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  • P. Kolander

Built Right

Matthew 7:15-29

If you were building a new house what would it look like? If you got the opportunity this afternoon to sit down with an architect who was going to help you design your dream house what would be the things that you are looking for? Maybe you say, we need a pool. I need my children and grandchildren to be able to burn off some energy in the summer. Or maybe I need some extra space in the kitchen, I have 26 kitchen appliances and no where to put them, it they aren’t on the counter we never use them. Maybe in your head right now you have a list of 15 things that you wish you could do in your house if you had the financial means to take care of it. Which is true but then there is this old adage in real estate of location, location, location. A major indicator of the value of a property is where that property is. You might like everything about a house but if you are next to the runway of an airport, on a main drag, with a transformer next to you in a flood plane, it may not be the best place to have you house.

I’m not really interested in building houses for you, I am interested in helping you build your lives. But similar to building your perfect house, we make a lot of decisions for how we want our life to be and how we want the lives of the people we live with to be. This or that career, this or that hobby, this or that relationship. We remodel, we fix, we work on all of these different areas of our life trying to get them to a place where we can be content and comfortable.

But what is the foundation on? What are you building your life on? Is it really the solid foundation of God’s Word? Or is it just near the solid foundation of God’s word. If it really is about location, location, location, these things matter. Because we can’t avoid the problems of this life. We are not always going to be comfortable. There are going to be the storms that fall, and the waters that rise and the winds that blow and is our life going to be able to withstand all of that?

This is Jesus’ message the people that were listening to him on a mountain top while he delivered that famous sermon on the mount. He went up on the mountain side and began to teach the people. He has all of those statements about blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth, he explains the law that it is not just a matter of action, but it really takes place in our heart first, and God sees all of those evil desires. He told the people to love their enemies, and give to the needy, and not be proud and just make a show of their faith to get publicity, but to be humble when talking to their God, and he talked about prayer, and not worrying because God is taking care of them, and don’t judge other people without first examining yourself, and praying to God. And other things as well. Then he gets to our section for today.

First he says to watch out for people. Not everyone who says to you I am preaching to you the word of God, really is preaching the word of God. Jesus warns us that there will be people in this world who say they are preaching the true word of God, and they are lying about it. And it is up to you to figure out who those people are. You are the one who decides who to listen to. You are the one who decides where to build your spiritual house. In what spiritual community you are going to place you and your family.

It’s my job to tell you why you should build here, it is because every decision that we make here is based on the true word of God. It is because we preach Christ Crucified. It is because we care about teaching to you everything the Bible says from Genesis to Revelation. We teach clearly what we heard in romans today, that we are justified by faith apart from the law.

But you know that there are other churches out there with their own sales pitch. I’m not going to go into that. This is about our foundation, our strength, our rock who is Jesus Christ that we are built upon.

This is what we build upon.

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

All have sinned. You have sinned. I have sinned. Every person that has step foot in this church has sinned and will continue to sin until the day the day that they meet their Savior, either in death, or when Christ returns to judge the world. The law of God is the law. He has made commands for us that we might not like. There may be things that our God in his perfect knowledge has told us to do or not do, that we might not like, or we might struggle with. But the Bible is unchanging.

And doesn’t that give you comfort. Who wants a shifting foundation? Who wants to build their life upon something that is going to morph and move. No, our God is unchanging. His law is unchanging. His grace is unchanging, his love for you is unchanging.

Everything else changes. The job that we thought we were set in for the rest of our life does some layoffs because of a global pandemic. The pension that we thought was going to take care of us is resettled. The plans for the future that we hoped to have are completely changed by some unseen circumstance and it all comes crashing down. And that’s just earthly stuff.

Think of the more important spiritual matters. Think of who you are. How much have you changed in the last 10 years, or 20 years. If you're in high school the world you know now is much different than when you were 6. And when you are 26 it is going to be a whole lot different, and when you are 36 and have kids, you will look back at yourself in those teenage years and think, how was I ever that naive. We are constantly changing and growing. We are constantly getting stronger in some areas and weaker in other areas. We go through phases of hobbies and interests. We make mistakes, we learn lessons. Like I said before remodeling, rearranging, fixing, adding on to our life.

Build your life on God.

There isn’t any really getting around it. It’s not easy. But it’s the only thing that lasts. And this is how you do it. Hear the Words of God and put them into practice. It’s not enough to just listen. It’s not enough to just come to church and sit through the sermon. It’s not enough to just listen to Christian contemptorary radio. It’s not enough to just tell our kids this is what the Bible says, but then do something completely different. This is love for God to obey his commands. To build your life on God means to not build your life on yourself. On our selfishenss. On our pride. On our careers. On our intellect. On our schedule. It is to put into practice what God’s word says. Know what it says, because you diligently study the scriptures. But then also to do what it says.

How upset would you be if you designed your dream house with your architect where you went over every square foot of the house, picking our every surface and window, and layout, and then you saw the house build and it was completely different. So you went to the contractor and you said “Hey, this isn’t the house that the architect and I drew up, what did you do?” And he said, “O yah, that house you told me to build was going to be beautiful. It would have been great, but this one was way easier to build.”

No, that’s not Ok. Stick to God’s plan that he has laid out for you in his word. Keep putting in the hard work to build upon his foundation. Fix your eyes on his teachings, when you get up and lie down, when you go out and when you come in, in every single aspect of your life devote yourself to the plan that the master builder has laid out for your life. And you know, you are going to make mistakes. This is the first life that you have lived. You haven’t built a whole life before. You are going to build something up and the have to redo it. You are going to have to go before your Father in heaven and ask him for forgiveness for many, many many mistakes and he is always going to forgive you. But keep building your life upon him.

And he is going to keep building you. He is going to tear down parts of you that you have built up. He is going to add things to you that you never thought you needed. He is going to build you into a living temple for himself that he lives in. And that process at times is going to be painful. At times you are not going to know what he is doing. But your God has a plan for you to make you into something much greater than you could ever be without him. And the one person that is going to get in the way of what God wants to do in your life is you. Trust his plan. Trust that he knows how to build you life. And all of that starts built on the solid foundation that is our God.

He is the one that chose you. He is the one on whom you are built. He is the one that is building you up. He is the one that is leading you, guiding you, forgiving you, strengthening you and helping you. Trust our master builder. Trust his plans for you. He will make you something great and new built on him as the solid foundation.

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