Monday, April 30, 2012

The Storms of Life Are Revealing

Built To Last/ Two Builders

This PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS is the conclusion of THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT recorded in Matthew 5-7. The theme of this discourse is stated in Matthew 5:20, where Jesus declares, “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This was startling news to this large crowd. In their minds, no one was more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees, because they misunderstood what true righteousness was. Romans 10:3 says, “For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” In THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, Jesus confronts them with the righteousness standard of the kingdom of heaven. Then Jesus ends the sermon by saying, as it were, “If you miss my message, keep my story.”

I once heard it like this: One day, two men struck up a conversation while standing in line to get building permits. As they talked, they discovered they were going to be neighbors. They began their building projects approximately the same time. One man immediately began laying his foundation. The other man took his shovel and began digging. Sometime later, the first man began erecting the frame of his house. The other man just kept digging. The first man put up his walls and his roof. The other man kept digging. One day, the wife of the man with the shovel made her daily trip to bring him lunch. But she informed him that it would be her last. “This is embarrassing,” she complained.” That family across the street is having a house warming party tonight. And you’re still in this hole digging.” As she was leaving, her husband hit something hard. “Baby, wait!” he said. “I think I found what I was looking for!” Having established a firm foundation, he finally built his house. On his first night in his new home, a terrible storm arose. The rains fell. The floods rose. The winds blew. But he slept peacefully through it all, until his wife woke him up. “Honey, look!” she said. “That house across the street is toppling over. But he never got out of bed. He was too tired. He just slept right through the storm.

This is the story Jesus tells to warn his hearers that it is dangerous to hear his word without doing what it says. The life that lasts is built on the word of the Lord. This PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS teaches us three facts about the life that lasts.


THE PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS is about hearing and doing the word of God. The emphasis is on obedience. But that does not mean that hearing is unimportant. Romans 10:14 asks, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Hearing the word is essential to saving faith and Christian growth. But we must not stop with hearing. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” Hearing and doing must go together. In our text, Jesus describes the relationship between hearing and doing in terms of two men who built two houses on two different foundations.


Verse 24 says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” In this verse, Jesus describes how wise people live. He does not identify wise people by what they know. Instead, Jesus teaches that wisdom is what you do with what you know. More specifically, wisdom is determined by how you respond to what Jesus calls “these words of mine.” This phrase directly applies to THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. It also applies to all of the teachings of Jesus. Ultimately, it applies to all scripture. The Bible is a Jesus book. John 5:39-40 says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

Jesus says that everyone who hears the word and does what it says is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 1 Corinthians 3:10 says, “For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” But here, Jesus does not point to himself as the foundation upon which individuals must built. He declares that his word is that rock. But this is no contradiction. The teachings of Christ are inseparable from Christ himself. To build on the word is to build on Christ.

Wise people build their lives on the word of Christ. In Luke 6:46, Jesus says, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you.” Then in verses 47-48, Jesus says, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broken against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” This is what it means to be a wise person. CHARLES SWINDOLL writes: “Wisdom is the God-given ability to see life with rare objectivity and to handle life with rare stability.” God gives this ability to those who hear and obey what the word commands. Romans 2:13 says, “For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.” Wise people build their lives on the rock.


Verse 26 says, “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.” These two houses apparently had much in common. They may have been similar in size and structure and material. You may not have been able to tell the difference between the two of them. But underneath the surface there was a great difference between the two houses. One house was built on the sand. Jesus has to be exaggerating to make a point. No one would build a house on sand. Have you ever stood in sand? It is a highly unstable surface that moves under you feet as you stand in it. Who in their right mind would build a house on sand? No wonder Jesus says the man who builds his house on the sand is foolish.

The references to wisdom and foolishness are not intellectual. They are moral, ethical, and spiritual. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This is the way the people of the world live. They despise the wisdom and instruction of the Lord. There are those who think that they can build their lives without any foundations. And there are those who think they can build their lives on any foundation. Both are wrong. You are inevitably building your life on something, be it money, education, family, work, success. Will it stand? Only the word of God can stand the storms of life.

Jesus says there are many people foolishly who refuse to hear and obey the word. And he is not talking to or about nonreligious people. He is talking to people who think they are citizens of the kingdom of heaven. They hear the word. But they do not obey it. Thus Jesus calls them foolish people who are building their lives on the sand. The word of God is the only foundation that will withstand the storms of life. One day a crowd of over 5,000 men began to follow Jesus. By the end of the day, only the twelve disciples were left. In John 6:67, Jesus says, “Do you want to go away as well?” In verses 68-69, Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” These are good reasons for sticking with Jesus. He alone has the words of eternal life. And he is the Holy One of God.


THE PARABLE OF THE TWO BUILDERS contrasts the life of a wise man and a foolish man. But there is a parallel experience both men share. While built on different foundations, both houses were severely assaulted by a great storm. In regard to both houses, Jesus says, “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house.” This parallel experience teaches three things about the storms of life.


Two men built houses on different foundations – one on the rock and the other on the sand. The rains fell on both houses. The floods rose against both houses. The winds beat upon both houses. The fact that these two different houses faced the same storm teaches us that the storms of life are inevitable, inescapable, and unavoidable. You can be righteous or wicked. You can be wise or foolish. You can build on the rock or on the sand. The storms of life will still come. This clearly debunks the popular myth that erroneously claims that Christian people are exempt from the storms of life. Job 5:7 says, “But man is born to trouble as the sparks
fly upward.” Job 14:1 says, “Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.” This is the fact of life. Storms will come. Your faith in God will not prevent the storms of life. To the contrary, there are some storms you will face as a direct result of faith in God.

In Mark 4:35, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” So they got in a boat and began to sail across the Sea of Galilee. But as they traveled, a storm erupted on the sea. Note that the disciples were not in a storm because they were disobedient. They were doing exactly what the Lord told them to do. Jesus was even on the ship with them. Yet they still found themselves in a storm. Likewise, your spiritual devotion to the Lord will not keep you out of a storm. Please do not ignore this reality because the sun is shining in your life. You are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or heading into storm. The storms of life are inevitable. DR. H. BEECHER HICKS wrote a little book entitled, Preaching Through A Storm, about how he preached through an extended season of conflict in his church. The book ends with the storm subsided and peace restored. But the final chapter of the book is entitled, “Storms Keep Coming.” That’s the truth. Just because you have come out of a storm does not mean you can put away your storm gear, alert system, or emergency equipment. Storms keep coming.


You have heard the axiom, “In every life, some rain must fall.” That statement, though true, is not the whole truth. The whole truth is recorded here in verses 25 and 27: “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house.” The definite article, “the rain,” suggests that this was no passing shower. It was a torrential downpour of rain. But it did not stop there. As the rainwaters fell, the floodwaters rose. The dry ground became the riverbed of a growing stream. But it did not stop there. As the rain fell and the floods rose, hurricane-force winds swept in and beat upon these houses. Any one of these three elements would have been enough to destroy these houses. But all three of these nasty elements hit at the same time.

There are fair-weather Christians who act like they are going through a major storm the moment they feel a couple of raindrops. When multiple storm elements strike, they feel as if God has forsaken them. The fact is that there are times when life dumps one thing after another on you. And it seems that you are going to be swept away by your circumstances. But when the rains fall and the winds blow and the floods rise, God still has everything under control. The Lord uses storms to teach you to trust and obey him.

A certain woman was robbed, kidnapped, and raped. When her assailants finished with her, the tied her up in duct tape, took her to a remote location, and dumped her in a ditch. When she came to, she found herself tied up in a ditch. But she trusted God to get her out, until the rain started to fall. This was too much for her. She said, “Lord, you have allowed all of this to happen to me. And now you are going to let me die out here in a storm!” But as the rain fell, it began to loosen the duct tape. And she was able to wiggle her way to freedom. She later said, “God had to send the rain to set me free.” That’s how God works. He sends the storm to set you free.


There is a sense in which the storms of life build and develop and strengthen us. But they must first reveal and expose and prove us. This parable depicts a wise man who built his house on the rock and a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The emphasis is on the different foundations. No details are given about the structures that were erected. The inference is that the two houses had a lot in common, except for their foundations. They may have used the same materials. They may have been similar in size. They may have been comparable in worth. They may have looked alike. They may have even been built very close to one another, as they were both hit by the same storms. But they had one all-important difference between them. One was built on the rock, the other on the sand. This all-important difference would have been very hard to recognize, because the uninformed observer could only see what stood above ground. The only way to clearly distinguish between these two houses was to hit them hard with a big storm.

It is the same way in our lives. Jesus affirmed this in the parable by saying that both the wise and foolish man heard his word. That is, both men appeared to be wise. They went to same church, gave their tithes, served in ministry, lived morally, and claimed to love the Lord. If you had known the two of them, you would have assumed that they were both righteous. But they were actually two very different men. One was wise, the other foolish. One was saved, the other was not. One was righteous, the other was wicked. But nobody knew the difference until the storm hit. It is easy to fool the pastor, our family, friends, and associates, and even ourselves. But the storms of life will reveal what you are really made of. It is easy to claim faith when the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the weather is fair. The reality is that you do not know what you believe until you go through a storm. You do not know how strong your anchor is until there is a tempest at sea. You do not know how deep your roots are until the wind starts blowing. And you do not know how real your faith is until you have to trust the Lord in the midst of a storm. True faith is ambidextrous. It can receive blessings with one hand and trouble with the other hand, trusting that both come from a good, wise, and sovereign God.


Two men built two houses – one on the rock, the other on the sand. Both houses were assaulted by a cataclysmic storm. The rains fell, the winds blew, and the floods rose. But at some point, the storm ceased. This is good news: Trouble does not last always! The rain can only fall for so long. The winds can only blow so hard. And the floods can only rise so high. Psalm 30:5 says, “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Trouble does not last always. But the point of the parable is not about how long the storm will endure. It is about how long you can endure. This parable of Jesus affirms THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS, which teaches that those who have been justified by faith in Christ will endure in faith until the end. The faith that fizzles before the finish had a fatal flaw from the first. But those who have true saving faith will endure to the end – no matter how fierce the storms may be. That is the bottom-line of this parable. Your life will stand if you obey the word of the Lord. Your life will fall if you do not.

From H. B. C. Jr.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Perfect Fit

God can take a misfit and make us somehow fit into His perfect plan of salvation. Our lives are like a puzzle. The pieces fit together to make a whole. When we combine our walk with God, spiritual gifts, passions, personality, and experience, we discover a picture that shows us how we can best serve the Lord with maximum effectiveness.

The Rock

Desire God More Than Anything



Never Fails

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's All Around Us

God's love is magnificent, it is majestic, and it's not only magestic but there's meaning in every spec of His creation, right down to the grains of sand. God gave us everything we need to know him. To believe. God' intention was never to be invisible for He is seen in all things. How can we not see God when He is all around us in everything we see. His mighty hand is always at work. Every living thing represents God's love. Everything we are is a miracle of God's love.

God created everything around us so that we might see just how real and unfailing he is, not lacking for anything so that we would have no doubt he truly exists. God has made things to be clearly seen and understood.

I want to talk about how everything that God created coinsides with one another and how everything that we face or look upon, the answers and proof are reveiled to us. God has provided numerous examples to illistrate his love and has provided everything around us as a guide towards our salvation such as;

There is darkness and there is light; Picture yourself in the dark. Darkness represents being lost, we cannot see whats before us or around us, we are blinded, without hope and in fear. Now picture yourself in the sun, in the light. The light represents warmth, peace, hope, a new beginning, a new day.

The mountain; something that is out of reach, big, overpowering. We have and will face many mountains but we can rise above that mountain and God can move those mountains and clear the way for us.

Valleys; deep, long. We all go thru the valleys to stand on the mountain and overcome trials.

Air; which sustains us as God sustains us.

Rain; God pours down his love upon us like rain.

Clouds; everything will pass away.

Rainbows; The many colors of life. Shows the beauty in all things

Thunder; God's mighty hand. His power.

Oceans and waves; Deep and powerful. The ups and downs in life, tides. But God can calm the sea.

The sky; Big, wide, never ending, boundless and everlasting. No limits to God's love for us.

Laughter and joy; Peace like no other. As God's love is for us.

Sleep; To rest in him.

To awake; To come alive, To awake in his presence. A new day.

A heart; To give and recieve love and to love as God loves us.

A mind; to disifer, to figure out, to come to know God's love.

The unconcious mind: To convict and restore.

Ears to hear and eyes to see; To behold All God's Glory.

A tongue; To taste. To know the difference between good and bad.

A mouth: To pray and praise and share the wonders of God.

Hands and arms; To touch and hug. To pray and praise God for all he is doing and to love others as God loves us.

Legs; To go out and share the word of God.

Miracles; Healing and happiness. The wonders of God's love.

His Holy Spirit; The fruits of the Spirit were all given to us.

Flowers and sunsets; Beauty, restoration, renew.

Birds and fish; Proof that God takes care of all things both great and small.

Life; To live for him and be an example to others.

Right and wrong, feelings and love: Who could have possibly created right from wrong? Who created feelings? Who created love? It had to start somewhere. Somewhere way before us.

Romans 1:20 " For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and devine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse"

For those who do not believe, I suggest you take another look. For he is all around us! We are surrounded by God's love in everything we see. "All things work together for the Glory of God!!!

The Most Important Relationship

Have You?

I Know

Worry Not

Wherever You May Go

Close the Gap/By Michael Davidson

I guess I'm quite the popular fella in the world of social media! I've had several people ask me why I deleted my Facebook page. I've heard several people say I need to learn to balance my time and its not a problem. I appreciate the fact that people miss me and have told me they miss the links to my blog and seeing my photos, etc. But I didn't delete my Facebook because of balancing my time, I deleted my Facebook because of the time in general. Whether I set aside 5 minutes of my day to check Facebook, that's 5 minutes that I could be using to spend talking to my wife. That's 5 minutes I could be using to read my bible. That's 5 minutes I could use to play with my dogs. It's not about Facebook being consuming all my time, its about Facebook consuming my time in general. Sunday, as I've blogged previously, I overheard a comment that discouraged me a little bit. I've really been pressing through lately and that comment really kinda set me back a little bit. I shouldn't have let it get to me, but I did. I've heard Clay say time and time again in discipleship class to really press through. Go to your prayer closet and become one with God if you really want to see Him move in your life. There's power in prayer and fasting and reading the word of God. Well that's what I had been doing. I was talking to Brandy earlier this week and the topic of Facebook came up. So I deleted it. Yes, I still have my twitter account. The difference in Twitter & Facebook is that all I do is update my status. There's not other pages for other people where I can spend long periods of time reading post comments, looking at photos etc. Its a cell phone app that I use to kill time on break at work. (you can follow me at @mjdx if you'd like) My friend Mandy posted on her blog earlier this week if you really want to see God move give Him your whole you. Yes, I used Facebook to witness to others at times, but I want to be in that place with God for myself before I witness to others. Like I said in a post earlier from the week, I want to speak in tongues. I want to feel that experience. I want to be able to lay hands on others and heal the sick. I've been doing it a lot lately at church. I've really been pressing through. If you want to see results, push in toward God and do it with all your heart. Now some of you non believers may be reading this and think "My goodness, Michael! You're nuts! You can't heal the sick!" Mark 6:13 says "And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them." Matthew 17:20-21 says "...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." I believe that with every thing in me God has the ability to do these things because that's what His word says. Revelation 22:19-18 says "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." You may not agree with it, and that's fine. Well it's not fine, but its not up to me to make you. I can't choose eternity for you. That's between you and God. You may call me crazy and wonder what would make me just up and one day decide to give myself to God and honestly, that's not something I can really explain. Its not something there are enough words in the world to do it justice. All I know is I'm not the same me and that's all the proof I need. Not only do I have a family who needs a healing touch from God, not only do I have friends who need a salvation in their life, but I need God as well. I need His hand of protection over me each and every day. I need His caring grace and mercy. I need His love in my life. Without God we're nothing. John 15:5 tells us apart from God we can do nothing. He died for me, the least I can do is spend my time giving Him praise & worship. The least I can do is spend every ounce of spare time I have reading my word. Proverbs 18:22 says that "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." Family is a huge part of our lives. Spend time with them. They won't always be there. These are the days you're never going to get back. So yes, I deleted my Facebook. But what I've gained, is more time with my wife. More time with my God. Even if it is just a little bit more time than I already gave them, a little bit means a whole lot.... to all of us.