Mark Alan Williams
Do You Have A Firm Foundation For Life?
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I learned early about the importance of having a firm foundation for life. When I was just 4 years old, my mother gave birth prematurely to my brother Scott. He lived only a few days and died on July 2, 1959. (My assistant Patty was recently able to find a death record.)
The Williams family 1960. There should be one more in this photo. (And I’m not talking about Claudia who came later.) I’m the one in the brown jacket.
I never even saw my brother Scott. But I remember well my mother’s sadness. She was crying. I was confused and said to her, “But you told me Jesus will make it all OK, right mommy?”
My father’s side of the family had a burial plot in the small cemetery near Rudyard, Michigan. A few days later dad got permission to transport the tiny casket in the trunk of our car. We drove from Columbus, Ohio to the little cemetery where Scott was laid to rest.
Some people don’t have a close encounter with death until they’re much older. Perhaps it was a blessing for me to learn firsthand about how important it is to have a firm foundation for life.
But even when we don’t have to deal with death, there are plenty of other challenges which push us to find a firm foundation:
Do you have a firm foundation for life to ground you through these challenges and threats?
Here are 2 ways to find a firm foundation for life:
01. Consider the futility of false foundations.
Jesus talked about two men: one who had a firm foundation and the other who didn’t:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)
Do you catch who built his house on the shifting sand? It was “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them.” (verse 26)
The firm foundation is the teaching of Jesus in Scripture. All else is shifting sand.
Consider some of the “sand” people try to build on:
Many believe in “me.” They are their own god. They don’t need any help from the Almighty.They can “handle it all” themselves. But after a financial crisis, heart attack, or other calamity they find that their belief in “me” is not firm at all.Some put all their faith in family. Perhaps their spouse, their children, their parents. But while family is often wonderful, it is often not. Conflict, misunderstanding, infidelity, divorce, and feuding seem to strike every family. And even if these problems don’t arise, eventually all family will be lost through death.Some put a lot of stock in friends. I have a few nearly life-long friends, but because of distance, I see them every year or so. Other friends seem to come and go. Most coworker friends are only friends of proximity.Some put their hope in hope. They say things like “It will all work out in the end.” Or, “It will all be OK somehow.” But that’s simply wishful thinking. There’s no guarantee.Some put their trust in money. But money cannot buy the most important things in life: love, peace, happiness. Another problem with money is that it is good for a while, but when we die everybody leaves it ALL! It might help in this life, but Jesus said it is a hindrance to eternal life if it makes us think we’re OK without Him. (see Mark 10:25)
There are many false foundations. Don’t be fooled
02. Build on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.
The Bible says: “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV)
Many years ago when assembling a backyard swimming pool, I learned about the necessity of a firm foundation.
We had a large patio that was slightly off-level. The above-ground pool assembly instructions strongly emphasized the importance of having it on a completely level surface. If the surface was slanted, it said that the pool would collapse under the weight of the water.
To level the surface, I had a not-so-brilliant idea: I could level the surface with sand! I purchased bags of sand and went to work building up the low end of the patio with the sand.
Then I put the pool liner on top of the sand and tried to build the framework around it. But guess what—the sand lacked stability. It didn’t work at all—the pool started collapsing as soon as we began to fill it with water.
I felt so foolish as I had to start all over. I disassembled the pool and moved it to the yard where there was soil I could level off.
This time the pool had a firm foundation. It stood strong and our boys had many hours of joy playing in the pool. We got a trampoline and they would jump from the trampoline into the 4-foot-deep pool!
Here’s the pool and trampoline. Tons of fun once it was on a firm foundation!
My question to you: have you built your life on the firm foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Bible says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)
And how do you believe in Him? “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 NKJV)
This verse describes a simple two-step process:
Believe that Jesus died for your sins, rose again and is able to answer when you call on him.Say to the Lord Jesus “I believe that you died for my sins and rose again. You are the Lord (boss) of my life.”
When you follow these two steps you have a firm foundation for all of eternity: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13 ESV)
This verse says we “know” we have eternal life when we do the two steps above!
That is a firm foundation we can build on. Do you remember how to build on that foundation? Jesus told us in the first verse I quoted above: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24 ESV)
Live by the words of Jesus, which is not only the direct quotes of Christ, but the entire Word of God (the Bible). Then you can lean on promises like the following:
“Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the day-time, and in the night his song shall be with me.” (Psalm 42:8a KJV)
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38, 39 KJV)
I can hear some reader’s questions:
Can I really trust the Bible?
Why aren’t my prayers answered?
Why is there evil if God is so good?
There are great answers to these questions. I’ve covered many of them on this website and in my podcast called “Christianity Questions and Answers.” Here are a few examples:
Podcast: Why Aren’t My Prayers Answered?
Podcast: Isn’t Christianity arrogant to claim to be the only way to heaven?
The boys had a blast in that pool once it had a firm foundation. Here’s our Ben (left), Danny (right) plus a friend.
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