Speaking the Truth in Love

In Him We Stand

One December evening some years ago, Carolyn and I carried three bags down from the attic. It was time to put up and decorate the tree. We had a little problem, though. The stand was missing. It was nowhere to be seen in the attic, the utility closet, or the storage shed in the back yard.

Without a base that tree wasn’t going to stand. We could have assembled its three main sections, plugged in the lights, and adorned its branches with ornaments. We could have placed beautifully-wrapped packages on the floor next to the tree. But without a foundation that tree wasn’t going to stand.

Without a foundation you and I will never stand either. As Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount, he says that “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it” (Matt. 7:26-27). The foolish man’s “house” is his life. It collapses because it isn’t built on the solid rock, the person and teachings of Jesus (vs. 24-25).

After a few moments of searching, Carolyn found our missing stand hiding in a box in the attic. Half an hour later our tree was standing tall in the den window. But most people have never discovered the foundation on which to build a fulfilled and lasting life. Yes, they manage to put together some of life’s important pieces. And maybe they decorate their “branches” with the glitter of wealth, power, fame, or achievement. But without Jesus they lie prostrated by sin.

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