A Sinking Feeling

May 18, 2017
Volume 21, Number 17

I remember the feeling of walking on some of the beaches we’ve visited in the past.  The sand is usually loose and gives way under my feet as I walk.  The process of walking along the beach demands more exertion than I planned.  When we visited Daytona Beach, Florida I was skeptical about driving on the beach, thinking I would quickly sink.  Thankfully, that area has a more stable base, and we were OK.

A fellow must have mistaken Island Beach State Park in New Jersey for Daytona Beach.  This past Tuesday he drove his SUV close to the surf in order to take photos.  His vehicle began sinking, however, and the tide was moving in.  By the time a tow truck arrived, the water was already about midway up his tires.  His SUV was pulled to safety, but witnesses reported strange sounds as he attempted to drive away.

The unidentified owner of the SUV now understands, as most of us already do, that sand is not a secure foundation for vehicles or other objects of value.

What would you think of a person who tried to build a house on sand?  That’s the image Jesus used in Matthew 7:24-27.  Two men were described, both intent on building houses in which to live.  One took the time and effort to dig to a solid foundation; the other took the easy way and simply built on top of the sand.

Once built, both men seemed to have succeeded in their missions.  But then the storms came: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon” both houses (Matthew 7:25,27).  The aftermath was predictable: The house built upon the sand fell, “and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:27).  Most shake their heads upon hearing the story, saying “He should have known better.”

Let’s not be too quick with our judgments, for Jesus wasn’t pointing at house builders; He was talking about life builders.  “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24).  The foolish builder?  That’s the person who also hears the teachings of Jesus, but “does not do them” (Matthew 7:26).

A lot of people take time to hear the words of Jesus; that’s a good beginning.  But if we fail to follow through and actually do what Jesus teaches we’re no better than the man who parked his SUV next to the surf, or to the man who built his house upon sand.

Psalm 1 stresses this idea: The man is blessed, we are told, whose “delight is in the law of the Lord … He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season” (Psalm 1:1-3).  What of those who pay no attention to God’s teachings?  “But the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).

Come to the light God offers!  Study His word, the Bible.  Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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