Susan Beckett | The Dwelling Place City Church
Way back in 1174, the Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on his most famous project: an eight-story bell tower for the city of Pisa. But he had just one “little” problem: his builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated and before long, the entire structure had begun to tilt – and tilt – and tilt. The tower took 176 years to build and has stood for over 840 years, but it leaned 18 feet away from where it should be.
The famous tower was reopened to the public in 2001, after engineers completed a 25 million dollar renovation project designed to stabilize it. So again, what was the problem? Bad design? Poor workmanship? An inferior grade of materials? No. The problem was all due to the fact that the tower had no firm foundation!
The Bible amazingly addresses this exact scenario in Matthew 7: “Anyone who hears my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rains and floods come against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But, anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
This is unbelievable – only Jesus could get away with telling his audience, “Listen and follow my teachings and you’ll be smart. Don’t – and you’re stupid.” (That word “foolish” in the Greek translates “dull” or “stupid.”) And let’s face it – storms will come, hard times happen to the good and bad alike – this is exactly when our foundations are most tested.
More than just a history book or biography about God, the Bible is an instruction manual for our lives. It’s not meant to be read like other books – this is not a weekly tabloid that places no demands on how you live your life. The reason this book has endured throughout the centuries is that it dares to tackle our toughest questions about life. What happens after I die? Is there really a Creator? Why am I here? What do I do with fears?
The Bible is a textbook for us mortals. Someone once remarked that, “When you choose your authority, (your foundation) you choose your god.” Everyone’s worldview is built on something – be it the Bible, atheism, agnosticism, humanism, etc. – one is solid rock, all others are sinking sand.
Robert Kupferschmid was an 81 year old with zero flying experience. In 1998, he and his 52 year old pilot friend were flying to Indiana. During the flight, his friend slumped over and died at the controls. The Cessna 172 single-engine plane began to nose-dive as Robert grabbed the controls. He quickly got on the radio and pleaded for help. Two pilots nearby heard the call come in and gave Robert a steady stream of instructions of climbing, steering, and – the scariest part – landing.
Emergency vehicles were called out and ready for what seemed would be a fiery disaster. The plane’s nose nudged the center line and bounced several times before the tail hit the ground. The Cessna eventually ended up in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. Amazingly, Robert was uninjured. Why? He had listened and followed the advice of his two coaches as if his life depended on it – because it did!
Jesus handed out some great advice and, as always – it’s our choice to take it or leave it. My wise hubby always says that good advice is a lot like manure – it’s no good unless you spread it around! Agatha Christie said it this way: “Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that’s no reason not to give it.” My proposal? Heed the advice!
Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you may contact them at DPCitychurch.org
Find your latest news here at the Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle