In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew slammed into South Florida with deadly Category 5 force, passing directly through the town of Homestead, a suburb of Miami. Andrew’s 180 mile-per-hour winds generated a 14-foot storm surge; 65 people lost their lives; over 125,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Some blocks were totally obliterated, leaving behind only the foundations of the homes that had once been there, and 180,000 people were suddenly homeless. The damage totaled $30 billion.
One area in particular looked like a war zone—an entire neighborhood had been virtually flattened—yet standing in the middle of all the devastation was a single home. A local news reporter interviewed the homeowner, asking if he had any explanation why his home was spared. The man responded, “I built this house myself, and I built it according to the Florida State Building Code. When the code called for 2’ x 6’ roof trusses, I used 2’ x 6’ roof trusses. I was told that a house built according to code could withstand a hurricane, and mine did!”
Jesus provided us with the best possible building code during His Sermon on the Mount:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my father who is in heaven… 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 build his hours 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 7:21, 24-27)
So . . . what kind of builder are you? Are you building your life on sand . . . or on rock? Is the foundation of your life resting on the Rock of Ages . . . or the shifting sand of our secular society? Let’s take a look at some similarities and one striking difference between the two builders our Lord described.
Both heard the same teaching and instruction and both were building homes. Both apparently had the same ability to build, and both were confronted by the same kind of storm.
The difference is HUGE. One heard the Word of God and applied it. This man was wise. The other man heard the Word of God and did not put it into practice. He was foolish.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?
(2 Corinthians 13:5)
On the surface, both men looked to be the same. Everything seemed to be going well for them both . . . until the storms of life hit. Then the difference was like the difference between those homes in Homestead that were crushed by Hurricane Andrew and the one house that remained standing. There is only one secure foundation upon which to build our lives, and His name is Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ parable is calling our attention to the attitudes and behaviors of the two builders. Both men were in the Word of God . . . but only one had the Word in him. Which one are you?
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Remember, as Jesus told the story, He never used the word “IF” to describe the rain that came, the streams that rose, and the winds that blew and beat against that house. Storms are certain to come; only a life built upon Christ is certain to stand!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!