox, which involves the relationship between motivation and effect. Neither China nor the United States is recorded in the Bible. Why do we pay so much attention to what happened in these two countries? Does the election of Trump or Biden really draw your heart so much? The church invites everyone to go on short-term missions, evangelism and testimony on weekdays, do you have the same type of enthusiasm? What are the priorities of our lives? Then you said you didn’t mean it? Didn’t it mean that you’ve missed the point that the gospel was our concern? Sorry, paying attention to the gospel as the highest priority is the responsibility of our children of God. We have no right to ignore God and the gospel! Let’s look at the third point:
Power of obedience
Where is the problem? Why is the construction of our lives so difficult? First, avoid walking on the easy path. Sand is easy, the road is clean, but the foundation is shallow. Build a house on sand and use a small shovel to complete it easily. By having an evangelistic conference, many people would raise their hands. It’s nice and touching, of course it was great! But the real challenging part is the following new believers growing, discipline training, leader training, and serving positions, right? How many tears, how much accompanying, how much prayer, and how much cost? These can only be told by God and can not share with others. The loneliness, being misunderstood, being looked down, being humiliated, and even being abandoned on the cross…all that the Lord experienced back then will be experienced by all who follow him.
Next, willingly doing the fundamental work. Fundamental work is often not valued by people, right? A Bible study class may not have many people, two or three or several. Just like Peter, James and John who were with the Lord back then, right? Without the light of the big church, without the enthusiasm of social attention, there is only loneliness. Are you still willing to do so? God may not ask you to do big things, but only small things in people’s eyes. Will you obey? But if we are like what’s in the scripture” They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. (Luke 6 :48)” Will you obey?
Lastly, only listen to God’s voice. If you want your spiritual house not to collapse, you can only listen to God’s voice. The reason is simple, Jesus said, “But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” (Luke 6:49)” Samuel said: “To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)” Without the voice of God, why do we care Who is the president? The Bible does not say, why should we say that this election is the battle between good and evil. The dispute between God and Satan will be dealt with together when the Lord returns. Only the Lord can decide. Are you worthy of this honor, do you understand? Trump and Biden don’t have this position, neither of them! At least the Bible doesn’t say it, so where did you hear it?
The mystery of building a life is that God is looking at where we set the foundation of our life.? Is it on the rock or on sand, what is your choice? May I ask, are you willing to purely listen to God’s voice? Follow God’s sacrifice, willingly being in His humbleness, Even God’s sacrifice, are you willing to?
Matthew 7: 24 – 27
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.”
Luke 6: 47-49
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[c] 49 But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”