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    Scripture: Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.”  Matthew 7:24,NIV
    I must confess that I feel a twinge of sadness whenever I view a building that has fallen into decay. An old barn especially seems to deteriorate rapidly once it is no longer in use.  The siding warps, nails rust and lose their grip, and the doors sag. Once the roof starts to open to the weather, pockets of decay begin to eat away at the joints that hold the entire structure together. Each blast of wind weakens the building until  it succumbs to a force that would not have troubled the building in its original condition.
    How proud the owner and the builder must have been when the new building was completed! Solid, smelling of new wood, paint, and gleaming hardware. Ready to serve the needs of the people who valued the security it provided.
    There are many other buildings, equally as old, and no more sturdy when built than the decayed edifice, that still stand despite the same ravages of time and weather.
         The difference seems obvious - someone cared enough to maintain the one; the other was given up to decay.
     If we care to look, we can find numerous examples of people whose lives parallel the life of a building. They start out strong and firm, full of promise, and respected for their abilities. Then something enters their life that starts to gnaw away at their potential. One little thing leads to another. Perhaps it becomes an obsession, a compulsion, one step after another down a path leading to a weakening moment when tribulation can no longer be overcome. I have known of successful businessmen destroyed by addiction to drink. Athletes, endowed with uncommon ability, brought down in their prime of life by compulsive gambling or drug addiction. Artists and musicians who were not able to manage fame and wealth.
    We can look around and see many other people who have weathered the storms of life. Quite possibly they were influenced by someone who cared. People who led them past the temptations that  are so plentiful in society. People who took the time to be there in the time of need, to be a good neighbor, and to extend a helping hand in the name of a loving God reaching a world in need.
    People need a standard to follow through life. Jesus talked about building a life on a firm foundation, like a house built on a rock. So many people today seem to prefer the ‘sand’ of life, because it is easily worked to their every whim.
    The easy way provides instant gratification. However, the easy way  can not stand the test of time and trial.
    A life built on the Rock of Jesus will endure.

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