Unshakeable Foundation

2 Peter 3:10-13

With each passing year, the instability in the world seems more and more apparent. Natural and man-made catastrophes claim lives; political balance shifts; wealth and status come and go. It all causes us to ask, Is anything unshakeable?

As overwhelming as these things seem, let me give you an even bigger example. In today’s passage, we read that the heavens and earth will be shaken. It will all be destroyed—burned, to be exact. Thankfully, we have the promise that God will create new heavens and a new earth, but in the meantime our world will undergo great turmoil.

Instability can create feelings of insecurity and fear unless we latch onto the truths God has given us. The Bible refers to Jesus as a rock and firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Eph. 2:20). And we know that God is unchangeable and sovereign; nothing can undermine or move Him. His Word is truth, and it will last forever.

As Christians, we know that our eternal relationship with God is secure. We’ve been adopted as His children, and nothing can rob us of this position. What’s more, believers are assured of an eternal home with Him. Though we may at times feel unsettled by our circumstances, we can rejoice when trials bring us humbly to the cross of Jesus, where we will find peace and safety.

What assurance we have as God’s children! We can rest in peace and full confidence, knowing that our hearts are secure in Jesus Christ. As King David said in Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”



Things That Cannot Be Shaken

Hebrews 12:25-29

In general, people like security. We seek what is comfortable. Yet the reality of our world is that much instability exists. For example, finances, health, and even a country’s ability to survive are not guaranteed.

When our foundation is shaken, we often feel overwhelmed. Sometimes Satan causes the difficulty—with God’s permission, of course. At other times, challenging circumstances are brought about by the Lord’s hand. Regardless of the source, we have the promise in Romans 8:28 that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” And in either case, the Almighty’s purpose remains: to glorify Himself in our world and in our lives.

There are different reasons that the Lord permits turmoil, but for now, let’s focus on one: He will not allow anything that enables man to seem self-sufficient in his own eyes. Therefore, God may lovingly allow enough trouble for us to realize our need of Him. Consider the trials the Israelites faced each time they turned away from the Lord to worship other gods. In many ways, we do the same thing today. Individually, in our churches, and as a nation, we often glorify “gods” like money or status. But the One who created us will not tolerate this.

In our pride, we tend to think we’re able to manage without God. But out of love, He may stir up our life to reveal our dependence upon Him. If you are basing your security on anything except Jesus Christ—even something as seemingly innocent as comfort—it will prove to be sinking sand.



Watch How You React

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5

What do you really believe about God? Not what you say you believe or even ought to believe, but what do you actually hold to be true about Him. Here’s how you can know. The next time you run into a difficult, painful, or even heartbreaking situation, watch how you react. Nothing reveals the stuff of which your Christian beliefs are made than tough times. Maybe that’s why today’s Scripture urges us to “glory in our sufferings” and James counsels us to “welcome trials as friends” (James 1:2, PHILLIPS). In fact, these hardships will teach you—as nothing else can—the real quality of your faith.

God, of course, already knows what’s in your heart. He just wants you to know. Do you believe He is kind and good? In control of the details? Do you believe He is sovereign and has a purpose for your suffering? How you respond to your trial will make it plain to you.

Lord, I know how often my mouth gets ahead of the reality in my heart. I can say or write faith-filled messages by the dozen, but it all rings hollow if I don’t cling to You when I suffer. I’m really tired of just talking about it, Jesus. I want a faith that runs deep and carries me through anything.



Come To The Fountain of Life

Hiking the Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful experiences on earth. The views are unmatchable, and millions of people flock there every year to take them in. One thing in short supply when you hike it is water. If you don’t make proper preparations, you will be in big trouble not too far in. Several places along the trail you will find fountains that replenish your supply. The lines are often long with people desperate to hydrate. On our journey following Jesus, it is vital that we come to the fountain of life to replenish our dry and thirsty spirit.

‭‭John‬ ‭4:10

“Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.”

Object of Our Worship

The encounter at the well with the Samaritan woman was unique in Scripture, but it’s impact still resonates today. The questions she asked Jesus was where should she worship. Jesus turned the question on its head and said the place isn’t as important as the heart is. There was a debate raging between the Jews and Samaritans on which mountain was the right place to worship. Jesus shows us that the object of our worship what matters most.

Seek His Face

Churches get caught up in the buildings they build.  I understand how essential buildings are, but, I also have seen them turn into idols and money pits. If the presence of the Holy Spirit isn’t in the building during the services, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the structure is. As the Body of Christ, we need to seek the face of Jesus and let Him take care of the rest. He is the fountain of life that we need to go to daily.

Come to the Fountain of Life

When you come to the fountain of life, you tap into a source that is inexhaustible. We can drink from everything else this world has to offer, and we will always get thirsty again. Once we drink of the living water, Jesus offers, we will be filled with life that supersedes everything else. Don’t get caught up in the rituals or structures. Seek the face of Jesus. He will change you in ways you can’t imagine.



What Would Jesus Do?

Luke 6:39-40

In the 1990s many Christians joined the trend of wearing small wristbands bearing the letters W.W.J.D., which stood for the question “What Would Jesus Do?” Although the fad has passed, the question is still valid. It’s designed to prompt us to consider whether our words, actions, and attitudes are an accurate reflection of the life of our Savior. 

However, before we can accurately assess whether we are doing what Jesus would, we need to have a comprehensive understanding of what He said and did, as recorded in Scripture. It’s easy to take a few verses and come away with a simplistic view of the Lord. Most people are tempted to make Jesus into an image of what they want Him to be instead of trying to see the whole picture. Yes, He responded to people with love and compassion, but He also told them to stop sinning and warned them about the dangers of hell.

If we truly want to respond like Christ, it will take more than a reminder from a bracelet. We must yearn to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Rom. 13:14). This means we must learn who Christ is through daily Scripture reading and pray for Him to transform our heart. That will help purify our life from sin and align our thoughts and desires with His.

Then, as we not only show His compassion and concern for the lost but also warn them of the danger they face by rejecting Him, some may be drawn to our Savior. And since “the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10 NIV), we know our actions are in line with what He would do.



Sharing The Good News

Romans 10:8-17

Can you imagine filling a ship with precious cargo and launching it into the sea, only to watch it repeatedly dock without offloading anything? I imagine silent Christians are much like this ship. God has personally blessed believers with salvation and eternal life and entrusted to them the message of the gospel, yet too few of His children are willing to share with others the good news of salvation in Christ.

What causes us to stay silent? We know that Jesus has commanded us to go and make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20). Furthermore, He has assured us that we will be empowered by His authority and presence with us. God is offering the invitation of salvation to “whoever will call on the name of the Lord.” He has even made it clear that our communicating the good news is the means by which people will come to saving faith (Rom. 10:13-14).

Sometimes Christians who don’t share their faith defend that choice by saying, “My faith is private. It’s between me and my God.” But that is not the model we see in Scripture. Genuine faith is confessed with the mouth and shared with the world.

Every believer has been entrusted with the good news of salvation through Christ. It is unquestionably the single most important piece of information we have, because it offers the only door to heaven. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” We have to courageously step forward in faith, be willing to set aside worldly concerns, obey God, and tell someone about Jesus.



Dying To Serve

John 12:23-26

Imagine two grains of wheat lying on the floor of a warm and cozy barn. One day, the farmer comes in and tells them, “I want to take you out of this comfortable barn and plant you in the earth. I’m going to place you in the cold ground and cover you with soil. It will be dark, and you will die. But I promise that you will multiply and become very fruitful.”

The first grain of wheat turns down the suggestion. “No way!” he says. “Count me out. I like my comfort, and I don’t want to die.” But the second one, after carefully considering the pain and discomfort of dying, decides the promise of a future harvest is worth the sacrifice. So the farmer takes him outside and plants him in the ground, while allowing the first grain of wheat to remain inside the barn.

A few days later, a small green sprout begins to appear over where the seed has been planted. Then it grows and becomes a tall stalk of wheat that produces one hundred more grains. For the next 40 years, the farmer plants all the seeds that originated from that first grain of wheat, and year after year the harvest multiplies. Meanwhile, the grain of wheat that stayed in the barn remains there all alone, never growing or multiplying—but he has stayed very comfortable.

Which grain of wheat are you? Are you playing it safe, or have you let Christ plant you in the world? The only way you’ll become useful and fruitful in God’s kingdom is by abiding in Him and trusting that His desires for your life are worthwhile.



Servanthood Requirements

Luke 19:1-9

In sending his son to earth, God didn’t intend for Him to be a superstar. Jesus came to serve. As His disciples, we are to follow His example and serve a lost and hurting world. In today’s passage, we read about Zaccheus, who began to demonstrate qualities he saw Jesus model.

Awareness: Although surrounded by a crowd, the Lord stopped and took notice of one particular man perched in a tree. Zaccheus was hated and rejected because he was a tax collector. Although he was rich, there was something missing in his life, and Christ recognized his need. In our life, there are many people like Zaccheus—needy, empty, lonely, and searching for hope. But too often, we’re preoccupied with our activities and don’t even notice them.

Availability: Jesus was heading to Jerusalem to carry out the most important act in human history: our redemption. Yet He stopped to spend time with a spiritually needy man. What is so important that it keeps you from giving people your time and attention?

Acceptance: Although Zaccheus was a notorious sinner, Jesus didn’t say, “Clean up your act, and then I’ll come to your house.” We’re called, not to fix people, but to share the transforming gospel of Christ.

How are you doing at serving those around you? Maybe it’s time to slow down enough to see who might be in need. God places all kinds of opportunities in our path, but if we’re not attentive, we’ll miss them. Sometimes we just need to pause, pray, and open our eyes.



Danger of False Teaching

Romans 16:17-18

Throughout the ages the church has been bombarded with false teaching, and it’s still prevalent today. Since the only way to combat error is with truth, the church must be grounded in the Scriptures to avoid falling victim to deception.

The church needs an accurate view of Jesus. To hold firmly to the truth of the gospel, we must have a solid understanding of who Christ is. Though some claim Jesus was a teacher or a prophet, Scripture says He was fully God, who created everything and came to earth to save mankind from condemnation (John 1:1-13).  Others argue that there are many ways to God. However, reconciliation with Him requires that sin’s penalty be paid in full by one who is sinless. Only Jesus, the perfect Son of Man, could meet God’s requirement. Therefore, no one can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

The church must also affirm true doctrine. False teachers can be very persuasive and lead listeners into wrong thinking, confusion, and discouragement. In contrast, true doctrine strengthens and encourages believers by assuring them that salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone; it is not gained or maintained by their performance (Eph. 2:8-9). Those who belong to Jesus need never fear condemnation because the penalty for their sins has been paid (Rom. 8:1). Everyone who is born again has an imperishable inheritance, which is reserved in heaven and protected by divine power through faith until God reveals it (1 Peter 1:3-5). 

Can you discern false teaching? The only way to guard yourself and your church is to be firmly grounded in God’s Word.



Place Your Hope In Him

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.”

Psalm 39:7

When we load all our hopes, dreams, and expectations into the here and now, without taking eternity into account, we subtly ask people in our lives to be what they will never be and to do what they are incapable of doing. We make the mistake of seeing our relationships as ends in themselves rather than as means to ends. This is especially true of marriage. Don’t think of marriage as a container for your happiness; think of it as a workroom for God to get you ready for the age to come.  Don’t think of marriage as the missing puzzle piece in your life that will magically complete you. Only God can complete you! Don’t expect your spouse to make you happy, meet all your needs, or understand you through and through. Those are things only God is equipped to do. Place your hopes and expectations in Him. He will never disappoint you.

Father in heaven, You know my heart. You know my tendency to place such high expectations on the people in my life. If only I would turn to You first! Help me to release those unrealistic hopes and fantasies and simply to love and enjoy the companionship of the loved ones You have given me.