Day 28 of our series is a reflection by Patrick Genova based on Jeff’s Sunday Sermon. Jeff’s message was incredible and sobering. Jesus really helps us all understand how to build on the rock so we can withstand anything! Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time(s). You can see more devotionals here
You can listen here:
Getting Real about our Spiritual Foundation
Reflection & Notes by Patrick Genova based on Sunday Sermon “Firm Foundation”
Matthew 7: 24
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Foundation are exposed during hard times.
Q: What have you Built (encouraging) and what have you not built (room to grow)?
I think it is very easy for us to see what we need to work on and what are weaknesses our, but I really hope you take a moment to reflect on the strengths you are also noticing in your foundation.
Q: What are the cracks that are being revealed in your foundation during this time of testing? Here are a few ways you can figure that out:
- Where has it been consistently hard to obey God word?
- What is a recurring theme?
- What conversations do you feel like you are having over and over again?
- Where is the friction in your relationships right now?
- How are you doing emotionally? Why has it changed?
- What are you feeling guilty about?
As Jeff mentioned in his sermon right now is a time of testing. We can see times of testing in a lot of places throughout the scriptures. Most notably with the Israelites in the wilderness.
2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
Our patience, trust, resiliency, perseverance, and way of life are all being tested right now.
Reflect: Reflect on what you feel like God is showing you right now.
For me I feel like I am learning that I find so much of my self worth in doing. There is nothing wrong with getting things done, but this should be in harmony with Christ, with Christ as the foundation lest I do too much and neglect so many other areas of my life. Even during this quarantine I find myself feeling guilty at time because I want to do more! I can relate to Martha a lot, but God is showing me that while my work ethic is a gift, I must fight to be more like Mary and simply sit at Jesus’s feet.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Jeff then asks this question: “What do you value most in life? Honestly, what is most important?”
This question gave me pause because of course I know what the right answer is! Of course the answer is God, I am a disciple after all! After I told my ego to shut up and let me just be honest, I started to feel both uncomfortable and excited. I realized that I am allowed to answer this question truthfully and honestly because no matter what the answer is God still loves me and is gracious with me and he really wants for me to take a look at the cracks in my foundation.
If we are insecure about the existence of cracks in our foundation, we will never heal them. Imagine a person going to inspect their foundation and when they find cracks they just stand there all day and scream at the cracks for existing. it’s funny, but sometimes we do the same thing. We hate the idea that cracks exists so we chose to never really answer this question honestly. We fear that if we say that something is more valuable than God to us that means we aren’t really Christians or that we are horrible people and our ego just wont let us be honest. This is a moment for us all to be honest about that question and I pray we all are. What do you value more than God?
- What gets most of my attention, heart, attention, resources
- What is the thing I feel like I cannot just live without
- What am I miserable without?
- What is the thing I hate to fast from the most?
For me, as I mentioned above, I can value doing over God. Figuring out ways to do more get’s a lot of my attention, heart, and resources and I would hate to fast from it! I have to find the right rhythm with working for God, but not letting the work become the idol. My wife and I spoke about this yesterday and I told her she has full permission to let me know when she feels like that is happening! I really don’t want this to be the story of my life! I have to grow in knowing when to walk away from a project or entrusting a situation to God. These are the cracks in my foundation, what are yours?
Jeff then asks: “Do I feel comfortable building everything else on this?” Personally, I do not feel comfortable building my foundation on this because all of it can be gone in an instant. Everything I feel I have worked to accomplish can all be destroyed in one way or another.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Jeff then talks about our sight and how we value it greatly! Sight is much more than eyesight. It is how we perceive the events as the unfold around, our perspective, how we see something and judge it, we put our own story to it. The story we give the things we are seeing can be filtered through a spiritual lense or an unspiritual lense. If what we see around us, we see with a spiritual lense our whole body will be filled with light!
Then Jesus says you cannot have two masters! Why? Because any master you have other than Jesus is going to mess your ability to see up!
Q: What other master do you have in your life?
As I thought about this question and was wondering how do we figure this out it came to me like a lightning bolt from Heaven. How do we know if we have another master in our life? GUILT. I realized that when we serve things other than God we will feel guilty about not doing enough for that master because any master other than Jesus will always require more of us and we will never feel like we have the quota in serving that master.
You know who we can serve where we do not ever have to feel guilty? Where we know we are enough? GOD. God does not use guilt to manipulate us to do more!
Q: where do you consistently feel guilty?
- Feel like your not being a good enough Mom/Dad?
- A good enough citizen?
- A good enough neighbor?
- A good enough disciple?
- A good enough spouse?
Jesus is calling us to a decision: Rock or sand, God or Mammon?
We must remember what they are not – They cannot be our foundation. It is not wrong to want to be a good Father, Mother, Worker, Neighbor, ect but these cannot be the things we build our foundation on!
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
Treasure on earth is not most important. Seek him first serve him only.
If everything else is crumbling and falling apart, we will still be okay. We will still stay standing!
Put it in practice: Be vulnerable with the people in your life and talk to them about where you feel you are building your foundation and the cracks you are seeing in your foundation and develop a plan to repair or re-lay the foundation with the help of your team!
We have this moment in time to stop and set this stuff straight, let’s not let it pass us by.
Look at the following image: I think we can all agree we want to have something like this spiritually. It just feels like nothing can move that house!