“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.”
–1 Corinthians 3:11 (NLT)
Today, T. H. Cayne will be sharing some thoughts with us. He has been a friend of this ministry since its inception, and all of us hope you will enjoy and grow from this blog. We hope to have him write for us in the future, but that depends upon your response today. Thank you!
You don’t have to be a carpenter to know how important the foundation is to a building. It makes all the difference in the world as far as the building’s health is concerned, and it can add or detract from the structure. Let’s say you are a potential home buyer, or you already own a house. In either case, it is very important to watch out for warning signs that you are having foundation problems.
Just like a building, our lives can crumble if we don’t allow God to search our hearts. In other words, we need to let His Word be the light which periodically inspects our lives.
Look at Jesus’ parable about the wise man and the foolish man, who both built houses. The wise man was thorough, and he built his house with care on the rock. But the foolish man cut corners, and he built his home on the sand. When the storms of life came, the wise man’s house stood firm. On the other hand, the fool was left homeless, and his house became a total shambles.
Life is filled with storms, and the fool knew they were enevitable. But Jesus implies that the foolish man ignored the signs of their coming. As we revisit this parable, it is my fear that we can do much the same thing.
So I ask you: are there warning signs in your life that you haven’t yet noticed? Since we can’t prevent the storms that will come, let’s talk about a few of the signs that they are aproaching.
First, there is excessive settling, and spiritual sinking may ensue. This problem may be typified by feeling so overwhelmed by the cares of the world that we take our eyes off of Jesus. Then we only sink into life’s muck and mire.
Remember when Peter tried to walk across a stormy sea to meet Jesus? Once his eyes went to the turbulent waves around him, he began to sink. It is much the same in our lives today, because we also face stormy situations. In order to face life’s waves, we need to intently gaze upon Jesus.
Besides sinking and settling, two other problems can plague foundations. Cracking and shifting are similar events, and have the same results. When the foundation of a building begins to crack, there are often unhealthy movements within it. This is much the same in our Christian lives, when cracking happens through neglect of the Word and prayer. We tend to draw further away from Him, and then when something happens that gets our attention, we wonder what is going on.
A similar event happens in shifting, as far as drifting away is concerned. But shifting usually happens when we shape our decisions independently from God’s Word. It is what the book of James calls being double-minded, and this can be costly.
But the analogy of a foundation is faulty, because our foundation is Christ. Since He is perfect, there is no sinking, cracking, shifting, or settling. But the problems come because unlike a building, I am guilty of straying from God, regardless of my foundation in Him.
Just as any structure needs inspection, we need the preventive maintenance of constant meditation upon God’s Word. So let me tell you what meditation is and is not.
Meditation is not studying the Bible on your boss’s time. It is savoring God’s Word, and taking it with you throughout the day.
Think with me about the best meal you’ve ever had. You were probably hungry when you sat down, and that hunger showed itself in the form of desire. So you chowed down, and if you’re like me you made a pig of yourself.
God has a lot to say about feasting in the Bible, and if you read the gospels you will see that Jesus was often enjoying a meal somewhere. I don’t know about you, but I like that. God invites us to feast spiritually as well, and the good news is that there is no calorie intake! Learn to savor God’s Word, just as you enjoyed that great meal.
For example, while it wasn’t an entire meal, I still remember my mom’s homemade bread. The smell was great, and long after the bread was eaten, I was licking my lips.
I discovered that the Bible can provide similar satisfaction, if I don’t look at reading God’s Word as a duty. Instead, devotional reading is an opportunity to draw closer to a loving God.
“But Mr. Cayne,” I can hear somebody say, “I don’t have the time.” Friend, we all have the same amount of time each day, so let’s look at our meal analogy again. None of us would say we don’t have time to eat, for we know that eating is vital to our health.
In the same way, God’s Word contains life-and-death issues, but can we really enjoy it? David answered this question with a resounding yes when he writes, “taste and see that the Lord is good.”
I have two questions for you today, my friend. First, do you have the appitite? And second, do you have the desire?
Appetite and desire are both important when it comes to a great meal. But if this isn’t true of the Bible, and you find your mind wandering during your devotions, you just need to ask God to open your eyes.
Remember when Jesus met the two disciples on the roadside after He rose? Once He had eaten with them and their eyes were opened, they said that their hearts burned with desire. This burning may or may not happen overnight, but go to God and ask Him for the desire, and I can tell you from my own experience that He will grant your request.
I brought up this topic in Bible study once, and one person challenged me about it. I guess she thought I was being impractical, so I came up with three steps to explain what I mean. We have already touched upon the first two–namely, desire and appetite–so let’s turn our attention to the final step, preparation.
In order to fully enjoy anything, let alone a good meal, it is important to prepare for it. You might do the usual things like washing your hands, but before you really dig in, your plate must be filled first. In like manner, God wants to cleanse our hearts before He dishes the meat of His Word up.
Learn to be still and know that He is God. Let Him prepare your heart for what He has to say to you. Then, dig in and enjoy it.
Today I challenge you to utilize the three steps of desire, appetite, and preparation. As you do this, you will become stronger in Christ, and allow God to build a mighty fortress in your life.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.