Building on a Solid Foundation

How to Stay Standing After Every Storm

Matthew 7:21-27

Pastor Craig Ledbetter                                           

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland

11 Jan, 2009  AM


I.        Introduction (Luke 7:46)


A.      The Big Problem Today


1.       Many Christians may be born again, but lack commitment to…


a.       Their marriage

b.       To their children

c.        To their church

d.       To their job – no matter how unimportant it is, you need to work like you were working for GOD!

e.        To their walk with God – so flippant about just reading their Bible!


2.       There has never been a time when it was “easy” to be a Christian. It is different than what comes “natural”

3.       So, How does a person get right, and more importantly, STAY right with God? Is it even possible?

4.       God’s word says it is possible, and this year, we are going to learn how!


B.      The Meaning of “Standing Fast”.


1.       To stay standing against all pressures – and there are plenty of them in life

2.       To hold your position and not give up, or back down, even though you may want to!

3.       To be obstinate, to not yield. We usually associate this attitude of “not backing down” with rebellion and stubbornness, but this is one time when stubbornness is something that is GOOD to develop and have a good supply of as a Christian!

4.       To be consistent, unmoveable from our course and direction

5.       To be steady, firm and unwavering in direction – like a ship in a storm

6.       No longer fearful of any enemy, but ready for whatever comes our way

7.       This is one of the most important visible and verifiable characteristics of a Christian (Acts 11:22,23; 2:41,42)


a.       Faithful

b.       Consistent

c.        Dependable

d.       Unwavering in their life

e.        No longer doubting

f.        No longer fearful

g.        Just focused on running one race, and running it well!


8.       Stability begins with choices


a.       Not just to hear God’s word, but to live – to put it into practice

b.       Are you being challenged to live what you hear from this Bible, or was it just another good message to be forgotten by the time you arrived home? Jesus said we must put his words into practice.


II.      Background of Matthew 7


A.      Jesus teaches a Parable – Object Lesson – A Story that Teaches a Great Truth

B.      In this parable, Jesus says the way we live our lives is like the way we would build a house.


1.       Jesus knows we all want our lives to last, to mean something.

2.       The way we build is the difference between success and failure.

3.       Why? Because our lives are going to be tested to see if they will stand and succeed, or if they will fall and fail.


C.      In the parable


1.       The HOUSE is your and my life.

2.       The foundation is what we build UPON – what we tie ourselves to: either ROCK or SAND

3.       The storms are troubles we experience - they test more than just the windows and the door, and the walls – it tests the foundation – what we have built our lives upon! It sees if we can be MOVED!


D.      Jesus teaches in this parable that the life you’re building will only succeed if you build on the right foundation.


1.       The paint, the stucco, the shrubs, the walls, the wallpaper, the glazing, the tiles, the lighting, the roof pitch, the stairs, the cabinets, the wardrobes – none of it will matter if the foundation is wrong!

2.       You can put all your money and time and effort into a beautiful house, and it all come crashing down if you don’t have a good foundation!


E.       And so the question is, what is the foundation of your life?

F.       And are you anchored to that foundation?


III.   Message


A.      Fake Christians (Luke 6:41; Matthew 7:21)


1.       They abound

2.       They talk religiously

3.       They even pray

4.       But they are fake – not the real McCoy

5.       SHOCKER - being religious does not make you a child of God


B.      Wrong Emphasis (Matthew 7:22,23)


1.       Focused on outward performances. These folks could do some serious “performing”. They believed these things made great Christians.


a.       Prophesying – telling the future

b.       Exorcism – casting out demons

c.        Loads of good works


1)       Stood out in the rain and collected for charities

2)       Sent money to feed and educate starving children in third world countries

3)       Put up with stubborn and even abusive husbands, or children

4)       Became religious and never married, and spent the rest of their lives in a vow of poverty and servitude

5)       These are GOOD works for sure, but not good enough


2.       Do you know what they missed? They never KNEW Jesus


a.       Knew ABOUT Him

b.       But never had a PERSONAL, real, overwhelming, powerful relationship with the God of the universe

c.        If you want eternal life, it is not WHAT you believe, or what all you DO, but WHO you know (John 17:3). Jesus never said, "know about God." No, he said, "know you." This "knowing” is not mind knowledge, but a heart consuming experience!


3.       Simply said, All the best efforts by anyone who has not been born again, are totally, and completely wasted efforts! I’m serious!


a.       Anyone who lives clean and good, and never smokes, never drinks, never cheats on his family, works hard, prays, gives, never gets angry, etc… has wasted his or her life if they are not born again!

b.       All of that is the wrong emphasis!


C.      Common Storms (Matthew 7:24-27)


1.       Every person is going to experience storms in their life

2.       Nobody is exempt – both the rich and poor, wise and foolish, young and old face storms


a.       Troubles, Bills, Health problems

b.       Heartaches, major disappointments, death

c.        Redundancy, hunger, cold, abandonment, robbery

d.       Storms are no respecter of persons. Some may not let on that they experience heartache, troubles, and ruin, but they do! They do!

e.        Just count on it - and better yet, prepare for it!


3.       Here in this parable, you have two men. It is not that one has troubles and the other does not – they BOTH experience storms

4.       The question is, which one will remain standing when then storm passes?


D.      Right Choices (Matthew 7:24,25)


1.       We all build on something.  It’s up to you how you build your life.


a.       You, every day, chose what you build on

b.       You can’t blame your father, your mother, your wife, your kids


2.       When it comes to foundations, Jesus says that you have only two choices. I know the world says that there are so many choices, but Jesus that there are only two kinds of foundations to build upon:


a.       Either The Rock - Here is “What God SAID” - it is compared to a ROCK because you can count on it - it is TRUE, secure, and stable (Matt 24:35).

b.       Or is it Built Upon Sand - What People say - Opinions are always compared to “sand” because they shift and change with time, and they are never sure. And yet Christ in (7:28,29) is certain and sure and authoritative - He knows what He is talking about!


3.       Jesus says that to build a life that succeeds, that will last, you have to build on ROCK - on Him and His word. On the unshakable, secure rock that is Jesus Christ. Everything else that we trust in, rely on, changes, fades, washes away, and fails


a.       Isaiah 28:16

b.       Matthew 21:42

c.        1Corinthians 3:10,11


4.       All other Foundations are Sand


a.       There are the foundations of material riches, popularity, power, and fancy appearances. (Many a movie star built their career on their face and their voice and their figure, only to be rejected just a few years later when a newer model came out)!

b.       Your job, religious rituals, and even pleasures and entertainment can also be foundations that you stake your life upon.

c.        There are many people today (especially the young) who have decided, “I don’t need a foundation at all; I’ll just drift, I’ll just go with the flow.” The problem with drifting is that you can drift in only one direction, which is downstream.

d.       The sad reality is that drifting is also a foundation, too.

e.        Jesus gathers all these other foundations and puts them into one category – SAND. Sand is not stable, or secure, it blows here and there. A foundation of sand is anyone or anything that is not Jesus Christ.

f.        Jesus says you get to choose the foundation for the house that is your life. Your choices are two: the rock that is Him, or sand, which is anything, anyone but Him.


5.       Right choices are when we hear, understand, and follow God’s way – His word “these sayings of mine”


a.       The B.I.B.L.E. – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth!

b.       The instructions that God gives may seem foolish, a waste of time

c.        But they will stand the test of storms, trials, troubles, and time

d.       What is wonderful is, no matter how poorly you may construct your life, as long as it is built solidly on the Lord Jesus Christ, it is infinitely better than a house built upon SAND!


E.       Missed Chances (Matthew 7:26,27)


1.       Hearing Jesus’ illustration of the man building his house on the sand makes me think of the sandcastles I’ve built over the years with my children and how tricky they can be.


a.       You try to build them close enough to the water so you have the moisture you need but far enough away so that the water doesn’t destroy what you’ve made.

b.       How devastating when one rogue wave makes it close enough to wash all your hard work away!


2.       But that’s the way it is when you build on the sand. The rains come, the streams rise, the winds blow and beat against those houses and they eventually fall with a mighty crash.


a.       No one in their right mind would build their house right on the sand!

b.       Yet how many people living in this world are doing just that!


1)       People who look to themselves and the strength of their hands to see them through the rough times.

2)       People who find strength in their health and well-being only to find a tumour that turns life upside down.

3)       People who banked on their jobs and years of service to the company only to find out they were expendable.

4)       These recent financial troubles have once again reminded us how foolish it can be to build on the sandy foundations of this world. Ask anyone who saw the value of their “castle” rise only to see the current housing market pull the rug out from underneath them.

5)       And how often do we get caught up in the sandcastle building of this world?


3.       The choice is yours


a.       One man made sure that he dug down and anchored his house to a foundation that rested on solid bedrock – not on shifting sand

b.       The other man thought it didn’t matter and just worked away on his house


1)       He thought the storms would never come

2)       He thought the house would stand anyway

3)       But he missed his chance. He lost everything –


4.       And, Great was the fall of it


IV.    How to Anchor Your LIFE to the Rock, Jesus Christ


A.      Start All Over (Matthew 18:1-3)


1.       Pull down the old structure – drastic but vital (2Cor 10:4,5)

2.       Move OFF the wrong foundation


a.       What you used to trust, has to be dumped

b.       What you used to do without thinking now has to be examined

c.        Your old religion, your old way of thinking – dump it


B.      Build EVERYTHING now on that new Foundation


1.       Everything you do needs to be anchored to this Book – not juts a few things, but all…


a.       Your decisions

b.       Your goals, plans

c.        Your family

d.       Your schedule

e.        Your accomplishments


2.       Remember, if your life is built on anything else, it will crumble

3.       So, move your life ONTO Jesus Christ. Don’t think you can just add a few Sunday morning messages to your life and you will be fine – you have to start in this Bible all over and start learning what it says, and just do what IT says!

4.       Jesus says that the wise builder is the person who hears Jesus’ words “and puts them into practice,” who acts on them. The important point here is that the Christian life is an active life. It’s not just knowing or believing certain truths. It’s acting on them.

5.       Jesus is telling you here that building wisely is not simply hearing and believing, but hearing, believing, and doing.

6.       James 1:22-26 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.”

7.       In other words, a person who listens to Christ, who says they know Him but doesn’t do what He says has no lasting image of what life in Jesus Christ is all about.

8.       He gets a glimpse of Jesus, and a glimpse of what Christ can do for him, but it all soon fades. That person’s experience with the gospel is shallow, superficial, and short-lived.

9.       I’m afraid there are many who are like this.


a.       They think that being a Christian means you come to church every once and a while, or you pray occasionally, you own a Bible – but you don’t passionately live like Jesus! Their tongue is untamed. Their life is out of control. Their mind is a mess. And their home is hell.

b.       According to James one, they’ve deceived themselves, and they’ve been deceived by Satan.

c.        His deception is that he wants you to believe you’re saved when you’re not.


C.      Believe God. What a great challenge. Believe God when everything else falls apart. Believe the foundation will hold you together. Rest in its strength.

D.      Take Hold of God’s Word and His Promises (2Pet 1:4; Isaiah 56:4,6)

E.       Get a hold of ETERNAL Life (1Timothy 6:12)

F.       Do what God says to do, all the way (Hebrews 10:23)


V.      Final Thoughts.


A.      Are you tired yet of building SAND castles?

B.      Are you ready to do things Christ’s way?

C.      You CAN build a life that will last, a home, a family that will last eternity

D.      IF, you build on the Lord Jesus Christ! There is only one Unmoveable Foundation that remains no matter the storm – His name is Jesus (Acts 4:11,12)

E.       Are you ready to start all over? Be Born again

F.       Christian… Are you ready to move BACK onto the Rock of Christ’s word?


1.       Falling home prices in this world won’t decrease the value of my home in heaven.

2.       Loss of a job here on earth won’t change my status when it comes to heaven’s employment.

3.       Depressing stock market returns or dwindling savings can’t touch my treasures in heaven.

4.       Poor health here on earth can’t rob me of my spiritual health in Christ.

5.       Broken families here on earth can never break me away from God’s family.