Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
Sermon On The Mount (Part 32)
Conclusion #2: Sand Castles
But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.
Matthew 7:26-27 (NKJV)
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.
Psalm 127:1 (NKJV)
I was a builder of sand castles. It started on the beaches of South Carolina when I was a little girl. It was bright and salty fun that brought joy to everyone, especially God and me. We laughed together at the power of the waves.
As I grew older, my construction projects grew bigger. I became a dedicated builder--building As in school, building friendships, building a family, building a career and a facade. But in my busyness, God became distant to me. So did joy. As decades passed, my buildings crumbled.
I dropped out of college--thinking it futile. Friends dropped me--thinking me futile. My daughters grew independent. So did my husband, and my business wobbled on a foundation that began to shake, as clients became competitors. My facade cracked.
At the age of 51, I had to go back in time. I had to get down and dirty--like the little girl on the beach. Jesus met me there, again--with love and tender attention. My reconstruction began:
I found a new Teacher. He said achievement is a fraud without the right focus. I made new friends. They showed me loyalty. My daughters became born-again believers, but my husband stayed away and remarried. Even so, my Consolation was no small matter: I got engaged to a King. In the process, I received a facelift: an exchange of beauty for ashes.
My business was transformed, too. A new Foundation was laid. Formerly Actors, Models and Talent Competition, it became Actors, Models and Talent for Christ: a non-profit ministry. All of the work I had done and all the contacts I had made found their purpose: to serve God and His people in the mission field of media.
But our building had to be right, so God made it right. In addition, He gave me a fringe benefit of great value: my daughters and their husbands work with me. In fact, one is AMTC's president. So my family came back--bigger than before. Add in AMTC's performers and staff, and I have thousands of loving relatives. All of this was built by One Carpenter and the hopes of a little girl.
But to all those who are as I once was, I say to them: get off of every high horse you ride. Get out of every empire you built. Give them all to God. Because without Him, they are destined to fatigue and failure. Forget what the world says is important, because the world lies. All that matters is what God says--and what God builds.
So go back to your own sandy beach. Get down and dirty. Ask Jesus for Living Water. Laugh and cry with God at the fragility of sand castles. As for the rest of your life? Ask God about that, too.
Without a doubt, but with loving and personal precision, He will rebuild your life--into a beautiful structure that will stand in timeless memorial.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Sermon On The Mount series.