SOLID AS A ROCK

Last week, I wrote about the promise that no weapon formed or forged against us can prosper. But, if your life is anything like mine, you know that these weapons will sometime pummel you like a Cat 4 hurricane, roaring in at you with winds over 150 miles per hour. They will sometimes shake you like a rag doll. I’ve been through a few of these trials in my lifetime. How about you?

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After Hurricane Michael (a Category 4 hurricane when it hit the Florida panhandle) decimated much of Mexico Beach, Florida, the Sand Palace of Mexico Beach was the last house standing among the beachfront homes on its block. In an article in the New York Times, published on October 15, 2018, I read the story about the amazing home the Dr. Lebron Lackey and his uncle, Russel King built and named the Sand Palace of Mexico Beach.* 

Due to the frequent hurricanes that reach Florida, there are governmentally required building codes for all new construction. In many areas, homes must be built to withstand 175-mile-per-hour winds.  However, in building their home, Lackey and King “did not even refer to the minimum wind resistance required in Bay County” (which was only 120-15 miles per hour) and instead build the Sand Palace to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour. 

According to the New York Times article, Dr. Lackey said, “We’re thinking that we need to build a house that would survive for generations.” Certainly, the Sand Palace has already proven its ability to take a beating and remain standing.

When I read about the Sand Palace, I could not miss the irony that this actually was a house built upon the sand

Matthew 7:24-27 [NIV] "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

The Sand Palace survived in spite of its location because it was built of stronger stuff. The materials and method of construction were more than what the minimum that the authorities and the local regulations required. Lackey and King were looking for long-term success. They didn’t just want to survive what Florida had been through before, but also any much worse storms that might be coming in the future. 

It behooves us, as Christians, to consider not only where we are building, but also, what we are building and the construction materials we are using. 

Remember that the scripture says, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” The building blocks for our survival of the storms of life are putting into practice the words of Jesus – not just knowing them. 

Many studies have shown, for example, that a majority of US citizens believe in Jesus. However, Matthew 7:24 does not say that acknowledging Jesus as savior is the key to withstanding life’s storms. Rather, Jesus, in His own words tells us that we must put His words “into practice” in order to be like the wise man building his house on a rock. 

We build a solid home on the foundation of THE Rock, Jesus, by living His words. If we back up to verse 21 of Matthew 7, we find that Jesus says, Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. {Emphasis mine}

In Matthew 7 alone, Jesus gives us plenty of words to put into practice in our lives:

  • He tells us not to judge others, but to be about the business of cleaning up our own faults. (verses 1-5)

  • He tells us to diligently and consistently ask, seek and knock. (verses 7-11)

  • He tells us to seek to enter the narrow gate. (verses 13-14)

  • He bids us to watch out for false prophets and identify them by their fruits. (verses 15-20) (Watch out for what they are using to build their houses!)

It is important to know that, within this text, this chapter, we also find that often quoted “Golden Rule”: Matthew 7:12 [NIV] So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. 

And there it is, sisters - the bottom line. Everything we are called to build with or build on is summarized in the “Golden Rule.” It covers everything we find in all the Law and the Prophets. 

I know that I could do a better job of calling the “Golden Rule” into mind in making my decisions in life. I could do a better job of asking, “In this situation, would I want someone else to say this, do this, think this, or post this about me?” 

Considering some of the other words of Jesus in this chapter alone, I should be doing a better job of ensuring I bear the fruit of a follower of Jesus – so that people know me by good fruit and also know that the Father is good by the fruit I produce – fruit which also points to God’s goodness. I could be more devoted to consistent and passionate seeking, knocking and asking.  I could focus more on the plank in my eye and not the specks in the eyes of others and to ensuring I’m on my way through the narrow gate.

Jesus is our Rock and we can be “solid as a rock” – or solid as THE Rock too – if we are using the right building materials. 

Living by the words of Jesus. Doing the will of the Father. These are the building blocks of a life that survives the storms, even the ones coming at us at 150 miles-per-hour, to live past future generations into a life that will last all eternity.  Build wisely. 

I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. Tell me about your Category 5 trial and how you survived it. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.



*You can read the full article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/14/us/hurricane-michael-florida-mexico-beach-house.html