A Little Understanding – The Foundation Holds Us Up
In my previous post A Little Understanding – The Foundation Walls I used my limited understanding of foundation engineering to explain that its purpose was twofold. The foundation in our walk with Christ and the foundation of the church also has the same two purposes.
First, our foundation holds up who we are as Christ followers and as the collective of Christ followers because, “God so loved the world…” (John 3:16). God’s love supports us, it lifts us up. He stepped into the world with a way to stop our lives from collapsing.
The new follower of Christ not only knows this as the reason they are who they are, but also explores it like the first time homeowner checks out their new basement. Sadly the new believer often becomes more and more interested in the areas people see and don’t mind hearing about. The basement/foundation loses its appeal becoming dull and boring.
If we as individuals can so easily forget the foundation of our faith then how much easier is it for the group of individuals to become bored? When is the last time you showed the same enthusiasm for the undeserved love and salvation God has given you as you show when promoting your church’s latest program?
Look, I know the foundation isn’t pretty but the house stays up because of it.
Besides that, my TV works because electricity routed through the electrical panel in my basement powers it. My bathtub… oops just kind of told you one of my secrets. I called it “my bathtub” which means you probably figured out, I like to take a bath. I know you’re surprised, someone as manly as me usually takes a shower, but I like to take a bath. As I was saying, my bathtub has the perfect water temperature because the water flows through the hot water heater in the basement then into the pipes and finally through the spout and into the tub where it warms my aching muscles (from doing manly work of course). When the dirt is all off of me or, how do I put this delicately, out of me, the sanitary pipes flow from my bathtub, sink and of course my toilet, through the basement and out of the house.
The foundation of a follower of Christ is much the same.
God’s love for us did not leave us alone after Christ returned to heaven. He sent His Spirit that gives us power and comforts the aches and pains of the everyday life. God’s love sent His son to die, cleansing us from our sin. God’s love removes the dirt, from where we live, not just the day we committed our lives to Him but every time we do what we don’t want to and don’t do what we want to.
A Little Understanding – The Foundation Ties Us into the Footing
The second purpose of the foundation is to connect us to God like the foundation walls tie into the footings…To connect with God as our footing, to tie into the stability He provides and rely on His support alone we must gain a little understanding of the whole plan.
Like a construction project, God’s plan isn’t just about paint and trim, fixtures and flooring. God’s plan starts with Him, relies on Him and is anchored to Him. The footings and foundation dictate the limits of the structure. No matter how much weight the foundation walls can hold, remember God and His love are limitless, if they are not tied into the footings, the building will collapse.
No amount of your gifting and work can tie you to God.
You cannot secure your salvation nor can you win God’s approval by doing stuff. So what does God call us to do as Christ followers and as a collective of Christ followers? How can I ensure my life and my church are tied into the footings, attached to God?
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)
Next to John 3:16, this must be one of the most well-known and quoted sections of New Testament scripture. The vision for any church is to live out these verses both as individuals who attend and as a collective organization.
Mission statements incorporated in logos and painted on sanctuary walls summarize these verses this way…
…“Love God – Love People” and with good reason. Jesus didn’t just answer the question asked (“…which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”) He added a second part to His answer and then went a step further. He said everything that God has passed on to you through those He chose to represent Him is subject to these two laws.
Doing good, Godly type things is just following your interpretation, your own rules to try connect with God. Connecting with God isn’t about impressing Him with what you do, it’s about the opposite. Connecting with God is about being impressed with who God is, so impressed that you love Him with everything you are and totally trust Him.
The only way a foundation of love can tie into the support of God is to love Him because He first loved us.*
* From time to time my blog will include excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.