Building a Foundation
This week, as we start our new sermon series and looking at the sermon on the mount, we will be starting at the end of Jesus' sermon. Jesus closed his sermon with the story of the wise and foolish builders. One chose to build on rock forming a solid foundation, and the other decided to build quickly on the sand creating an insecure foundation. I was reminded of Hurricane Andrew as I thought about this passage. I was living in Niceville, FL at the time. Although we didn't get much rain for the hurricane, we received massive storm swells out on the beach.
This was the first storm since my family moved to Florida. After it had passed, I drove down scenic 98 to my favorite seafood restaurant and beach access. When I arrived, I witnessed a collapsed parking lot and pavilions that were standing like islands in the sand. The water had washed away the sand foundation for the concrete and asphalt and all that was left was the boardwalks and buildings on raised platform. The image continued as I drove farther, and I saw houses that had no driveways but appeared to be ok.
This made me think about how easy it is for our outer defenses in our spiritual lives to be beaten down by the world and the things the evil one throws at us just as the waves tore down the sand. But, if our foundation is strong, we will still be standing when it is all done. Having a strong foundation is what we will be talking about as we start our series this week.
Some of the things I will be talking about is what builds a strong foundation or our spiritual disciplines. John Wesley identified two types of spiritual disciplines: works of piety and works of mercy. Works of piety are the spiritual disciples we expect most often: prayer (public and private); the Lord's Supper; the reading, listening, and studying of the scriptures; and fasting. His works of mercy were widespread concerning the care for the sick and needed. Works of mercy are what we would commonly refer to as service and charity work today. To read more, check out this great article.
Questions to Ponder:
- What is something that you do to keep yourself spiritually strong?
- Who is someone you turn to when you need help?
- What's a practice you could add to help you strengthen your spiritual walk?
- Is there anything that you do on a weekly base that seems to drain you spiritually?
Other Scriptures to Look At:
- Matthew 16:13-20 - Jesus calls Peter a rock
- Why did Jesus consider Peter's foundation so strong?
- What can we learn from Peter?