Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Solid Foundation FIRST

Do you ever become frustrated with your own spiritual backsliding?
Have you ever entered a "falling away" season with Jesus where you returned to your old selfish behaviors and began to dig a deep trench between the two of you?
Do you claim to follow Jesus, yet at times find yourself following after everything but Him?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you AREN'T alone.
Sadly, our faith can be weak, fickle, and very susceptible to damaging life-storms if we do not have a solid foundation of elementary Scriptural teachings about walking with Jesus.
In order to build something great, it must start with a solid foundation. 
A foundation that can withstand torrents of rain, gushes of wind, and even flooding.
While speaking with a large crowd of people Jesus asked a very thought provoking question:
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?"
He then reasoned with them,
"I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. 
When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 
But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. 
The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete. "  Luke 6:46-49
Recent behaviors from Cole and Allie mirror this parable.
Allie is nearly a year and still unable to drink liquids from any kind of cup or bottle. 
If she were to have her way, her diet would consist only of mushy to solid-like foods.  If I offer her something in pure liquid form, she turns her head or swats at it. 
However, babies need water or milk.  The body can't function without water and there are essential fats in milk that their little bodies could definitely benefit from. 
So in order to get some water and milk into that belly of hers, I am literally SPOON FEEDING her liquids every morning. 
And to make matters worse, in order to get her to drink/eat it I have to add cereal or oatmeal to it so that the liquid has a more solid consistency. 
The water and milk are no longer in liquid form and my 11 month old DIVA is getting exactly what she wants. Ha! 
She wishes to skip the basics of liquids in her diet and move on to heartier solids. But we all know that in order for the body to function well, it requires water.  Water is the foundation of a healthy diet. 

So while I love that she will eat solids, she FIRST needs to drink liquids.  
Cole has a similar problem. 
After watching and listening to Grayden learn to read over the past few months he has now decided he can read. 
He will bring me a book and tell me he wants to read it.  He then puts his finger on each word and either guesses or waits for me to slowly say the word until he is able to figure out what word I am saying. 
He is not reading, obviously.  He has skipped the basic, foundational teachings of phonetics and thinks he can go straight to reading words, even full sentences. 
Bless his heart.  He is only trying to be like his big brother and someday soon he will be able to read. 
But FIRST, he needs a few lessons in phonetics.
Both Cole & Allie want to mature and grow by skipping basic, elementary steps.  Yet growth of this type is weak and very susceptible to damage because it is not built and rooted on a strong foundation. 
This is exactly what will happen to a Christian whose faith isn't rooted in the basic, elementary teachings of Scripture. 
This is exactly what the writer of Hebrews warns against in chapter 5:12-14
The warning is given to believers on the verge of falling away.
"In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food!  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil."
The message is clear:  First, a Christian needs to understand the foundational teachings of Scripture such as,
  • God is love.  And He loves us without condition. 
  • We are sinful.
  • Jesus came to die for our sins and grant us salvation.
  • Salvation is attained through confession, repentance, and faith in Christ.
  • Walking with Jesus is a daily surrender of self and a commitment to follow Him regardless.
 And then the Christian can begin to mature spiritually, grow fruits of wisdom such as sound judgment and discernment, and thus train themselves to distinguish between right and wrong in all of life's circumstances. 
Just like Cole and Allie need to be taught basic skills in order to build a strong diet and reading foundation and to prevent damage when life gets more complicated,
they also need to be taught basic Scriptural truths in order to build a solid foundation of faith that can withstand spiritual storms and battles throughout life.
Join me today and let's pray the following
Lord, I pray you would grant me the strength, wisdom, and creativity to teach my children through word and example the basic, foundation truths of Scripture and Your gospel.  I pray they would firmly establish a faith rooted and founded in Jesus.  I pray that this foundation would withstand the trouble and trials in their lives and help to prevent spiritual backsliding.  And I pray that on this solid foundation they would build spiritual maturity and wisdom that will help train them to distinguish good from evil throughout all of their life. 

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