Andy Robison                                                                                                                  

The children's song, "The Wise Man Built
His House Upon the Rock," encapsulates the poignant simplicity of Christ's
teaching at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27). The one who
both hears and does (and not hears aloneŚcf. James 1:22-25; Romans 2:13) is
like one who built on solid rock so that his house would withstand rains, winds
and floods. The difference between him and the one who built on the shifting
sand is that the latter does not do the things that he heard. No one of
knowledge wants to build a home without a well-laid foundation. One must dig
deep into solid ground, make rock (concrete) and only after that is completed
commence building.                                                                          

The spiritual seeker must first dig
deep. Before he can do the things he has heard, he must hear those things.Thus,
Scripture declares that faith can only come through

the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Diligence is required in its study (2 Timothy 2:15). The precious light of
God'sWord (Psalm 119:105) must be transmitted from the inkon pages to the
memory of one's heart to guard against sin (Psalm 119:11). One must learn the
Word of God. This takes hard, old-fashioned study.                           

Laying a foundation has never been easy,
although modern machinery speeds up the time. There is no invention that cuts
down on the need for having one's mind consistently and persistently in God's
Word. Time coupled with effort is the only means. Salvation must be accompanied
by a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).It is sad that some have so
departed from this basic principle that they believe no knowledge is required, that
they simply must superficially call upon Christ's name for immediateŚone might
sayŚcheap salvation. Christ Himself taught forcefully against this in the
verses prior to the foundation passage (Mat. 7:21-23).            

Once learned, the Holy Scriptures must
be obeyed for the foundation to be solid. The living Word of God has the power
to change lives (Hebrews 4:12), but men have been given the freewill to reject
it. A hearer can know facts, timelines and history, but not allow the Holy Message
to change his behavior. This is not the reason for which Christ died and revealed
His Word in this last era of humanity (Hebrews 1:1-4). Is it possible that some
have deep knowledge of God's Word, but somehow they deceive themselves out of
obeying it? The Scripture reveals that the heart can be so deceitful (Jeremiah
17:9) and can cause one to become a hypocrite (Romans 2:1,17-24).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is no other foundation than Christ (1Corinthians 3:11). Some would
depart so far from truth as to invent their own systems of faith, that they
even deny the Savior and turn to other religious leaders. This idolatrous
phenomenon is not new to the world, but it is being renewed in 21st century
America. For a long time in the United States, denominationalism has
disturbingly raised its fists against truth. For the last half of the twentieth
century, the emptiness of atheism and the mechanism of evolution have been the
creed of the movers and shakers. Now, predictably (Romans 1:18-32), all sorts
of paganism are taking hold. Such a move is not without consequences. In Romans
1, God gave up such idolaters to the fearful consequences of their sinful foundation
(Romans 1:28-32). Like those who would build on an oft-stormed beach without
any undergirding, the view for a time would be priceless, but the shifting sand
foundation would provide no protection in the tempest of judgment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Building
on a solid foundation begins with God's people (1 Peter 4:17-19). If neglect of
God's Word and willful disobedience buds there, what hope shall society have
for peaceful living, and what chance shall lost men have for salvation?

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by God's Rules


know that David, "a man after God's own heart, "diligently sought and worshipped
God. David's charge to his son, Solomon, was, "You, Solomon my son, know the God
of your father and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind for
the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the imaginations of the
thoughts. If you seek Him, you will find Him but, if you forsake Him, He will
cast you off forever" (1 Chronicles 28:9). David instructed his son to serve
God willingly with pure intentions. He told him that if he would seek to know God,
he would find Him, but he must never forsake God because the consequences would
be to his detriment.

does one find God and know what He wants? When a child doesn't know what
parents expect of him, he doesn't know how to please them. When a student does
not know what the teacher expects of him, he can't please the teacher. In order
for an athlete to do what makes the coach happy, he must know what the rules
are and what is expected of him. The rules have to be shared so that everyone
knows what they are.

same is true with our relationship with God. In order to serve Him better, we
must get to know Him better and to know how to please Him. He didn't leave us ignorant
as to what He expects of His children. The best way for one to know and to
please God is to know the

Word. The rules
are all in the Bible. In it, we read that "The fear of the Lord is the
beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs
1:7). Our instructions are in the Bible.

we must accept that God is God, and we must respect and love Him for all He is.
When we come face to face with the fact that God is real and in charge, then we
begin to gain the knowledge we must have to serve Him. The first thing we know
is "without faith it is impossible to please Him for he who comes to God must believe
that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews
11:6). Then, the question becomes what is faith? In this same chapter of the
Bible, we learn that "faith is the substance of things hoped for and the
evidence of things not seen" (v. 1). We have faith that what is promised to the
faithful person is worth working for, and our obedience is evidence that we do
believe in and trust God. When that faith is realized, then the obedient will "humble
yourselves under the mighty hand of God"                   (1Peter 5:6). Once one submits
his will to God, He must know what God wants Him to do by studying the Bible as
commanded in 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to show yourself approved to God." One
can't please God by haphazardly looking into His Word, but like the Bereans,
one must

"search the
scriptures daily to see whether these things are so" (Acts 17:11). We must make
a sincere effort in our study habits to seek and to know God's will.

you don't already study your Bible every day, it is my prayer that you will begin
to do that so that you can know God better and to know more about what He expects
of you. Volumes of wisdom can be gained by that study. You may find Scriptures
that are difficult to understand, and if so, seek help with understanding. Philip
asked the Ethiopian eunuch, "Do you understand

what you're
reading?" (Acts 8:30). His reply was that he couldn't unless someone guided
him. So, it is fitting that sometimes we may need help in understanding. Don't
be ashamed to ask for help. Your eternal salvation depends on you knowing and
"playing by God's rules"!