Psalm 15:5– “Whoever does these things will not be shaken.”
Jesus told a parable, a teaching story, that makes sense to everyone who hears it: “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”(Matthew 7:24-27). In a word he is saying, “If you build your house of faith on my word, on a good foundation, you will stand and will be unshakable. But if you build your house of faith on anything else, on a sandy foundation, you will not stand.”
Where is your faith built? On what is the foundation built? Many times we build our foundation on the things that we do or accomplish. We find confidence when we’ve taken the right steps and have done the right thing. We have certainty when we’ve checked things off our checklist. In fact, we feel quite successful and accomplished if we mark things off that list; especially when we feel like it’s God’s list. But how will you ever know that you’ve checked it all off the list? How can you be sure that you’ve done everything on the list well? Often times my kids will say that they’ve cleaned their room, but they’ve just rearranged the mess under the bed or behind the closed closet door. They didn’t really do what I asked them, even though they claimed to have done it.
A far better foundation is to build our faith on what Jesus has done. When his parents told him to come home he got up and obeyed. When his Father in heaven told him to do something, Jesus did it even though he knew that it would be painful. A faith built on what Christ has done is unshakable and unshaken because he has done it all and he has done it all well. His own Father, the ultimate decider, checked his room and declared, “This is my Son, whom I love with him I am well pleased.” Quite clearly for all to hear Jesus has done everything well. And we get to take credit for that! We get to claim credit for what Jesus has done. And no, Jesus is not upset that we would take credit for what we have done (like a brother or sister might be). In fact, Jesus wants us to take credit for what he has done; Jesus wants us to brag and boast about what he has done.
Lord I have done all these things because your Son, Jesus did all these things! Jesus has become for us wisdom from God – that is, OURrighteousness, holiness and redemption! Yes, let him who boasts, boast in the Lord! (This last paragraph is a restating of 1 Corinthians 1:30-31).
Lord God in this world where we count everything and track everything, it’s so easy to brag about the numbers. It’s so easy to boast about the things that I’ve gotten done. It’s so easy to take pride in the things that I’ve accomplished. But then I step back and realize not only how evil that attitude is but also how far I’ve fallen from doing those things that you really want me to be doing. But then I see Jesus who did everything well FOR ME. Then I see Jesus with whom you were pleased FOR ME. He is everything that I should be. Through faith is everything that I need to be. Through faith he is everything FOR ME. Lord God help me to boast in you and your works. Teach me to brag on your wonderful deeds. Teach me to bring all glory to you so that I become less and you become more. Make it clear from my words and actions that you are everything to me and for me. Amen.