“LAYING THE RIGHT FOUNDATION”
CWBC – 7/8/18
INTRO – Good morning, everyone! I’m so glad we are here today to worship Jesus Christ together!
Most of us in this part of Mississippi understand how important a foundation is in the building of a house or a building. Anybody here know what this is? (show slide w/ words “calcareous fossiliferous mudrock”) How about if I say this? (slide w/ “Yazoo clay”) All you have to do is say those words & people immediately cringe. It’s actually “calcareous fossiliferous mudrock” & people hate it!
The opening lines of an article in the MS Business Journal state this: “Oh, that devilish Yazoo clay. It continues to be the bane of builders in Central Mississippi, making shambles of the best-laid plans — not to mention foundations. The water-loving formation expands when moist and contracts when dry, making it a moving target and a disruptive force in the construction industry.” (http://msbusiness.com/2008/06/yazoo-clay-old-problem-getting-new-look-from-researchers/)
Southside Baptist Church – We had to keep cutting the bottom of the front doors of the church shorter & shorter b/c of the Yazoo clay beneath the church, causing the building to move.
House fire that is a total loss – “Well, we saved the slab!” Might be a joke w/ firefighters, but not a joke when it comes to families in our society. We need to save the slab, the foundation.
The family is under fire in our society today. It’s getting harder & harder to accurately define what a family is these days. Traditionally, it used to be a man & a woman who were married to each other. The man was the father, a woman who was the mother, & those 2 had kids, which produced a family. But nowadays, that traditional family is getting rarer & rarer. It still it exists, but it doesn’t seem to be the norm any more.
- Psalm 102:25 – “Long ago you laid the foundations of the earth & made the heavens w/ your hands.”
- And long ago, God laid the foundation for the family. We need to make sure we are laying the right foundation for OUR families & building on that foundation.
Open your Bible or your Bible app to Matthew 7:24-27 (page 812 in pew Bible). Beginning series for remainder of July – “Fight for Your Family.” Today: “Laying the Right Foundation”
Matthew 7:24-27 (ESV)
Build Your House on the Rock
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.”
EXPLANATION – The family is the foundation of our society. And a strong family must have a solid foundation. Jesus makes it clear in this parable that a strong foundation is important in every area of our lives. We MUST lay the right foundation for our families, & that foundation must be Jesus Christ & the Gospel.
This passage of the 2 house-building men comes at the end of Jesus’ foundational teachings of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). This powerful sermon that Jesus’ gave covers several important subjects & issues that directly impact our families. One person said: “If we were to summarize the Sermon on the Mount in a single sentence, it would be something like this: How to live a life that is dedicated to and pleasing to God, free from hypocrisy, full of love and grace, full of wisdom and discernment.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/sermon-on-the-mount.html)
Let me give you a very quick overview of what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 5:3-12 – The Beatitudes
Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt and Light
Matthew 5:17-20 – Jesus fulfilled the Law
Matthew 5:21-26 – Anger and Murder
Matthew 5:27-30 – Lust and Adultery
Matthew 5:31-32 – Divorce and Remarriage
Matthew 5:33-37 – Oaths
Matthew 5:38-42 – Eye for an Eye
Matthew 5:43-48 – Love your enemies
Matthew 6:1-4 – Give to the Needy
Matthew 6:5-15 – How to Pray
Matthew 6:16-18 – How to Fast
Matthew 6:19-24 – Treasures in Heaven
Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry
Matthew 7:1-6 – Do not judge hypocritically
Matthew 7:7-12 – Ask, Seek, Knock
Matthew 7:13-14 – The Narrow Gate
Matthew 7:15-23 – False Prophets
Matthew 7:24-27 – The Wise Builder
In the passage we are looking at today, Jesus makes it clear that these principles & truths are foundational for our lives. He says “Everyone who HEARS these words & DOES them will be like the man who built his house on the rock” (v. 24). Luke wrote it this way in Luke 6:47-48 – “Everyone who comes to me & hears my words & does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep & laid the foundation on the rock.” When we build our lives & our families on the Rock of Christ Jesus & the Gospel, we show that we truly are His hearing, responding, obedient disciples, not deaf, superficial, disobedient disciples.
In contrast to the “wise” man, Jesus describes the “foolish” man. Greek word for “foolish” means, “dull, stupid, unwise.” This is the person who is not willing to dig down deep, to put in the work necessary to study the Bible, learn its truths, & apply them to their family’s life. This is the person who hears the sermon on Sunday morning but chooses not to put the sermon into practice. That person will sooner or later find out how foolish that choice really is when their lives crumble like a house of cards. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the person who ignores Jesus’ teachings, or who just thoughtlessly goes through the motions of life will eventually experience a devastating crash in their lives. Jesus put it this way: “And GREAT was the fall of it.” The Greek literally means, “It was a MEGA fall!” Brenna Manning commented on this verse: “If we bypass these words of the Great Rabbi, the spiritual life will be nothing more than fantasy.”
Every family will be built on some kind of foundation. The only RIGHT foundation is JESUS!
The Design – From the very beginning of time, God has made it clear that the design for the family is HIS design. Gen. 1-2 is the creation account. The crowning pinnacle of His creation was the creation of man. He created Adam & Eve & brought them together in the first marriage. Gen. 2:24 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father & mother & hold fast to his wife, & they shall become one flesh.” God blessed them, & instructed them to “Be fruitful & multiply…” (Gen. 1:28).
Jesus emphasized this same divine design in Matthew 19 when the Pharisees were challenging Him about the question of divorce. He said in v. 4-6 – 4 …“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Then the Apostle Paul gave this instruction in Eph. 5:22-31 – 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a]28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
So, you see that the perfect design for families was God’s design from the beginning. And it’s still the best design, despite all of the efforts by our society to redefine what families are supposed to be. You cannot improve on God’s design for the family! “Focus on the Family” writer, Glenn Stanton, wrote: “Sociologically and anthropologically, no society anywhere has found an alternative to the gold-standard of parentage—-a married mother and father—-for providing the health, safety, educational and life-opportunities that thriving children require.” (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/you-cannot-improve-on-gods-design-for-the-family/)
Our society is trying to redesign & redefine families, & unfortunately, some of those ideas are seeping into the minds of many people within the Church, especially in the younger generations. Our society’s support & celebration of gay marriage, gay couples adopting or having children, unmarried couples living together, & other unbiblical family practices is unleashing storms into the lives of families at unprecedented levels.
The Difficulties – The rain, floods, & wind that Jesus talked about in His parable came to both men. That’s true for all of us. The storms are going to come to all of us in some way or another. Can’t avoid them. They are going to come to all of us. We can’t avoid them, but we can prepare for them. And that’s the difference between the 2 men in Jesus’ parable.
The difference is in how each man had prepared for the imminent storms. The man who listened to Jesus’ teachings, learned from Him, & applies His teachings to His life stood strong when the storms crashed in on him & his family. The man who foolishly ignored Jesus’ teachings & went his own way, doing his own thing, thinking he could do life w/out heeding Jesus’ teachings experienced devastating destruction of his house. All of that could have been avoided if he had just listened to Jesus & heeded His instructions & commands. Dr. Tony Evans: “A house, in this biblical parable, can refer to many things. It can refer to a person’s life, church or even our society. But it can also, quite literally, refer to a family and their home. If and when we seek to build our families on anything other than the stable foundational principles of the Word of God, it will not last when life’s trials and challenges come upon us.” (http://tonyevans.org/the-foundation-of-family/)
How foolish we are to KNOW what Jesus’ commands are regarding our lives & choose to disregard them & disobey them! Why do we expect that there will not be adverse, negative consequences in our lives when we do that! But it happens all the time. And the damage that is done to our families as a result of our foolishness is horrific, painful, &, many times, irreparable.
Watching the show, “Deadliest Catch.” Episode talking about “mixed seas” & “rogue waves.” Mixed seas are when waves are coming from every direction instead of one direction. Unpredictable. Turbulent. Dangerous. Rogue waves are those massive waves that come out of nowhere & crash into the boats. Those waves weigh a hundred tons or more & are 60 feet high or more. Also known as freak waves, monster waves, or killer waves.
Sounds a lot like the turbulent waters that many families find themselves in these days.
The Do-Over – Mar. 3, 1966 – date that many of you older adults will remember well. Candlestick Park tornado. F5 tornado that touched down just south of Raymond. Continued right through south Jackson, destroyed Candlestick Park shopping center, throwing cars ½ mile into the air. Killed 19 people in Hinds County, & by the time it dissipated near Tuscaloosa, AL, the death toll had reached 58 people.
But you know what happened after that? People emerged from the rubble & destruction & began to rebuild. Many of you then grew up in south Jackson in one of the best places to live in in Mississippi.
Rev. 3:20 – I know this verse refers to Jesus knocking on the door of the Church. But I believe we can also make the application of Jesus knocking on the door of the houses of families that have been devastated & destroyed by the storms. After a tornado passes through a city or town, people go all over the rubble of the homes calling out for survivors. Jesus does the same thing in our lives as families. He comes to us after the storms, in the midst of our rubble, knocks on the door of our broken-down house, & offers us His grace & His power to put our families back together again. He offers us His grace-filled do-over so that we can rebuild our families HIS way & according to HIS plan.
CONCLUSION – Maybe you feel like you’ve been through a tornado in your family. Maybe you feel like you’re in one right now. Maybe you feel like there’s some Yazoo clay underneath the foundation of your family right now.
Today, Jesus offers you His do-over. Come to Him today. Let Him help you rebuild your family on HIS foundation. Remember:
Every family will be built on some kind of foundation. The only RIGHT foundation is JESUS!