When is the last time you saw a foundation? Possibly it was a new restaurant being built or new home that someone is anxiously waiting to be completed. Anything that is going to last the test of time needs a good solid foundation, so it’s understandable that we would see the foundations being built for those structures. How deep is a good foundation though? Clay Risen at Popular Science wrote an article about the process of constructing the Shanghai Tower, which is the world’s 3rd tallest building yet at 2,073 feet. “Shanghai is in an earthquake zone, and the site (which is located on a river delta) has soft, clay-heavy soil. So before lifting a single steel beam, engineers drove 980 foundation piles into the ground as deep as 282 feet. Then they poured 2.15 million cubic feet of reinforced concrete to create an 20-foot-thick foundation mat.” For something as exemplary as one of the tallest buildings in the world, there should be a serious foundation built before anything above ground can take shape.
What would happen if that foundation was built and nothing was built upon it? Take a moment and imagine all the hard work that went into just putting the foundation in place for the Shanghai Tower. All the effort put into something no one will ever see, for the sake of something that everyone will see to be built on top of it. When was the last time that you’ve seen an abandoned foundation? If visible they are usually covered in dirt, dust, and weeds. They leave those that see them with a feeling of “What if?” A strong foundation is necessary before anything worthwhile can be built, but if nothing is built, the foundation is for nothing. You never hear of families going to big cities to look at foundations of skyscrapers, but you especially never hear of them going to see foundations of skyscrapers never built. Anything worth building needs a foundation just as much as the foundation needs something built on it to matter.
The truth of the metaphor is that we have the strongest foundation in Christ. Ephesians 2:19-20 states “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” With this in mind, we have the great responsibility to build on that foundation something worth looking at. I am not professing vanity or self-promotion by any means. Instead we should be the purest representation of Godly principles and convictions. Paul writes again in Ephesians 4 about our purpose in the church being “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (Building Up) of the body of Christ” If you read that in reverse, it lays out the building plan perfectly. We are to be building up the body of Christ through the work of ministry for the perfecting of the saints. The foundation of Christ and his crucifixion means nothing if we are not willing to build up the body of Christ. “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.”
Stand on the Rock and build the body,
Dear Entrusted Friend,
As an executive with many responsibilities to a multinational company here in my wonderful home town. It is my great honor, during this season of great peace and goodwill, to celebrate the MAGNIFICENT birth of our Lord the JESUS CHRIST. To this end the company I work for is distributing the large sum of 10000 USD RISK FREE money as a Christmas gift!!! All you have to do to receive the $$$ is be the first one to contact me at once via this email with the following details:
1. *Your Full Name*
2. *Your FULL and verified Bank Details*
This thing is for REAL!!! While I await to hear from you, may God be with you and your family and have a prosperous Yuletide.
Chief Financial Controller
Imagine you open up your phone, or sit down at your computer and this email is in your inbox. Also since we are imagining things, imagine it's Christmas time because that is when this story takes place. In 2009 this email was sent out to hundreds of clients and partners of Mother London, an advertising agency, to which they received one response. Even though the email was 100% true, they arrived at the office of Theo Delaney, and hand delivered him a briefcase with 10,000 dollars cash. Delaney was the only person to respond to that email.
We've all had our fair share of Nigerian Princes and fake phone calls trying to weasel their way into our bank accounts. Our guard has to be up constantly when it comes to our privacy. As technology becomes more and more accessible, the risk of our private information being compromised becomes higher as well. It's hard to give out your mother's maiden name for verification, much less your bank account information to an email that could be a potential hacker. I can't say that I too would have missed my opportunity for free cash by moving this email to my spam folder.
As we grow in God, He likes to stretch our faith as well. Knowing that God provides is easy to say, but a lot harder to put into practice. Then there are times when He says something that seems, to our feeble minds, ridiculous. In Matthew 17 Peter comes in contact with a mean ol' tax collector who tries to discredit Jesus by saying "I bet your Lord doesn't even pay taxes". To which Peter, who is willing to defend Jesus responds, "Yeah huh!" Ok maybe not in those words but, he wasn't going to let Jesus look bad.
As soon as Peter arrives back to Jesus, Jesus initiates a discussion about taxes. He then tells Peter in verse 27: “... go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take and give unto them for me and thee.” I can't imagine this was an easy task for Peter. It wasn't like: "Go out to the street and you'll find the coin there". Or, "Go over to the couch and you'll find exactly what you need in the cushions". No, he wanted Peter to fish and take the coin from the first fish he caught.
Sure, he had seen Jesus do some pretty miraculous things up until now. Just two verses earlier Jesus began the conversation about taxing even though He, Jesus, wasn't even there as Peter spoke with the tax collector. But this had to seem crazy to Peter. There was only one way to find out. Peter could have ignored it. Being a fisherman, he had caught many fish that didn't have coins in their mouths up until that point. Peter could have missed out, or he could allow His faith to be stretched just a little further and see Jesus use him for another miracle. Jesus told Peter to go. The circumstances were unusual, but the result was a blessing.
We may find it hard to obey Jesus when we don't understand, when He asks for the crazy. We may worry about what the response will be from those around us, and we may only see the impossibility as the "what ifs" pile against His request. There is only one way to find out when He asks you to make a giant leap of faith...jump. To reach higher heights, to experience deeper depths in our relationship with God requires some mobility. When we are willing to listen and obey the results will not leave us wondering, but will leave us fulfilled and satisfied with a perfect God who promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Stretch further, leap higher,
Sister Amber Klein