The Eternal House
I was reading there are a few things in our homes we have, but may never use.
Fire extinguisher (I hope you never have to use it)
Book (The Bible?)
Landline (What's that?)
China (as in dishes, fine china)
Watching an episode of Hoarders I kept hearing, "Sure I don't need it, but I might one day." As though our homes were storage places for all the things we might one day need. That's if we remember we have it.
On the other hand . . .
I have watched episodes on Youtube highlighting minimalists. They only have a few changes of clothes, live in a friend's backyard, create their own compost for their gardening, and bath in the ocean. Others have moved into Tiny Homes. They have consolidated their life down to the bare essentials, in hopes of finding a stress and debt free life. One couple lives in a van, parking on a different street each night to sleep. They're permanently mobile.
One mindset has everything in case they might need it, but never use it. The other will find it, when they need it. I'm not judging one over the other. My interest is how we view things. Objects become an extension of ourselves. We even buy with a vision of what we want to be, who we want to become.
Now transition with me to ideas, behaviors, and beliefs. We buy things hoping they will change our behaviors. A planner might make me more organized (I'll buy one tomorrow). A self-help or motivational book will make me a better person. A tablet will make me more efficient. That exercise equipment will make me reach my fitness goals.
We believe stuff (more or less of it) will change our lives. We believe our clothes, makeup, jewelry, shoes, and hair will define who we are. Many times we put the cart before the horse. These are all expressions of our beliefs and choices.
There is a story of a man who built his house on rock (Matthew 7:24-27). It withstood the storm. The other man built his house on sand. You guessed it, there was no house after the storm. Jesus compares those who hear, but do not act, as those living in the home built on the sand.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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.26 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. 27 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)
We have been told or taught how the wold works. The 'source code' of life: turn the other cheek, the last shall be first, humble yourself, pursue peace, love justice, and so on. If we have read these words from scripture, but do not choose good in our lives, we will be washed away in the chaos of the storm.
It's like owning a fire extinguisher but not using it on the house fire. It's going to church but hoping someone will help your neighbor who is struggling in their marriage or with addiction. It's knowing what it takes to make a marriage work, but watching a close friend tear theirs apart with horrible choices while you remain silent.
It's tearing others down with your speech while confessing your love for God on Sunday. It's raising hands in worship when you raised your hands in violence at the bar the night before. It's plotting against your co-workers out of anger, when you were planning a fellowship dinner or outreach event the week before.
The fool stands in the ruins of their home built on sand and wonders, 'why?' Following the teachings of Christ is meaningless if it isn't reflected in your actions, choices, and words. You may be a believer but you will still stand in ruin if those beliefs don't change your choices, actions, or words.
Can you hear me?
Believe all you want. Build the house on the sand. When disaster comes, know it's because of your choices, actions, and words. You alone carry the responsibility for your actions, choices, and words.
The house built on the rock is the one who believed and acted. The one who heard and changed their lives. The one who submitted themselves to the teachings of Christ. You're not okay because of what you believe. You're living the Kingdom of God as a Christian when you act on what you believe.
May you see the blessings from your actions
May you find peace in your pursuit of righteousness
May you build a house in eternity
In His service and yours,