Offline Prince

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« on: August 18, 2008, 02:15:31 PM »
A Purpose Filled Life Requires Solid Foundations

?If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple, The Lord's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates, Psalm 11:3-5.?

Most of us begin dreaming, at a pretty early age, of the kind of life that we?d like to build. We consider the relationships we?d like to have, the house we?d like to own and the car we?d like to drive. We may dream of positions, possessions and accomplishments.

As we grow older, we adopt actual patterns of building. Some people take the pieces that they?re handed, and try, the best they can, to fit them all together. Others are more proactive and selective. They patiently search for just the right building materials, planning carefully, down to the finest detail. It?s doubtful, however that most people give much thought to the foundation that everything will be built upon.

Foundations in a physical building are mostly underground. What can be seen is often unsightly. Unless there are obvious shifts and cracks, the average home owner may pay little attention, other than to paint or conceal them from view.

Structural improvements made to the foundation offer little, in the way of immediate reward. They may seem unworthy of any cost that might be incurred. Time and money are usually devoted to projects bringing more immediate pleasure. It?s much easier to get excited about additions, renovations, or even redecorating projects. Structural integrity in the foundation often goes unnoticed, and is vastly unappreciated until the time comes that it is tested.

When it comes to life, you are not only the ?home owner,? but also the contractor. Any wise and conscientious contractor knows how essential the integrity of the foundation is. Improper foundations are sure to crack and give way under the weight of the structure and the pressure of adverse environmental conditions. ?If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?? (Psalm 11:3).

There are three essential ingredients to a healthy and purposeful life. They are:

- A God-centered sense of self-worth
- A God-centered sense of security
- A God centered sense of significance

These three essential ingredients are like the three legs of a stool. If one is shortened or removed, everything else becomes unstable. Without them we become needy and begin to grope for people and things to fill the perceived void in our lives.

These three life-pillars are not formed accidentally. They must be shaped intentionally and they can only be done so when there is a solid foundation in place to form them upon. A proper foundation is essential to structural integrity that can support growth.

The Lord loves us so much that He does not want to see us build a magnificent LOOKING life upon a faulty foundation. Our free will allows us to do so if we want to, but God allows tests that are designed to draw our attention towards these structural weaknesses.

It?s better to experience a crack or ?cave in? before much of the house is built then for these faults to go unchallenged. Obviously, damages and subsequent costs are directly proportionate to the size and splendor of what is built upon the foundations when pressure is applied.

There is only one immoveable foundation upon which to build our self-worth, security, and significance. This is the basis and foundation of all true relationship.

Jesus Christ is the only unshakable foundation

?According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15.?

This means that Christ is not content being part of our lives. He wants our lives to be completely built upon our faith in Him.

The relationship between Christ and the Bible

1. Christ is the Word of God.

?In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, John 1:1-4.?

2. The Bible is the perfectly inspired and written Word given for our teaching and instruction.

?All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16.?

The Bible was written by God, through men, as He inspired them by His Spirit. The word "inspired" means "God-breathed." Through both the Old and the New Testaments, God breathed His anointed inspiration into chosen writers in order to reveal Himself to man. He has protected the integrity of His Holy Scriptures and they are the infallible and authoritative rule of faith and conduct that we are to build our lives upon. God honors and magnifies His Word, even above His name (Psalm 138:2).

Through the Old Testament, God concealed the mysteries that He would reveal, through Christ, in the new. When the Old Testament is read and understood through the revelation of the new, it becomes a wonderful, and unified compilation containing many "types and shadows" of the coming life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Word made flesh. Through His life, He personified God's will to man through the Scriptures. As we approach God through humble and child-like faith, the Spirit of God unites with the written Word to reveal the person of Christ to our hearts. His 419 Scamon eradicates any seeming inaccuracies or contradictions that we may perceive as we try to understand the infinite God through fallen and finite minds.

Men often make God's Word ineffective in their own lives through their proud approach to God and their adherence to their traditional way of doing things. God's Word, however will never return to Him void, but will always ultimately accomplish the purpose for which He sent it. Heaven and earth will eventually pass away, but not one letter of God's Word will fail. (Psalm 138:2, Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 5:18; 24:35; Mark 7:13; John 1:14; 2 Timothy 3:15, 17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:21).

3. The foundations of our life will be tested to determine if they are built upon the Word.

?Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven. Now this, ?Yet once more,? indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, Hebrews 12:26-28.?

?The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times, Psalm 12:6.?

4. We are the furnace of earth. When we place our faith in God?s grace by asking Christ to live in our hearts, the Word of God comes inside us. Then He leads on a journey designed to test, remove and replace our faulty foundations.

?But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great, Luke 6:46-49.?

5. Notice in the above passage that hearing the Word is not enough. We must recognize the Word as our final authority for life and practice. We must demonstrate our faith in the Word by building our lives upon it!

?But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does, James 1:22-25.?

6. Many believers focus more one the issues of life (projects, programs, causes) while the enemy subtly seeks to erode our foundation. This is not a new tactic and we should not be ignorant of his ways.

?Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.' Then the serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil, Genesis 3:1-5."

Here are some common lies that the enemy uses to erode the foundations of God?s Word from our lives:

- Humanism (You will be like God.)
- Liberalism (There are no absolutes. God?s Word cannot be taken literally. Absolute morality is intolerant and its discipline is abusive.)
- Situational ethics (Right and wrong are determined by current circumstances and by the conscience of society.)

?But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away, 2 Timothy 3:1-4!?

These three things are constant in life:

1. The Word of God is an unshakable foundation
2. Everything else in life can be shaken
3. The storms of life will prove what our lives are really built upon

Here are some things that you can do to strengthen your foundations so that your life becomes ?storm-proof.?

1. ?Hide? the Word in your heart on a consistent and regular basis. The Word is pre-programmed to produce Christ?s image and likeness through our lives when we take care to plant it in the right soil each day.

We may not always feel the immediate benefit at the time that we are reading it. The Word however is like a seed that will sprout under the inspiration of the Spirit at the exact moment that we need it.

?Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You, Psalm 119:11!?

2. Tend the soil of your heart.

?The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred, Mark 4:14-20.?

- Some are distracted from hearing the Word
- Some give up during tough times
- Some are lured through cares or through pleasures
- Some are faithful to maintain an environment conducive to growth

Our diligence to maintain the right heart determines whether the conditions are right for God?s Word to grow within us.

3. Rely upon the wisdom and strength of God?s Word to pass life?s tests. Stand upon it to fight against distraction, persecution, anxiety and lust. Each test that you pass will strengthen your foundation.

4. Exercise your faith in God?s Word daily. Strength always comes through exercise. Don?t wait for the storms of life to come to you. Challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. Identify your fears and weakness and face them head on. The more pressure that you put on your spiritual enemies the less pressure they will be able to place on you!


« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 09:50:22 AM by Prince »

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