Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Mansion built on rock near Union Canal
This stone mansion was built on a rock overlooking Tulpehoken Creek and the Union Canal north of Reading in Berks County, PA
(Click on photo to enlarge)

"Where The Wise Man Builds"

Message summary: Where are you building your house?

Listen to this message on your audio player.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).

Today we will share of one more lesson observed during our trip this last weekend along with some photos. On the way home we rode one last bike trail along the Union Canal Towpath in Berks County. We were very tired from our almost 25 mile ride on Saturday, not just because of the strength exerted but due to the extremely warm temperatures, so we were pleased to shorten this route to about a ten mile round trip. It was a beautiful trail with much to see along the way, including the mansion built on a rock as seen in our lead photo. It brought to mind an old children's song:

The wise man built his house upon the Rock,
The wise man built his house upon the Rock,
The wise man built his house upon the Rock,
And the rains came tumbling down.
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
The rains came down and the floods came up,
But the house on the Rock stood firm.

Matthew 7:24 foundationsChrist's parables deal with pertinent themes that would have readily connected with His initial listeners. His stories also have a remarkable cross-cultural and multi-generational impact. He concludes the message known as "The Sermon on the Mount" with an illustration from His work as a builder (Mark 6:3) emphasizing the vital necessity of a good foundation. In fact some 2,000 years later we still build houses on solid foundations which calls to mind the old adage, "A house is only as good as its foundation."

"These words of mine" may apply to all that Jesus said in His ministry, but it seems that they would especially apply to His words in this sermon in Matthew 5-7. However, I also believe we do well to consider this application to the entirety of God's Word. I recall when John Keefer, our pastor at the time, made a point that we must get our guidance not from Hollywood but the Holy Word.

Matthew 7:24-27 two buildersChrist speaks of two different types of builders and foundations in Matthew 7 as He concludes His Sermon on the Mount; one is designated as wise and the other as foolish. The first foundation built by the wise builder is likened to one hearing Christ's words and putting them into practice, the second foundation is built by the foolish builder and is likened to one hearing Christ's Words but not applying them.  The foundation is what a house is built upon and of course Jesus is really talking about the foundation of our lives here on earth in this illustration.

Both houses faced the very same storm. In fact identical wording is used: "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house." But one stood and the other fell.

The difference was not the ferocity of the storm but the veracity of the foundation.

Our Lord's great emphasis in this teaching is that we are to be like the one whom He calls "a wise man." When our home was built I am thankful that consideration was given to strong winds since we have a large open farm field across from us with little to break the powerful wind, and we sure get powerful winds, it seems in every season!

Matthew 7:24 illustrationIn life the winds will surely blow and beat against our spiritual house (Paul refers to our bodies as a tent). Some of you may be enduring tremendous winds of opposition and trial as you read our message. We must be sure that we are building our foundation on the Rock. Let us determine that we will both hear His words and put them into practice.

Today, you may or may not be facing howling winds in your life. But you will! We don't know the precise time they will arrive but they most certainly will. We, as God's people, need to pay careful attention to the words of Jesus and, equally important, we must put them into practice. By doing so, we'll not be blown away but will stand on solid, unshifting ground when the tidal waves of opposition beat against our spiritual house.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father in heaven, we ask You to help us apply Your teachings to our lives so that our foundation will be unshakable and storm-proof when the howling winds and surging rains beat against us. The foundation of this world is temporal and growing more and more decadent, so we choose instead to build our lives on the eternal foundation of Your everlasting Holy Word, as You teach us all throughout Scripture. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Additional note: In studying for today's message I came across an interesting teaching point. Both Matthew and Luke record this parable but Luke's gospel adds an interesting detail. "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when there was a flood, the river burst against that house and yet it could not shake it, because it had been well built" (Luke 6:48). May God help us all to dig deep!

Four Foundations That Will Stand!

1) The solid foundation of Biblical authority. "The grass withers, the flower fade.  But the word of our God stands forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

2) The solid foundation of Jesus Christ. "According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:10,11).

3) The solid foundation of the church. "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:19-21).

4) The solid foundation of the apostolic doctrine. "They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Acts 2:42).  "Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" (Jude 3).

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock medley"  Video   Brentwood Baptist Virtual Choir & Orchestra & Travis Cottrell

"The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock"  Video  Children's song but good for all ages!

"American Dream"  Video  Casting Crowns (suggested by Ester)

"The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock"  Video Reading 3:50 (Sandcastle Kingdoms) Ben Piershale explains that we are all given a choice as to what we build our life upon - Rock or Sand. Ben is an evangelist, entrepreneur, husband and dad. A former youth pastor he uses social media to share the hope of Jesus Christ.

Today we share photos from our bike ride along the Union Canal towpath in Berks County.

Gring's Mill, Berks County, PA
We began our ride at the Gring's Mill, Berks County, PA

Wertz's Red Bridge, Berks County, PA
Wertz's Covered Bridge constructed in 1867, also known as the Red Covered Bridge, is an historic wooden covered bridge located over Tulpehoken Creek and the Union Canal Towpath in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It serves as the walkway entrance to the Berks County Heritage Center, which also includes the Gruber Wagon Works.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Wertz's Covered Bridge
Another view of the Wertz's Covered Bridge. At 204-foot-long it is the largest single-span covered bridge in Pennsylvania.

Gruber Wagon Works
The Gruber Wagon Works was built about 1882 (the same year my grandpa was born), an extremely rare example of a fully outfitted 19th-century wagon manufacturing facility. Originally located in nearby Pleasant Valley, it was moved in 1976 to its present location in Tulpehocken Creek Park to make way for a flood control project. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and now serves as part of a county open-air museum.
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Union Canal towpath
Union Canal towpath
(Click on photo to enlarge)

Air show from bike ride
We could see and hear the booming WW2 aircraft from the Reading air show as we rode along the path.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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