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Solid Rock and Sinking Sand

July 11, 2018

“Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

Over the past several years we’ve seen hurricanes wreak mind-boggling destruction. When a hurricane hits, countless homes and lives are washed into the sea, and the things people count on the most don’t hold up to the storm’s furious surges.

We all have hurricanes in our lives: the out-of-the-blue surprises that leave us reeling from their blows. A phone call from the doctor, a word about a wayward child, a dreaded pink slip, a betrayal by a trusted friend. Our lives have a lot of potentially grim news on the horizon, and none of us are exempt. The issue is not whether a Katrina is in your forecast; the issue is how you deal with it when it comes.

When I was a kid, we sang a song in Sunday school about a man who built his house on the sand. This man may have thought it cool to build his house near the beach, but when the storm hit it was bad news for him. The song was based on one of those in-your-face stories Jesus often told to catch our attention. This story illustrates what life is like when we hear His teaching and then go our merry way and do whatever we please. Jesus warned: If you live like that, given enough time and a big enough storm, your life will slide into a heap of rubble. And, as Jesus said, you can expect that it will fall “with a great crash” (Matthew 7:27).

But against the backdrop of the “sand house” sliding into the sea, Jesus taught that there was another way to live, a better way. He wants us to build the house of our lives on a rock-hard foundation, on Him. Solid lives, He taught, are lives built by people who not only hear His words but also put them into practice. When the storms come, houses built on the rock of obedience and a cultivated trust in who God is and what He has taught us, stand unscathed when the skies eventually clear.

So, the question is, what kind of house are you building—or, more specifically, what are you counting on for security and stability in your life? The sinking sand of life on your own terms, the fickle rush of popularity, the shaky ground of a prestigious career or lifestyle, or the soft soil of living for comfort and cash? As okay as you might think some of these pursuits may seem, none of them will sustain you in the midst of a hurricane-force storm. What you need is to build on the granite foundation of truth—God’s truth as found in His Word.

As Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 7:24-25).

If you’re not sure how solid your foundation is, stop construction. Commit to living your life on God’s terms, not your own—then build away. No storm that comes will threaten your life when you are built on the Rock.


  • How would you describe the foundation of your life? What is your primary source of direction in your life—your own sense of understanding or God’s direction from His Word?
  • What kind of storm have you experienced, or are you experiencing, that challenges the way you live? Sickness, divorce, layoff, career change, death of a loved one?
  • In what ways does the teaching of Jesus give you security in tough times?
  • Give some examples of the solid teaching of Jesus that you could build your life upon. Think of your relationships, job, thought life, and attitudes. What do you know about Him that will keep you unshaken in the storms of life?