“…like the thinnest of rafts, floating upon an ocean of infinite mystery, they hate to be asked to look over the edge. They are very busy decking out their raft with everything which can make it feel like a permanent home. They never realize that they are on a raft and not a rock, until one day an illness or an accident or a war flicks them off into the ocean, where they have never learned to swim.” ~A. H. McNeile
McNeile’s statement is an analogy of Matthew 7:24-27, a parable spoken by Jesus regarding a surefire foundation. Whoever hears and does what Jesus commands has built his/her life on solid bedrock, Christ our Lord. Rains and floods may torment them, winds will surely beat upon them, but they will not perish. Those who hear His words but do not obey them are building their lives on sand, a loose foundation that quickly gives way when rains and floods and winds beat upon them.
Adversity can strike swiftly and without mercy. We can be living high off the hog one day and rooting in the pig sty the next. Our health can be clear of all diseases but in short order become infected with a most lethal illness. Today is the time to hear the voice of the Lord and obey His commandments. We know not what tomorrow may bring.
How do we hear the voice of the Lord? We listen with our spiritual ears to those who proclaim the Good News and to the Holy Spirit as we read and study the Word of God. Pray for discernment to hear the true voice of our Shepherd spoken from the pulpits of our faithful churches, and pray as we study the Bible. Get personal with the Lord and He’ll make Himself known to you.
Build your foundation now; time is running short. Realize that this earth and all its treasures are not our home or a place to store our precious items. We don’t finish well in this race by having all the latest do-dads, various degrees from assorted colleges, piles of gold coins stacked in safety deposit boxes in a bank somewhere, all our lives in perfect order. Wake up, folks. We’re not home yet! Our true home is in heaven built by the nail-scarred hands of Jesus.
It is time to get our Christian acts together and obey the commandments of our Lord. Two specific laws He emphasized: “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind and strength”, and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31. KJV
How do we love God with our entire beings? Learn of Him, another reason to study the Bible. The more we know of Him, the greater our love will be for Him.
How do we obey His commandments? Study the Word and make them part of our character. Put them on as we would a new suit of clothes. As new followers of Christ, so put on new “clothes.” Like new shoes, they may feel uncomfortable at first, pinch a bit here and there, but after a while, they become our favorite attire and all we want to wear.
How do we love our neighbor? We cut loose our possessions from that hypothetical “raft” and give to those in need. We care about their welfare as if they were our own families. We give of ourselves because Jesus gave His Self. He supplies our every need, doesn’t He? Whether it be physical, mental, spiritual, Christ has an unending supply. Love comes under many titles but it all implies giving. Thus, so love thy neighbor!
Let’s get off that raft of materialism and build upon the solid Rock, Jesus Christ. He’ll teach us how to love one another. He’ll open our ears so we can hear the Word of God. Don’t be another missing person lost in that vast sea of worldly despair. Hear the Word…see the Lord…and touch the very heart of God. ~Shalom