Today we are going to be talking about the Rock Solid Truth. This isn’t a truth we are going to find in our culture, it’s not in our jobs, it’s certainly not in our government (although I know some solid Christian politicians who would like to change that). The truth I’m talking about today is God’s truth. It’s a rock solid truth. It’s a truth that can be relied on, a truth that never changes. When we build on it, everything starts to come together into the proper place and perspective. This truth is found the scriptures, right here in the Bible.
As I look around our world today, I’m afraid some of the ideas and seemingly “truths” that are guiding our world may look like a decent foundation, something to believe in or put our hope in, but in the end they are more like a sinkhole or quicksand that threatens to swallow us up.
In Matthew 7:24–27 Jesus says:
“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 built his house 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.”
Every day, you and I are laying down bricks in the structure of our lives. What we are living today is the result of what we built yesterday. Every day at work, every weekend, every interaction is part of the structure you are building called your life. Whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, or a Jesus follower, most of us build careers, we build families, and we build friendships. The main difference is found in the foundation that supports all that we are building.
So what is underlining and shaping everything that’s built in your life?
Is the career you’re building standing on your desire to know, follow, and glorify Jesus or is it built on your desire to get what you want? Those who have built it all on Jesus can lose it all, yet they still possess everything. And those who have built on the desire to get what they want, can lose it all and…they’ve simply lost it all.
When Jesus talked about those two builders, notice it wasn’t a matter of IF the rain would come. It was a matter of when. And the rain did come. The waters did rise. The winds did blow, and they did beat against the house. It’s likely that a number of storms have already come in your life. We are all in a storm right now. The rain, the waters, and the wind have come through this virus. The difference between a life that stands firm and a life that swallows itself up is the foundation that your life is built on.
Did you notice what Jesus said about how we build the foundation? He said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a man who built his house on the rock” (verse 24). While this ‘building’ is intimately linked with our salvation, I don’t think this is a saved or not-saved passage. You can believe in Jesus, sneak into heaven, and waste much of your time on earth with nothing to show for it when it’s all over.
Paul talked about this in 1 Corinthians 3:11–15 when he said,
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have – Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials – gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.”
1 Corinthians 3:11–15
I believe Jesus’s words in Matthew 7 are more about being wise or unwise in the way that we live. I believe He’s showing us the difference between a life full of joy and a life full of misery. He’s pointing out the way to a faith that endures and overcomes no matter what comes against it, compared to a faith that crumbles and collapses with the slightest resistance. And Jesus said that it all comes down to two things: first, “You hear My Word”; second, “You live My Word.”
There is no way around the authority and the importance Jesus put on the truth of the Bible. In John 10:35, Jesus said, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (NKJV). In His ministry, Jesus pointed back to and affirmed the accounts of Abraham, Isaiah, Moses, and Jonah. He quoted the prophets and the law to drive His points home. One of the major reasons we believe in the authority of the Old Testament is because Jesus testified to it.
At least twenty times in the four Gospels, Jesus pointed to the Old Testament when He said, “It is written.” Isn’t it amazing that the One who had the power to cast out demons and to command them where to go and what to do, used the words of the Bible to resist Satan? This is a clear statement that’s being made for us when the One who had the power to just move a finger and bind Satan up for the rest of eternity or destroy him completely with just a thought, dealt with our Enemy three different times by saying, “It is written.” Jesus’ example shows us that the truth and power of God’s Word is the foundation for living our lives.
Hebrews 4:12 says,
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
God’s Word is the truth, but it’s a different kind of truth than something that just works or makes sense. Because it is breathed by God, the Word of God is a kind of truth that can cut spiritual chains that hold your heart. It can produce a fountain of joy deep within your spirit. It’s not just right or wrong. It’s an alignment with the Creator of the universe and the way He intends things to be. Therefore, Scripture carries His power and authority. Just imagine what can happen when we read it!
One Truth and the Lies
There is so much power in the truth. The clearest way to see that is just to consider the destruction and devastation that comes from a lie. Consider the lie that was penned by Sergui Nilus in 1905. He wrote down the lie that the Jewish people were conspiring to take over and corrupt the world. His lie was picked up and spread by the Nazi party, taught to their children in schools, and eventually led to the extermination of six million people. That’s the power of one lie.
The truth changes everything. Think about the power of this statement: “I was wrong.” Have you ever been wrong about a person? Wrong in your approach? And when you finally understood the truth, not a single thing changed about your circumstances, yet with that one realization every thought, every feeling, how you handle the situation, all change at the same time. The truth is beautiful and powerful. And God has been so kind to reveal the truth you need for this life in the Bible.
There are things we believe and hold onto that just aren’t true. For example, did you know that there isn’t zero gravity in space? It’s just that the distance between the objects reduces the force of gravity significantly, so it seems like nothing compared to the pull we feel while standing on Earth.
Did you know bulls don’t hate red? They are actually color-blind. They actually perceive the motions of the bullfighter’s cloth as a threat.
Did you know that bats aren’t blind? Not only can bats see, but they also use echolocation which tells them the location of objects by reflected sound.
There are all sorts of little myths like this that we tend to believe just because they’ve been told to us. Along with this, there are all sorts of little lies that attack us every day. Without the truth of God’s Word to show us differently, we feed them, we believe them, we live by them, and we fall and fail because of them. But if we don’t get some outside help, we’ll never know any different.
There are little things that you have taken to be true your whole life, that God’s Word would say, “No, that’s not the way it is.” Here are a few more you might believe:
- “I won’t ever really recover from this.”
- “I’m always one step away from it all falling apart.”
- “I can keep getting away with this, and no one will get hurt.”
- “I’m not as good. I’m not as lovable, pretty, capable, or godly as he or she is.”
- “God is demanding, uptight, angry, unfair, uninvolved, and unloving.”
HOWEVER, God’s Word scatters every single one of those lies. And when we hold onto the truth of God’s Word concerning those things and put that truth into practice, everything changes.
Complaints about the Bible
One of the complaints about the Bible is that it’s an old book. And if we were talking about a manual for building a computer, I’d be concerned. Because the manual would talk about vacuum tubes or data cards and old technology that doesn’t help at all today.
Because we’re talking about guidance for what we believe, how we live, and what is always true, I’d actually prefer a guide that’s been tested and proven over time. The reason I’d prefer an old Bible is because I know every generation has its own biases and ideas. Culture changes so fast, but God’s written Word has been proven true for every generation for the last 3,500 years! (That’s how long the Bible’s been around – or at least parts of it.)
Some complain that the Bible must have changed as it has been passed down throughout the years—like a theological version of the child’s game Telephone. Perhaps you’ve played it before. Kids sit in a circle, and the first child whispers, “I’ve got a new puppy named Willow,” and by the end of the circle the last child says, “Ima’s guppy sleeps under his pillow.”
Please understand that’s not how we got our Bible. While there are thousands of copies of the Bible, the scholars who work on our modern translations go to the very oldest manuscripts first. Fortunately, we have very ancient manuscripts to rely on—with some fragments that were copied in the same century that the originals were first written.
Speaking in Truth
If you are a follower of Jesus, you need to be in the Bible every single day. Imagine eating only on Sunday and going with nothing except water the other six days every week. You might survive, but you wouldn’t be very healthy, and I don’t think you’d be very happy. Just ten minutes every day in God’s Word will make all the difference in all you do. It will even change the way you pray.
God speaks to us through His Word. Prayer, of course, is simply us speaking back. I find it amazing that through God’s Word and our prayers, we get to have a two-way conversation with God, submerged in truth and life. In John 14:13–14, Jesus told us, “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”
Now before you go out to buy your lottery ticket, let me just make one qualifier here. Jesus told us that He’d do whatever we ask in His name so the Father can be glorified.
Have you ever been given power of attorney for someone else? If you give someone power of attorney, you’re saying their signature has the same power and authority as your signature. And when they take on that power, they’re acting in your best interest and on your behalf. They have both the power of your name and the responsibility to protect your name.
So to pray in Jesus’ name is not just to tack on “In Jesus’ name, amen” to whatever you’re praying. It’s to try to understand and discern what Jesus’s will is in any situation and to work and pray toward that will. And the clearest and most complete way to know God’s will is to regularly be in His Word, to have a two-way conversation with God through prayer centered on His Word. God’s Word and prayer work together to change us and to change the world around us through truth.
Jesus reminded us of this amazing combination when He prayed for us and for His disciples in John 17:16–17. He prayed, “They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.”
Not of this World
One thing you must remember is that as a follower of Jesus, you are not of this world. You’re different. You are holy and set apart for a special purpose. The world has diverged from God’s plan. It is building on a different foundation. It holds different values. It longs for different hopes. And it aspires to different goals.
Remember that kind of foundation is ultimately a sinkhole that will swallow people up. Jesus doesn’t ask for us to be taken out of the world. Rather, He declares that we are not of the world. He urges us to seek the truth in His Word, to declare and ask for the truth in our prayers, and to build with the truth in our lives.
One of the many differences between God’s Word and our word is that from our perspective, we have at best seventy to ninety years for our words to be proven true. From His perspective, He has generations, and really all of eternity for His to proven true. He can make a promise to you and fulfill it through your great, great, great grandchildren, and He will still be proven true.
Not about Feelings
One of the shifting and shaky foundations our world is currently building on, is the weight and emphasis it puts on our experiences and our feelings. But our feelings shift daily, and our experiences are so limited.
Our responsibility to the truth goes beyond any feeling we have at any given time. Our responsibility to the truth even goes beyond just hearing it or even accepting it. We’re responsible to do what it says, because it is the truth. It is a truth that is bigger than us. Fortunately, it is also a truth always working in our best interest for long-term growth and for life.
Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who build his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).
The Word is the primary way God talks to us. We need to be people of the Word. Read the Word. Memorize the Word. Study the Word. Know the Word. And above all, do what it says.
Your feelings come and go like shifting sand. The wisdom of our culture changes and shifts multiple times in every generation. But God’s Word never changes. It endures and stands firm. God’s Word will always be proven true. Get into His Word. And determine that you won’t just hear His Word, but you will put it into practice. When the waters rise, when the questions and doubts come, when tragedy strikes, when life pushes back, you’ll stand firm.
We’ll close today with a challenge. I want to challenge you to be in God’s Word prayerfully every day this week. Perhaps you’ll need to set your alarm fifteen minutes early or take your Bible with you on your lunch break. I like to do mine over breakfast.
If you could talk directly with God for fifteen minutes every day, wouldn’t you jump at the chance to do so? Just try it for one week. If you don’t get anything out of it, at least you tried. But I believe it will be the beginning of a daily conversation you will want to have for the rest of your life because it will bring God’s truth to every area of your life.
Would you please join me in prayer? Father, we thank You for Your Word. I pray that You would help every single one of us to begin this two-way conversation that we can have with You through Your Word and prayer. Thank You that You want to instruct us, help us, and free us. Help us to pursue Your truth and to persist in it. I pray as each person talks with You, Your Holy Spirit will open our hearts and minds to Your truth for our lives. We know this is Jesus’ will for us. So it is in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.