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FIRST-PERSON: Rock or sand?

EL CAJON, Calif. (BP)–Builders and carpenters know “a foundation’s main job is to hold up the house” according to home improvement expert Bob Vila. The Carpenter of Nazareth said as much 2000 years ago: “A wise man … built his house on the rock … and it did not fall. … A foolish man … built his house on the sand … and great was its fall.”

Jesus was stressing the importance of our inward vs. outward relationship with God. Inward godliness is evidenced by humility, uprightness, mercy, purity of heart — doing the will of God. Build your life on a solid, storm-resistant, foundation — Jesus Christ.


There are wise people and foolish people, Jesus said (Matthew 7:24, 26). Verse 24 says, “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them.” Verse 26 says, “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them.” Notice both men heard. The difference is obedience, follow-through, biblical living.

The wisdom Christ spoke of requires acknowledging Him as Lord and Ruler — praying (Matthew 6:6), not worrying, (6:25), avoiding images that stimulate lust (5:27-30), pledging permanence in marriage (5:31-32), forgiving those who offend us (6:14), investing our resources in His Kingdom’s work (6:19-21).

Have you made a conscious decision to let Christ rule your life? Only then are you living wisely.


The Lord Jesus proceeded to say that those who hear and obey Him are building their lives on a firm foundation, on a rock. Those who hear but don’t obey are building on sand, which leads to unspeakable tragedy.

A new housing complex was hurriedly built by a Nicaraguan president for hundreds of his poorest citizens to impress a visiting American president. Suddenly Hurricane Mitch hit. The ground didn’t provide an adequate foundation for the hastily constructed houses — 2,000 people died when their homes were swept away in mudslides.

No matter how impressive a building appears above ground, it is what is below the surface that counts. Without the right foundation, no structure is safe. Strength of foundation determines quality of life.

Christ is the Cornerstone, the Sure Foundation, the Rock of Ages. If you want a life that endures, build it on Christ. Some people build their lives on friendship, fads, fashion, materialism, money. There are many footings, but only one Rock; many foundations, but only one that will never erode.

“On Christ the Solid Rock I stand,

“All other ground is sinking sand” (William B. Bradbury).


“Rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house” on the rock (Matthew 7:25). Two verses later, Jesus used the same description for the house on the sand. The test comes when the storms strike. We can’t escape storms. They’re inevitable.

Remember the little chorus we sang in Sunday School? “The rains came down and the floods came up.” We didn’t realize we were describing the trials we’d encounter in life. All of us experience storms, often with little advance warning. The sky blackens, clouds swirl, winds howl — and as the rains come down, the floods rise up.

Christians aren’t exempt from stormy weather. Sometimes it’s a storm of bereavement, loss or financial stress. In this passage, two storms hit the two houses, equally packed with driving rain, winds and heavy floods. Sound like your life?


As Jesus unfolded this story, the critical thing was not the intensity of the storm but the stability of the foundation. The house on the rock was secure. People often share with me things like, “When our daughter died, it was hard. But I felt the Lord’s presence as never before.” I can say the same regarding my cancer.

One of the great benefits of going through life’s storms is discovering the reality of the foundation on which our life has been built. When the storm hit the house on sand, it fell, and “great was its fall.” But the house on the Rock stands firm.

“So build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ,

“And the blessings will come down.

“The blessings will come down as the prayers go up….

“So build your house on the Rock.”
David Jeremiah is the founder of the radio and television program “Turning Point for God,” and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.

    About the Author

  • David Jeremiah

    David Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, Calif. For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.

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