Building Upon Sand Or Building Upon Truth

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”
–Psalm 91:2

He was a pioneer evangelist in the 1940s. He was involved in the Youth for Christ movement and would preach to stadiums filled with tens of thousands of people. At the end of a crusade, many would come forward accepting Christ as their Savior. You know his name–or you think you know his name. It is not Billy Graham. The man I am talking about was a friend of Billy Graham’s named Charles Templeton. They preached crusades together. They were both renowned evangelists. But during Templeton’s ministry, doubts began to nag at him. He questioned the deity of Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of Scripture. He wondered, “How could a loving God allow terrible suffering?” And because he could not come to grips with the answer, Templeton abandoned his faith. He died an agnostic at the age of eighty-five. A few years before he died, he penned his last book, “A Farewell to God.” His faith collapsed.

Contrast that to the way Billy Graham ended his life and ministry. As his health deteriorated, his faith was as strong as ever. What was the difference between Billy Graham and Charles Templeton? When Graham was a young man and Templeton began bombarding him with questions about his faith, Graham began to have doubts as well. But according to his own testimony, one night he knelt before God, gripping his Bible, and said, “Dear God, I don’t understand everything in this book, but by faith I’m going to accept this book as Your inspired Word, and I’m going to build my life around it.” One man’s faith fell, but one man’s faith continued because it was built around the unchangeable truth of God’s Word.

That is the difference between building on sand and building on rock, as Jesus taught in Matthew 7. How did the audience respond to Jesus’s teaching? Verses 28-29 say, “The crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” When Jesus finished with that great illustration about the two builders, people said, “Wow! We have never heard a message like that. That was a great story.” But even though they were amazed, there is no evidence that they obeyed what they heard.

What about you? What is the real foundation of your life? In the secret recesses of your heart, what is it you are really striving after? Are you building your life upon sand or on the truth of God’s Word? Neither I nor anybody else can answer that question for you. But when the storms of life begin to beat against you, your foundation will become evident to everyone.

***

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “How Firm Is Your Foundation?” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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