What Are You Building On?


Luke 6:46-49

As we move further into this new year of 2021, I think about all of you, and about my family and me. I have no idea what this year ahead holds for any of us. (I learned that from thinking I knew what 2020 held as it began.) For most of us, this past year was a mixed bag of blessings and trials. But whatever last year held, it is gone now and we have a brand new year in front of us. This New Year is a time for new beginnings. As you look at how you will invest your time, energy, intelligence, monetary resources, etc, in 2021, there are a couple of questions that deserve answering. The first is: What are you building? We’re all “building” something. Also, as you think about what you are trying to accomplish, there is another question that goes hand-in-hand with the first: What am I building on?

In this Lukan passage, Jesus presents two options – building on sand and on rock. But what do those translate into for us today? Jesus talks first about those who build on rock, so I will, too.

I want to suggest to you that the rock represents principles of God that are immovable and immutable. If you choose to build your life on Kingdom principles, then you have chosen to recognize that there are certain ideas that are right/wrong… helpful/hurtful…God-honoring/God-disgracing. The Bible is full of principles by which you can live without falling into simple legalism. These principles help us in our relationships with other people and with God. Consider the following as examples. Jesus reminded us of the two greatest commandments. There are also the 10 Commandments. There is the Golden Rule. There is the word from James that teaches us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. You can also live with the fruits of the Spirit as the measuring stick for your behavior – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and selfcontrol. You can pattern your life after Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, who shows us what it looks like to love like God and live within the will of God. These are things that you can go to on a day-today basis. They are tools to help you make good decisions. They are God’s principles – a great deep strong rock upon which you can feel safe building.

The sand, on the other hand, could be seen as representing preferences. What are preferences and why are they not good to build upon? Well, preferences are those likes and dislikes that each of us normally has about various things. You have preferences in your diet. Some of you may prefer chicken, some beef; some may prefer not to have meat at all. Some like dogs, others like cats. Some prefer the ideas of liberal America, while others prefer the ideas of conservative America. You get the idea.

There are two main problems with building your life on preferences.

1. Each of us has our own set of preferences. Therefore, as we try to live in society with one another, we will find it difficult – if not impossible – to arrive at consensus on anything if we only use our preferences as the standard.

2. Our preferences tend to change over time. I don’t like the same things to eat now as compared to when I was a kid. I don’t dress the same. My taste in cars has changed. When I was a kid I wanted a ‘66 Mustang convertible…now I drive a sensible safe Kia. (Okay…I still want the convertible.) My point is this…how can we build anything stable on a moving target?

Here’s the thing. Our temptation is to build our lives on our preferences rather than on God’s principles. And for a while that may work – as long as the weather is good. But, as the Palestine of Jesus’ day was known for its sudden torrential rains that could create instant floods that destroyed everything in their path…so also is this world known to deal pain and destruction into our lives when we least expect it.

So, what are you trying to build this year? What are you trying to build it on? The goals that you have for the coming year may seem good to you right now, but have you measured them against Kingdom principles? Have you listened to what Jesus is calling you to do in His Kingdom? Because if your daily activities and goals aren’t grounded in Him, they will be short-lived and useless. Sure, you’ll be tired at the end of the day doing things your own way, but you will also be stressed, unfulfilled, and without true vision and direction.

So as you plan for this year, why not let Jesus be the architect for what you want to build in your life. Ask His advice on where to build it, and then with Him at your side, get busy building a life that will glorify the Father and contribute to his kingdom.

Pastor Ross

Last Published: January 20, 2021 9:32 AM
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