Tuesday February 1, 2022
Today is Tuesday, February 1 and this week we are exploring what the Bible says about foundations.
As I enter a time of prayer, I pause and become still. I calm my thoughts and silence my mind. I breathe deeply and slowly, and center myself upon the presence of God.
Pause and Pray
Holy Lord God, thank you for loving me. I enter this time of prayer to experience your abiding presence. Break new ground in my heart and soul this year. Teach me to build my life on a solid foundation and bedrock of truth. Come, Holy Spirit, reveal your message to me in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I draw near to God and recount his faithfulness with the words of Psalm 62.
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2
Pause and Pray
One day when Jesus saw the multitude of people following him, he went up on a mountainside, sat down with his disciples and began teaching. This collection of instructions is known as the Sermon on the Mount and is found in the gospel of Matthew chapters 4-7. It is challenging reading and a continuous reminder of what it means to live our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus outlines his beliefs, precepts and advice. He closes the sermon and then says – build on this. To illustrate how we are to build our lives on his words, he gives a short illustration of two people who each build a house but select different foundations.
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. 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
I could never hear or read the words of Jesus often enough. Jesus tells me I am to not only hear his words but also put them into practice. Throughout my life rains have come and will continue to come. There will be unexpected storms. Cloudbursts of illness and diagnoses of disease from Covid-19 to cancer. Thunderstorms of unfairness, injustice and oppression. Torrents of grief and loss. Throughout my life there are streams that have risen and will continue to rise. Rising floods of frustration, worry and fear. Waves of division, dissension and disagreement. Increases in hate and unkindness to fellow men. Relationship problems at home or work resulting in a deluge of arguments and angry words. Throughout my life the winds have blown and will continue to blow and beat against me. Winds of social pressure and rising secularization. Gusts of economic hardship, job loss and financial concerns. Whirlwinds of temptation and provocation. The storms of this life will come and pound against me, wanting me to fail, to fall, to buckle under the weight of it all. Crash down like a house of cards.
Ask: Have I built my life on rock or sand? When the storms come will I discover I am the wise builder or the foolish builder?
Pause and Pray
Lord Jesus, you are my Rock, redeemer and friend. Thank you for your words and teachings of holy scripture. I ask for the grace and power of the Holy Spirit to open my ears to hear your words and to enable me to put your words into practice. I strive and endeavor to be the wise person who builds my house upon the rock of truth and not the foolish person who builds his house on sand. I read your words from Matthew again and listen for the message you have for me.
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. 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>
Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is Jesus trying to say to me through these words of scripture?
Pause and Pray
Regardless of how many times I read a particular passage of scripture, God always has fresh things to show me and teach me. I pay close attention to the images these words of Jesus evoke for me today. I imagine myself in my home and the weather is raging outside – rainstorms, thunder, lightning, flooding waters, freezing temperatures, 50 mph wind gusts. The house shakes with the pressure. I hear the eaves creak amid the strain and the torrents of water begin to seep through the walls and windows. I name the parts of my life that currently feel like a storm. I consider what the rain, flood and wind represent for me this week. What is exerting outside pressure on my soul? What is causing me worry or fear? Do I doubt and distrust God or am I trusting God in faith? Jesus has the answer for me and my circumstance. What is his message?
Pause and Pray
Blessed Lord Jesus, I invite you into my home. I open the door of my soul and welcome you into my heart. Teach me your ways, remind me of what is true and right and good. Set my priorities in proper order. Do some much needed foundation repair, correct the cracks in my infrastructure and shore me up. I want to build my life solely on the Rock that is you. Amen.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4
I leave this time of prayer with a renewed commitment to build my life on the foundation that is Jesus Christ. I go into the world to put his words into practice.
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