Church Blog

According To My Father's Design

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

The closer we get to the return of Jesus Christ, the more and more we see the rise of the kingdom of darkness. It is by our right living, our right "doing" and our right motives that we take the sting out of the devils divisiveness. 


Matthew 7:21-27 (MSG)

"Knowing the correct password-saying 'Master, Master,' for instance-isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience-doing what my Father wills. I can see it now-at the Final Judgement thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourself important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.'

24-25. "These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Raid poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit-but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.

26-27 "But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards."

Foundations - what are they and what do they do?

Foundations stop things from falling over, stop things from sinking and stop things from getting washed away.

The adequacy of the foundations for the houses built (refer Matthew 7:24-27) did not really become apparent under normal conditions. Both houses were built, both were lived in, and both appeared to be "FIT for PURPOSE." What was under the surface however, became blatantly obvious to all when the extreme conditions arrived.

The lesser option, the option that cost the least, the one that didn't take as much effort to build, didn't stand a chance! Everything above ground appeared, as it should. It impressed the neighbours.

THE FOOLISH CARPENTER HAD EVERYBODY BELIEVING THAT HE HAD IT BETTER THAN OTHERS. You can imagine the comments of the passersby: "See honey, look at the money they have to throw around on themselves, look at the view from their house" etc, etc.

When engineers design bridges we have to design for all anticipated loads throughout the life of the structure. The normal everyday operating loads (traffic loadings) are more often than not the easiest load cases to deal with and design for.

It is the abnormal load conditions that often create the critical load cases. These are the loads that will cause the structure to fail catastrophically. These are the loads that really test the designer's capability and consideration to detail. For a large number of bridges the "flood" loading is the critical factor considered when looking at failure mechanisms. Floods will literally push the bridge over if the foundations are only designed to carry the loads from the cars and trucks driving across them.

Side note:

Here's a little something interesting to think about? When we design for flood loading on bridges we need to allow for what we call a "debris load". We model the sideways forces added to the structure caused by a 3m high wall of debris that might build up on the side of the bridge during flooding. The extra force of the water on this wall of debris is often the critical load case and the foundations have to be re-engineered to counteract this load. If the debris wasn't there the strain of the structure would be significantly reduced!

Let's be conscious to do a bit of maintenance on our streams, keep the waterway clean - it's the little bits and pieces of rubbish, the debris load that build up and cause the pressures to be more than they need to be. Clean water just flows straight through!

We need to invest early and wisely in any building process; the first things to be built are the foundations! It's too late to reinforce anything when the storm is already beating down and the water starting to rise.

Look again at the story of the two carpenters and their families. What might they be doing when the flood warning has been issued?

I imagine the "foolish" carpenter and his family - running around; putting ropes over the proof, putting up some temporary props, driving in some star pickets and tying things down with tie wire. The carpenters' wife probably made a last minute dash to the supermarket for some supplies. I imagine that fear would grip their hearts; they would almost certainly have knows that they were about to lose everything.

Let's look now at the family of the smart carpenter. They see the storm approaching, they hear the flood warning and the roar of the flood waters building.

Dad takes his family inside, locks the doors and windows and checks that all is in order. Mum opens the pantry door...yep it's full. She checks the freezer - it's full too. Dad notices that his kids are a little scared. They are frightened about what is going on outside, the howling wind, and the roaring river sneaking closer to their door.

Dad goes to his cupboard and reaches to the shelf and pulls out a set of plans. He opens them up and shows the kids. These are the foundation plans of our house. These are My Father's plans. He gave them to me.

To follow his plans we needed to put a little extra effort in, dig a little deeper, use the best materials we could. We even had to get our friends around to help us with some bits of it.

There were some unusually requirements, some unusual notes on the drawings. Things like, "make sure you come visit me each day before you labor" or "this bit goes in much better if you don't eat the day you built it". We drilled deep into the bedrock, we put in lots of reinforcement and we used the biggest and best bolts we could buy. You know what kids? Thousands of people have built their houses to my Dad's plans, and it is a fact that out of all the families that followed his specification, not a single house has been demolished by floods or storms.

We are in for the a wild night, but I guarentee that the sun will come out after the storm. We will go back outside, do a bit of a tidy up and then we'll go and find those families that have lost their houses. We'll show them Dad's plans and explain how it was because of His design our house was safe.

So what has this got to do with giving?

There are foundations that we need to build on (according to my Father's design)
  • The Foundation of Prayer
  • The Foundation of Reading The Word
  • The Foundation of Fasting
  • The Foundation of Giving
It is the spiritually significant results of our faithfulness, our trust, our diligence and our purposefulness that ensure our confidence. When we remain truly founded we will not be destroyed.
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