Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Holy Spirit Hear Us"1 (Lyrics)

1 Corinthians 3:11 – For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (NASB)

A friend sent me a set of pictures entitled "Structural Engineer in Action". They showed a bird building a mud nest on the window ledge of someone's house. Each successive picture showed the progression of the nest from its circular, bowl-shaped foundation to the final spherical, enclosed structure, replete with an opening large enough for only tiny birds to use. The introduction to the pictures remarked on the distance to the little pond where the mud for the building was to be found, and the number of trips required to bring enough beak-loads to complete the structure. And it brought into my mind the little chorus we used to sing in Sunday School:

    Build on the rock, the rock that ever stands.
    Build on the rock and not upon the sands.
    You need not fear the storm or the earthquake shock;
    You're safe forevermore if you build on the rock.

As we moved up into the intermediate and senior classes of the Sunday School the meaning of the parable was explained in more detail to us:

Matthew 7:24-27 – Therefore everyone who hears theses words of Mine and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house upon 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. (NASB)

There was another chorus that we enjoyed so much as children:

    We are building day by day,
    In our work and in our play,
    Not with hammers blow on blow,
    Not with timber sawing so —
    Building a house not made with hands,
    Following Jesus' perfect plans:
    Little builders all are we
    Building for eternity.

The little bird's house might last for a few seasons, but in time, it will break up. But we are building our spiritual house on the sure foundation of our faith. The process and progress might easily be compared to the bird's tiny beak-loads that it brings from a long distance away. Like the bird, we have to have patience to keep building for as long as it takes to give us security against the winds and storms of life.

The last picture shows the bird's offspring in the doorway. She was not only building for herself, but she also had others in mind. And in the same way, we have to keep others in mind. While our house is built on the solid rock, we should feel constrained to help others who are living in the shanties and hovels built on the sand of unbelief. Unlike the bird's house, which has no windows for light to shine out and an entrance too small to invite others in, the edifice of our faith, built on the plans of the Master Architect, should always be visible enough as to entice others to make plans for better, more permanent accommodation.

Prayer: Father, grant that we might build upon the foundation which You have laid for us. Keep our eyes ever on the plans that You have prepared for us. May the life that we live be attractive and winsome to those You are drawing to Yourself. Amen.

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Anton Stander

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