Chapter Twelve – Matthew 7: Building and Renovating

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I see this hurting world of humanity, Your beloved ones / I see construction crews, principalities, we’ve been overrun / I see the walls going up like towers / hiding our bleeding hearts from Your healing love and Your power / I’m on my knees in prayer, volunteering, and I can’t wait for You to send Your demolition down from the sky / these walls have got to fall / I’ll be Your Joshua / Swing me back and let me fly / I’ll ride Your wrecking ball

  • 4Him, Wrecking Ball, from the 1992 album The Basics of Life

I had a hard time with this entry, primarily because I’m not a contractor – I don’t know the first thing about building a structure. Looking at the picture above, it’s difficult for me to know if the foundation is bad or if the house was just poorly built in the first place. I suppose both could be true. I know some lives that look as bad as this house.

Matthew wraps up his coverage of the Sermon on the Mount by including the Christ’s illustration of the wise and foolish builders.  Here, Jesus is saying to use Him as the foundation to build your life upon, and the result will be a structure that can withstand even the most brutal of difficult times. The challenge for me is to ask what kind of foundation am I building on? Is it the solid rock of Jesus and His promises and words? Unlike a physical building, which lays only one foundation and then begins building…in my life I need to repeatedly choose to start with the principles and words of the Christ every day.

But what I find especially interesting is that Matthew arranges the story of the wise and foolish builders right after Jesus’ words about producing good fruit in our lives. There’s a definite correlation. It’s almost as if Matthew is trying to make the point that a wise builder will ultimately produce a good structure (or fruit) while a foolish builder will not. It’s the same point just with a different scenario. And anytime something is repeated in Scripture, it’s usually a good idea to pay close attention to it.

To build on “solid rock” means to be a hearing, responding disciple. It involves practicing obedience (see James 1:22-27). Action is meant to be taken.  Without it, to be a hearer of the word and not a doer of the word, is like building upon the sand. It’s a useless foundation. A difference needs to exist in my life or I am no better than the fool who says there is no God. In fact, I may be worse than the atheist or agnostic, in that I will ultimately do harm to the cause of the Christ and drive nonbelievers away. I see this happening across Christianity today where so-called “Christian Leaders” have compromised key elements of the faith just to score political points.

If your belief system requires you to support a racist, bigoted adulterer and habitual liar for the Oval Office, you may be in need of a renovation of your faith. If your belief system requires you to refuse service to someone based upon their lifestyle, you may need to renovate your faith. If your belief system requires you to support a policy of separating families crossing the border, you may need to renovate your faith.

Are we placing our faith (laying a foundation) built upon the rock of Christ? Time will tell. The storms of life that come (and they always come sooner or later) will reveal the material upon which we’ve chosen to build our lives – and whether the resulting structure stands or falls. Moreover, if your faith has you living in a dilapidated structure, it may be time for some renovation to occur. Bring on the wrecking ball.

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Kris White

Kris White resides in the southwest desert community of Las Vegas, Nevada. She has two furry children, Ben and Mack. She is the awesome aunt to world jumpers Pike and Jude. She is the author of the soon to be released book, The Third Gate.

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