May Article

For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 3:11 

Some years ago, I was a laborer on a remodel of a home near here. The new addition on this home went smoothly; our work quick and uneventful. The original house, however, did not contain a right angle where any two surfaces met. My boss informed me that it had been built on huge logs instead of frost-proof footers. Expensive, up-to-code retrofitting took care of the footer problem, but the resultant mess above-grade was a frame and floorings torqued over years of seasonal movement. Working with those obstacles was not our finest hour.

Jesus warned of attempting to live life on the “sand” of worldly wisdom, and not on the rock which He alone is. You can read His words in Matthew 7:24-27, as He explained the contrast between two choices.

There, He warned that simply being exposed to His Words was not enough. Verse 26 says, “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.” Knowing, and then doing, are inextricably linked in following the Master.

So we too desire for all to build their life upon Christ. No word can surpass His Word. Little wonder that a church named “Cornerstone” would be a bit consumed by that reference found in Ephesians 2:20: …having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone…

If we were left to following the latest trends of man, we would have no foundation. We might as well go out back and play in the sand, and pretend the rain will never come our way.

That’s one plan…

April Article

“But as the church is subject to Christ…”   Ephesians 5:24a

Our family dog is inconsistent in his obedience. He enjoys the perks of food, water, comfy living, grooming and attention, but disobeys in ways that stretch my patience and kindness. He never asks for forgiveness, and stubbornly stays with his patterns. I’m supposed to not take offense. He knows the behaviors I want, and there’s been training, but he is often caught disobeying in dog-flesh with a rebel dog-spirit. For me, it’s not a great relationship. I believe he’s ok with the present arrangement.

Maybe this column has gone to the dogs, but I find a similarity in our resistance for obedience to our Lord.

We love “freedom in Christ” but we often do not place Christ and the Word first in defining the parameters of that freedom. Today, calls for obedience that are dissonant with our perceived freedoms in personal time, family time, priorities, and otherwise doing what we please are dismissed as “narrow”,  “conservative” or “legalistic.” We toss around the strategies of boundaries and balance, offering these as the reasonable rationale for our disobedience. After all, we are educated, you know.

We love to remind our kids to obey us (Ephesians 6:1). We love messages about how Christ was obedient for our benefit (Philippians 2:8). We teach others that He as a man learned obedience to the Father (Hebrews 5:8). We get almost patriotic seeing the apostles resist pressure to obey man and disobey God (Acts 4:19, 5:29).

Reading John 14:15-26, it is apparent that obedience is not our summation, but His. Perhaps you find assurance that all is good, and maybe it’s me that needs to lighten up.

But maybe, just maybe for us all, there’s a lesson here to learn, before things go to the dogs.