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Posts Tagged ‘The Solid Rock’

Trust and Confidence

July 22nd, 2014

“He who began a good work in you will complete it.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV.

Self-confidence will fail but confidence in God is well placed.

My thoughts and comments today are about “trust and confidence.”

Confidence is essential for happiness and success. It is easy to admire those folk who seemingly go through life with calm self-assurance, having neither hesitation nor doubt. In reality, they are more like you and me than they may at first appear. They may have learned to manage emotions and measure responses, or have not yet faced serious challenges to their self-reliance. The Bible gives you wise counsel, “And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NKJV. Self-confidence will fail at inopportune times.

Some people, even the best of them, may disappoint you – some unintentionally, a few others even intentionally upon occasion. “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8 NKJV. Trust conveys the idea: “to put your weight upon.” See Proverbs 25:19 NLT. You would not rest your weight upon a broken cane; you would not sit upon a broken chair. Your confidence is no stronger than the foundation upon which it trusts.

Be prepared; there will be times and things in life that rattle your confidence. Confidence is rightly placed on a sure and always trustworthy foundation. Your confidence can rest assured on this unfailing foundation: the Word of God and the character of God.

One of my favorite hymns confesses, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.” (The Solid Rock/Edward Mote and William B. Bradbury). “Blessed are all those who put their trust in [God] . . Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Psalm 2:12 NKJV/Jeremiah 17:7 NIV. Whatever the test or circumstance of the moment, you can be confident when you place your trust in God and His Word. They are unchanging.

The Apostle Paul knew where his confidence could rest securely, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 NKJV. I love that Jesus is identified as, “The Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV), and “the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 21:6 NKJV). You and I begin much more than we conclude successfully, growing weary in the process or simply finding we do not possess the resources, experience, knowledge, abilities, or determination. What God begins, He completes. On Him you can depend. See 1 John 5:14-15 NAS.

Confidence in God is well placed. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:35-36 NKJV. See also Hebrews 4:16 NIV.

Today, my prayer for you is that you trust completely and rest securely in God.

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Building Plans

May 3rd, 2012

“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder.” 1 Corinthians 3:10 NIV

“Your life, and all that is in it, requires a strong and eternal foundation.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “building plans.”

Bruce, our son, is a builder in the best sense of the word. He is truly a skilled craftsman building custom homes, commercial buildings, and presently loves building churches. As a pastor, I have been responsible to work with architects and contractors on several major building projects, most recently the establishment of a new church and school campus. In those building projects, I have learned to rely on people whose specific experience and skills certainly exceed my own.

Building successfully requires careful and thorough prep work. Among other things, financing and foundation are central, preparing and providing for all the structure that will follow. Design development is a process involving architectural concept, drawings and engineering, financing and loan agreements, proposed budgets and construction costs, plans and permits, firm contractors’ bids, site development, and actual construction. No one begins to build without clear building plans that provide a strong foundation, structurally and financially, upon which to build.

Jesus said being a Christ-follower is like that, “Don’t forget to count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of funds . . they would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and ran out of money before it was finished.’” Luke 14:28-30 NLT. Whatever you build, the foundation is critical to your success. The foundation determines the expanse or limitations of the structure that follows. That’s a lot like life.

You are also a builder. In the course of your life, you will build many things, things much more consequential than just a residence or commercial facility. Be diligent in what you build and expert in how you do so. Much depends upon building well. Follow God’s plans for your life exactly; your future depends upon your doing so. You are building habits; choose them wisely. You are building a reputation; establish it carefully. You are building skills; make them useful. You are building friendships; prize them highly. You are building a future; insure it is one you desire. You are, or will be, building a marriage and family; invest yourself adequately. You are building a life; make it one you are proud of. You are building for eternity; build your foundation on faith in Christ alone!

Paul an apostle, a gift-ministry that builds Godly foundations in churches and lives, wrote, “By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder . . each one should be careful how he builds. No one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ . . if what he builds survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 NIV. Your life, and all that is in it, requires a strong, eternal foundation; that foundation for all you are and all you do must be God’s Word and the living Word, Jesus Christ, God’s Son.

Jesus’ words can be trusted, “I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock . . [adversity] could not shake it because it was well built.” Read Luke 6:47-49 NIV. Jesus is that rock. If your foundation isn’t solid, nothing else you do will work the way it should. I love to sing the traditional hymn, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.” The Solid Rock.

My prayer for you today is that you build according to the blueprints and specifications of God’s Word.

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Build Wisely

April 29th, 2010

“Anyone who listens . . is wise, like a person who builds on solid rock.” Matthew 7:24 NLT

“How quickly you build is never as important as how well you build.”

My thoughts today encourage that you “build wisely.”

It seems astounding to me that a person would work so hard to build a worthwhile life and sacrifice so much of themselves to do so without careful thought to the durability of what they are building. That just doesn’t make sense, does it? But that happens all the time. It happens in careers; it happens in marriages and families; it happens with reputations; it happens with wealth; it happens with fame and celebrity. Have you heard of “fifteen minutes of fame?” Don’t sell your soul for temporary pleasures or profits.

How quickly you build is not as important as how well you build. Never has been; never will be! How expensively or cheaply you build is not as crucial as how well you build. Jesus used the examples of two men building their homes. They had more similarities than dissimilarities, but there was one catastrophic difference. One built for right now with little regard for later. The other built to last.

One man built on sand, and what he built could not stand the tests of time and trouble; it collapsed because of that fatal flaw. “So are the paths of all who forget God. And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, whose confidence shall be cut off, and whose trust is a spider’s web. He leans on his house, but it does not stand. He holds it fast, but it does not endure. Job 8:13-15NKJV.

The other more wisely built on solid rock! The latter experienced the same difficulties, but what he built endured because he began with a sure foundation. “Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” 1 Tim 6:18-19 NAS.

The difference at the end is usually connected to where you start – the all-important foundation. Here’s where you must start if you will be wise, “According to the grace of God .. like a master builder I laid a foundation . . each man must be careful how he builds. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 NAS. Anything or anyone else upon which you try to build your life will ultimately fail you.

A favorite hymn of mine is, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” Edward Mote, 1800s. See Isaiah 28:16-17 NIV. It is not youth, or beauty, or talent, or success, or wealth, or good deeds, or friends – only what is built upon a foundation of faith in Jesus Christ will last through time, and into eternity. “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are His.’” 2 Timothy 2:19 NIV.

But Jesus also warned, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the Chief Cornerstone. Whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.” Luke 20 17-18 NKJV. You embrace Christ and know life; you ignore Him to your own peril.

My prayer for you today is: make Christ the core and center of all you are and do.

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