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  • Writer's pictureMark


As I was growing up my family was involved in new home construction. Despite my best efforts, I managed to learn some things along the way. Probably the most important one is that a house’s foundation is the most important part. All else being equal, a building with a firm foundation is much better off than one that isn’t sound. Everything depends on the foundation.

After the foundation there are basement walls (if there’s a basement). There’s the floor, walls, rafters and roofing, and of course the plumbing and electrical work. All of that is supported by the foundation. So, do rafters support the foundation? No. Vice versa.

In his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul addresses a similar issue. He references olive trees, but the principle is the same. In chapter eleven he mentions “wild” olive branches being grafted into a tree being tended in a grove. But does the tree’s root depend on either the “natural” or “wild” branch? No. In the same way God does not need any of us - “wild” or “natural.”

But He does want us.

God, by definition, is perfect. He doesn’t need anything, particularly your worship. But He does deserve it. He’s perfect, so how could we give Him anything that would make Him better? I’ve written about this before and used the analogy of my best being only a crayon drawing. Despite that, He puts it on His refrigerator. Why? Because He loves us, and wants to share Himself with us.

The difficulty comes in when one lamp in the house thinks it’s better than the other lamps. “I’m a natural lamp, so I’m better than you wild lamps.” But if that natural lamp doesn’t work it gets thrown out in favor of a lamp that sheds light - even if that lamp a “wild” one.

Keep in mind that the light these lamps shed does not come from the lamp itself. The appliance needs to be plugged in, or it cannot shine. And not every lamp that’s plugged in sheds light. Going back to the olive tree, the branch gets cut off, and a wild branch gets grafted in that can grow olives.

Regardless of which lamp or branch we’re discussing, the foundation is God. Wild or natural, the branch does not support the roots. Without the roots the branches wither and die. Without electricity, even when plugged in a lamp won’t light up.

A foolish man builds his home on sand. When the Day of the Lord comes, his life will come crashing down. The wise man builds his home on solid rock - a firm foundation.

On Christ, the solid rock, is where I’ll stand. All other ground is sinking sand.

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