A Firm Foundation
God will "settle" us, meaning lay a firm foundation for us when we live in obedience to what He says to us in His Word. When we disobey what God is telling us, we weaken the foundation.
Alright. Thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, I do wait to listen for your answer because across the miles I think I can hear some of you say “fine” or else somebody says “don’t ask” depending on what kind of a day it is. Well, bless your heart. This is your friend, Bob Cook.
Now, I’m back with you for another little while to look at the Word of God and put a handle on it so that you can get hold of it for yourself. I delight in these moments together. Sometimes I do them in the very early morning and sometimes as it is right now I’m making these broadcasts and putting them on tape very late at night. And it’s quiet around, and my heart is filled with the blessing of the Lord and I’m grateful for the privilege of speaking with you, and I’ve just been praying that God may put something into the message that is just suited for you. Oh, may that be true.
You and I have been looking at I Peter 5:10. We’re finishing it up now. “The God of all grace, who called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” We come then to this word “settle” which really means “lay the foundation and establish it on the foundation.” That’s the meaning of that word. Themelioō is the verb, the Greek verb, lay the foundation and establish it on the foundation.
Now, of course, those of you who study your Bible know immediately some of the things that I’m about to say to you. Paul said other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ and he builds on the foundation of our commitment of obedience and trust. Jesus our Lord said, “I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” So He’s the one that builds us and He himself is the foundation. But there is another sense in which the foundation of this word, this Greek word that is translated “settle” is another sense in which it depends not only on our Lord Jesus Christ and His Word but also on our obedience. For example, I want to read for you from Matthew 7:24. Our Lord Jesus said, ” Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them…” Now, that word “doeth” means obeys them. You do something about the Word of God.
May I stop here long enough just to remind you that your devotions are never complete until you have found out what God wants you to do about the truth that He has given you. Every time you wait before God and study His Word, there will always be something that registers in your own heart and conscience concerning something God wants you to do in obedience. It may not be a very big thing. It may not be earth-shaking. It may not be something about which others need to know at all. But God will lead you in obedience as a result of His truth. That’s what our Lord Jesus had in mind therefore when He said, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, doesn’t obey, he shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell and great was the fall of it.”
I walked along the shore way down toward the Southland, someplace in Florida I guess it was, and came upon a group of buildings that at one time had been summer homes. They had been built very close to the water’s edge on pilings driven into the sand and then the house itself constructed upon those pilings. And then some hurricane had come in and the wind and the waves had battered these one-time beautiful homes into nothingness and there the ruins of them were showing. Nothing left but a few scattered four-by-four’s sticking up from the sand, a house built on the sand.
Now, what is this saying to me and to you? Jesus said this matter of a foundation, rock or sand, this matter of a foundation is connected with my willingness to do what He tells me. Now, I’ve lived well and long enough to have experienced both kinds of — both sides, let us say, of this truth. There have been occasions as I’m sure there must have been with you, beloved, when I did not do what I knew to be the will of God. Well, yes, I asked God to forgive me and He did and He gave me oftentimes a chance to come back and do what I knew I should. In the case of a missed witness, for example, in the case of a statement that may not have been accurate, I had the chance to say, “Listen, I need to straighten that out. That wasn’t exactly what it ought to be. It wasn’t exactly accurate.” Many times I’ve had the chance to do that.
What I’m talking about is the result of disobedience. Do you realize that Jesus our Lord connected the solidity and steadfastness and staying power of your life as a foundation? He connected the foundation with obedience, and when I disobey I actually weaken the base of my Christian life. And I know in times when my soul was dry or in times when I’d gotten too busy. Did you ever get too busy and your soul got dry and you weren’t really closely preciously in touch with your Lord because you were so busy? Did you ever have that? Yes, you did. Well, in those times there was a perception that frightened me and I’ve learned now I think that there is a connection between walking closely with God in moment by moment obedience on one hand and the strong sure solid foundation of your Christian life.
Now, this is not to say that you’re saved by works and this is not to say that if you fall short of complete obedience to God, you lose your salvation. I’m not saying that. You know that. What I am saying is that Jesus our Lord connected the rock foundation of Christian life with obedience to what God says in His Word. You obey what God says in His Word and you’ll be building on the rock and the spiritual “Hugo hurricanes” that beat against you are not going beat you down because the strength of your foundation is connected with your obedience to an Almighty God.
I don’t know if I had confused the issue or put it across but maybe you know how I feel anyway. Jesus connected permanence in spiritual life with obedience to spiritual truth. He connected permanence in spiritual life with obedience to spiritual truth. “Whoso heareth these sayings of mine and obeys them, he’ll be on a rock. Whoso heareth these sayings and doesn’t obey them, he’ll be on the sand and the hurricane will wash him away.”
Beloved, would you give some thought to how solid the foundation of your life is? All of us have had the experience of interacting with people whose witness seemed brassy and shallow and whose service did not seem to be too effective, and then discovering that they were either ultra busy or disobeying God in some way. Whatever it may have been, there wasn’t any spiritual solidity and a rock-like foundation for their lives. And then others whom we’ve met have been so strong and so solidly set in the will of God. We discovered that people like that were committed to obeying God no matter what. I want to be that kind of person. Don’t you? The Lord Jesus said you build on a rock when you obey what he tells you. You build on a rock when you obey what He tells you.
Now, that then is the meaning of this word “settle,” lay the foundation and establish on the foundation. Yes, other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ and God does the building. He said we’re built into a Holy Temple for the Lord and that is beautiful as well, every part finding its own place built into a Holy Temple. I’m looking out Ephesians Chapter 2. “You are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens of the saints and of the household of God; and you are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. In Him all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord in whom ye also are buildeth together for a habitation of God though the spirit.” The foundation is Jesus and what He tells you to do and the building part of it is God.
By the way, I get letters oftentimes. I have answered a few recently where people said, “I just don’t know what God has in store for me. I wish you’d pray that I might find my place in God’s plan.” Well, I suppose the real meaning of the question is pray that I might feel like I’m in the proper place because if you’re a believer you’re already in your place. God has a plan for every life. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. And it said of the Lord Jesus in John Chapter 6, He himself knew what he would do. And in John Chapter 2 it says they didn’t have to tell Him anything because He knew what was in man. He knew all men.
So God has a plan for your life. Proverbs 3 says commit thy ways unto the Lord and He shall direct thy paths. “In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” So there’s no doubt about the fact that God has a place for you, and if you’re born again the Holy Spirit of God dwells within in and you are being built into God’s holy habitation not far from where I’m speaking with you now. Down the road a piece is a building that was put together with pre-fitted lumber. Every piece had been precut and so they got a big crane up there and would pick up these big timbers and put them in place and they would fit perfectly as the building went up, every piece precut, fitly framed together.
God has you, beloved. Listen, God has you precut to fit in to His plans and all you have to do is obey. You think about it.
Precious Father, help us to do Your will. Help us to build on the foundation and keep us solid with God. In Jesus’ name I pray this. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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