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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Built to Last or Shaky Ground?

A Mighty Fortress is our God´╗┐

We had a storm here in North Carolina last night and a mighty storm it was with howling winds, horizontal rain, flashes of lighting illuminating the night sky, and thunderous rolling thunder emanating from the belly of the storm. We, my wife and I, watched the storm both in awe and with a measure of anxiety at the raw power being displayed before us in the symphony of light and sound.  With the storm raging all about us I did the unimaginable
to my wife: I stepped out onto the porch ( covered of course ) to gaze into very heart of the maelstrom.  The wind was whipping my shirt like a flag in a hurricane when my better ( and saner ) half grabbed the aforementioned shirt and in no uncertain terms informed that I should get back inside.  Looking down ( yes the kids were there on the floor) I saw three peacefully sleeping boys, oblivious to the turmoil swirling around them.  So I was pulled inside by my wife. Because she loves me Because she knows me. I was pulled to safety by someone else, safe and secure through no effort of my own.

Within the shelter of the house the rumbling of thunder and the pyrotechnic light show were still discernible but no longer in the forefront of my perception.  The storm was still there and I was still very much in it, but the shelter protected me from its effects.  No wind could could touch me, no rain could blur my vision, and no thunder could deafen my ears.

There are storms we all must endure in life.  Some of these storms are relatively calm and easily weathered while others lash at us with life changing and faith-shaking intensity.  They are merciless and unloving, incapable of showing empathy or giving quarter.  Finances, children, parents, siblings, war, and hunger: The names of the storms are to long and varied to enumerate but they are there.  Waiting just over the horizon to unleash their fury.  If you are not now in a storm thank the God of Heaven for you soon will be because trouble will inevitable visit the children of Adam.

Psalm 91:2
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,My God, in whom I trust!"

Matthew 8:24
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep.

The Lord God of Heaven is our refuge in whom we should trust when the storms of life arise.   HE was Sleeping!!! ( Remember the kids?  ) How could Jesus be asleep in the boat when the storm was raging and His closest friends  were seemingly in peril?  Jesus simply knew who He was and where He was going.  He knew the storm would not last and He had an appointment with the far shore.  So what was there really to fear?  Nothing in this world!! Just as Jesus was with the disciples ( even with there lack of faith ) He is with us and will calm the tumultuous seas.

 Psalm 127:1
 Unless the LORD builds the house,They labor in vain who build it;Unless the LORD guards the city,The watchman keeps awake in vain

Matthew 7:25-27
 25"And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
 26"Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand

We all have our plans, dreams, and hopes for the future and they often do not include God or His will for our life.  Are you laboring to build the house of your life only to find its walls are paper thin and its foundations are sand?  The fool has said in his heart there is no God and has built his life upon the shifting sands of fame fortune, pride, et all. If ever having been to the coast and witnessed the unreliable nature of sand and its inability to withstand the storm you would know perfectly well what this parable is illustrating.  The life built there will not last.

Ephesians 2:20
having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone

Matthew 7:24
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock "

There is an old hymn that goes like this, " My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness, " and in those words are pearls of wisdom.  We must rely wholly upon Jesus and His perfect and unchanging nature to weather the storms of life.  Upon this cornerstone we must lay all the treasures of this life and allow God to build our house as we humbly obey Him.  The storms will still come and they will rage but we are truly safe and secure in His everlasting arms.  Both now and for Eternity.

Are You Safe?  Are you in Christ Jesus abiding in His love and grace?  Upon what have you built your life.

God Bless and Keep the Faith

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Anonymous Carla@3-foldcord.com said...

I love the story of the apostles in the storm. They had the Lord physically on board the boat and they still thought they would perish, so many times we're following Jesus and storms hit and we grow weary and stumble, even though we are under His protection. It reminds me of James 1:6 "Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind." I strive to not let the wind and storms blow me hither and thither, but to remain steadfast and grounded in Christ.

As always, great post!

April 5, 2011 at 5:32 PM  
Anonymous lwstapleton said...

It is so easy to be blown about even by the mundane cares of this world and lose sight of our Lord and the prize He has set before us. We often blame the apostles for their lack of faith with Jesus in the boat...but how much more are we to blame for our lack of faith with Him dwelling in us.

April 5, 2011 at 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Dakota Lynch said...

Hey, I just came across your blog by doing a bit of blog-surfing and I'm glad I did! I've added myself as your newest follower, and I hope you'll check out my Christian devotional site as well.

Have a blessed day!

In Christ,
Dakota - A Look at Life from a Deerstand

April 6, 2011 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous Amanda Daubenmeyer said...

Thank you for this post. I really needed it today as there are many storms going on right now in my life. But God is faithful to bring me safely through them. I have to constantly remind myself to rest my cares in God as Jesus did.

Carla, great comment! It was really a blessing to read this today.

Blessings to you both:)

April 6, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Anonymous lwstapleton said...

So do we Amanda and without the assurance of God things often could
easily spin out of control.

A Living Stone

April 6, 2011 at 7:59 AM  

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