January 11, 2015  Luke 6:46 – 49   Foundations


   I want to talk about foundations today which are very important.   Jesus talked about foundations in this passage.  I have been on the Hoover dam twice in my life.   It is over 725 high and it crosses between Nevada and Arizona.  The dam weighs over 6 million tons.  It was constructed between 1931 and 1936.  In 1934 there were over 5,000 men working on it and over 100 men died while working on its construction.    The dam has created Lake Mead which is over 100 miles long and is over 500 feet deep at its deepest point.  The Colorado River supplies the water to Lake Mead which comes from the snow melting from the mountains of Colorado Nevada and Utah.   If I remember correctly the dam is over 600 feet thick at the bottom and at the bottom the water pressure on it is 45,000 pounds per square foot.  There has to be a good foundation to hold that kind of pressure.  

      Dedicated in 1093 AD, is one of Europe’s oldest gothic church stands proudly as a magnificent and massive architectural creation.   It is located in the city of Winchester, in the county of Hampshire, in the United Kingdom. Winchester Cathedral is indeed a sight to behold.   In 1905, however, some serious signs of structural weakness appeared in the cathedral – ominous cracks began to develop. Some architectural experts suggested buttresses to prop up the walls, or tie-rods to hold them together.   Finally, an expert maintained that the foundation should be probed and so deep shafts were dug to the foundation. There they discovered that the great cathedral had been constructed on a bog.

      The original builders had laid tree trunks flat on the soft watery soil, and on that had reared their building. The miracle was that the building had stood as long as it had.    Restoration work was carried out by T.G. Jackson in 1905–12. Waterlogged foundations on the south and east walls were reinforced by diver William Walker, packing the foundations with more than 25,000 bags of concrete, 115,000 concrete blocks, and 900,000 bricks. Walker worked six hours a day from 1906 to 1912 in total darkness at depths up to 20 ft, and is credited with saving the cathedral from total collapse.   Foundations are important. 

    The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands at a height of 183.27 feet on the low side and 186.02 feet on the high side.   The construction of the Tower began in the year 1173 and ended in 1399.  It was built on clay and one person said the foundation was only 10 feet deep.  It weights over 14,000 tons and it is a bell tower.  The tower at one point leaned 5.5%.   The tower was closed at one point because it was feared that it was unsafe.  Twenty years of research and study were done on the tower. The final solution to prevent the collapse of the tower was to slightly straighten the tower to a safer angle, by removing 1,342 cubic feet of soil from underneath the raised end. The tower was straightened by 17.7 inches, returning to its 1838 position. After a decade of corrective reconstruction and stabilization efforts, the tower was reopened to the public on December 15, 2001, and was declared stable for at least another 300 years.  The tower now only leans about 4%.   There have been other attempts to fix it with little to no improvement.  It is considered an engineering failure but it has stood for years.  In WWII the German snipers were located in the tower and the allies were going to shell it and destroy the building but it was decided to save it. 

     Jesse was working on doing an addition last year for a person.   They were going to do an addition over a garage which seems pretty simple but they discovered that the garage was not on a 4 foot deep cement foundation and suddenly the job cost goes up several more thousand dollars.  Foundations are important.  Life foundations are important also and Jesus talks about that in this passage. Life foundations are more important than building foundations.   Many people are learning that the foundation of their life is important.   Jesus talks about building wisely and then your life stands when the storms of life hit.  Jesus tells us how to have a good foundation for our life and family. 

         Gene Gregory said that he grew up around construction and building material people. He said you can learn a great deal about builders, their values and abilities, if you look at what they build before the caulk and paint go on.   He was amazed at how poorly; some of the finest looking houses were actually constructed.   Some of those homes had the shoddiest materials in them. Others had good materials, but very poor craftsmanship.   Things would be slapped together, jack-legged, and then painted over.   He discovered the same thing while working on roofs.  The old saying, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear is very true.   If the beginning, if the foundation is not square, if it is not leveled properly, and graded properly, there isn’t much you can do to fix it. It has to start right.   That’s what Jesus is saying here. He says, the building has to begin right, it has to be anchored securely, or it will fall apart. People can build on sand or the solid rock.  Some folks chose to build on sand and others on rock. 

    Jesus starts this passage with the words why do you call me Lord and do not do what I say.     Jesus always cut to the chase so to speak.  I suppose everyone who tries to minister has felt the same things that Jesus felt.   People are fast to say yes Lord yes but when things require a deep commitment the person is nowhere to be found.    A Lord, master or boss is typically someone you obey.   You do what they ask whether you want to or not.  Jesus said not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.  Heaven is reserved for those who do the will of the father.  Jesus said many will say we cast out demons in your name and did many wonderful things in your name and Jesus will say on judgment day depart from me I never knew you.  That is frightening isn’t it?   Many will say I did a lot for you and Jesus will say no.  You do not belong to me.  For Jesus it is not yes on Sunday and no to him during the week.  Barna said 8 out of 10 Americans claim to be Christian but have little to no relationship with Jesus. 

     In John 6 the crowds followed Jesus for food.   Then Jesus said to them unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you are not mine.  Jesus was talking about a deep communion with him in this passage and the crowds were not ready for that yet and they left him.   The rich young ruler came to Jesus wanting to know how to gain eternal life and Jesus tells him to keep the commandments and he said I have done that since my youth and Jesus then tells him there is one thing you lack.   Go and sell all that you have and come and follow me.   It was too much for him and he turns away.  Is there 1 thing that we lack?  

    Jesus makes it plain that there are going to be storms and challenges in our life. The bible tells us that God tested Abraham.   Abraham take your son your only son Isaac and offer him.   Life has its challenges.  God will test you.   Do not think it is strange that life is difficult.   There will be issues.   We live in tough days today.  Scripture tells us that in the last days perilous times will come and the love of many will grow cold.   Jesus wants us to stand.   Jesus wants us to persevere.

   How do you know if you are going to stand?   How do you know if your life is on the solid rock?   The answer is in this passage.    In this passage Jesus talks about 2 different ways to build in your life but only 1 way will stand in the end.   That person is the one who hears and listens to Jesus words and then puts them in his or her life.  There is application to what is heard.   That person makes a change in how they live.   They practice what God tells them to do in the bible.  That person stands in the storms of life. 

    I am concerned that a number of us do not make the bible a priority in their life.  The bible may be a best seller in this nation but I think it is not read a lot.   One of the finest public schools in America Newton High School in Massachusetts was offering a class entitled the bible as literature.  The man who was going to teach the class decided to see how much his students already knew about the bible so he started a discussion about the bible.   He quickly found out his students had some interesting ideas.   One of the students said Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers.    The gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John.   Eve was created from an apple.   Jesus was baptized by Moses.  One of the top students in the class answered the question what was Golgotha with Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David.   There are too many people with little to no knowledge of the bible.  

    It is good to have an anchor and to have a solid foundation.  Without it a person can be blown around by everything that comes at them.  That person can follow the crowds and popular opinion.  They can base their life on that which is false.  Jesus said that the road is narrow that leads to life and broad that leads to destruction.  The key in this passage is the word of God.   The word of God is very important for the Christian.  That is a very important part of our communication with the Lord.  The Christian should love the word of God.  It is God’s love letter to the Christian.   The word of God is a source of blessing to us.   It is a source of strength for us.   The word of God is light and truth.    Jesus said eat my flesh and drink my blood and that means feed on him spiritually. 

    I think it is important for Christians to read the bible and to get the bible in our life.   We are born again by the word of God.  The word of God is powerful.  The word of God tastes good.  Jeremiah said your words were found and I did eat them and they were the joy and rejoicing of my heart.   It is real food for the soul.  The bible is God breathed.  Our life is better with His word.   We can hear the word of God we can read the word of God.   We can study the word of God we can sing the word of God.  We memorize the word of God and we can meditate on the word of God.  You may ask why should I put God’s word in my life?   Well Jesus said you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.  God’s word is truth.  God’s truth frees us. 

   David said in Psalm 19 the law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.   The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.   The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.   The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.     The fear of the Lord is pure, the decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.      By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  David said God’s word was more precious than gold.   It is more precious than money.  It is worth digging into it for wisdom.   It provides something that money cannot buy.  Jesus said in this passage that the person who is founded on the word and applying the word of God is solid.   They have a good foundation.  That person will find their life is on the solid rock of Jesus.   They can stand in the storms.   They are locked into that which is eternal.   They have a foundation that is better than anything this earth can offer.   Jesus said not 1 single thing will be lost of His words.   This world may burn up but not his word.  Gods’ word can change us and mold us.  It can purify us and keep us from sin and evil.  

    Psalm 1 speaks of the foundation of those that put God’s word first in their life.  Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.    That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.    Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.      Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, or sinners in the assembly of the righteous.    For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. God blesses those who meditate on His word day and night.  God uses their life and prospers them.  They have a good foundation.   The song writer said on Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand.   The world offers quick sand and that is not good. 

     When it is all said and done what is the foundation of your life?   Are you on the solid rock and if so how do you know?