As I sit here on this snow-blanketed, January day, my mind drifts to warmer times. I long for hot sand, crashing surf, the call of seagulls, and the sight of my grandson’s chubby legs chasing them. I feel especially close to God at the beach. It reminds me that He is big, I am small, and that’s just fine with me.
It was at the beach a few summers past that I got acquainted with Murphy. I never actually met Murphy in person, but I know him all the same. I know that Murphy is an early riser. I know that Murphy is a builder, who has an eye for detail. I know that Murphy built a house.
As it’s my habit to wake early in the morning, this morning at the beach was no exception. I relish the silence and the clean swept sand of early mornings. It’s easy to see what the surf has taken away, and what gifts it has given, before the sand is full of footprints.
I sat down on the deck with my Bible and coffee, and took in the beauty of the morning. That’s when I spied it. A sand castle. I immediately headed down to the water’s edge to take a look. It was quite elaborate, with towers and windows, strong arched doors, and intricate details of shells and rocks. I knew it was Murphy’s house, because it said so right across the front.
As the day wore on, the beach began to fill with feet. More and more people passed by and would stop to admire Murphy’s house. All was perfect for a few hours, until the wind picked up, and began pushing the waves closer and closer to the castle.
“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
I know what you’re thinking. Murphy shouldn’t have built his house on the sand. Nevertheless, he did. And now, there’s a house on the sand in imminent danger of being washed away. I watched all day to see what would become of Murphy’s house, knowing that I couldn’t change the flow of the tide.
That’s when a beautiful thing began to happen. Although I never saw anyone who I assumed to be Murphy tending to his house, I did see others. People passed by all day, and when they saw a portion of the castle that was in distress, they would step in and patch it up. Over and over this happened, none of them knowing that others had labored on Murphy’s house before or after. Selfless labors of love.
Why did it matter to complete strangers that Murphy’s house was in danger? Perhaps, if Murphy hadn’t written his name on his house, they would have been able to ignore its plight. But he did, and that made him real. Murphy built a house, and his house was in trouble.
HOW MANY MURPHYS DO YOU KNOW?
How many family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances do we know who truly love God to the best of their knowledge of Him? They have the best of intentions to live their lives for Him. They have gifts and talents that they want to use for His service. They are passionate about their walk with Him. Yet, they have built their house on unstable sand because they don’t have a firm foundation of DOCTRINE and DISCIPLINE.
ARE YOU HELPING MURPHY REPAIR HIS HOUSE?
It’s so easy to shake our heads sadly and say, “They shouldn’t have built their house on the sand.” But for whatever reason, they did. Perhaps they didn’t realize they had choices of building sites. Perhaps they simply built with what they had, and where they had it. Perhaps no one ever taught them DOCTRINE. Don’t assume that they have rejected it.Perhaps no one ever taught them doctrine. Don’t assume that they have rejected it. Click To Tweet
By doing nothing, we add to the demise of their house. If their house falls, they could become so distraught and hopeless that they won’t ever build again.
Wouldn’t it be better to follow the example of these random beachgoers and do what we can to shore up their structures. Show them where they went wrong. Help them to bring their houses up to code.
This is what Aquila and Priscilla did in the New Testament for a Jewish man named Apollos. He loved the Lord God of the Old Testament, and was serious about his walk with Him and his work for Him. He was doing all that he knew to do in teaching others the Law of Moses in the synagogue. When these two laborers heard Apollos speak in the synagogue, they took him aside and, “expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” (Acts 18:26)
WHAT WAS THIS MORE PERFECT WAY?
Apollos had only been baptized under John the Baptist’s baptism, which was only unto repentance. He had not yet heard about baptism in Jesus’ name. Nor did he have the revelation of Jesus being the Mighty God of the Old Testament manifest in the flesh.
After his new friends took him aside and taught him the doctrines of Jesus’ name baptism and the Mighty God in Christ, Apollos went on his way teaching the Jews publicly that Jesus was the Christ. (God manifest in flesh) He also became a faithful minister of the gospel, and very beneficial to the New Testament Church, whose ministry was endorsed and valued by the Apostle Paul, himself.
The end of Apollos’ story would have been very different if Aquila and Priscilla had listened to him teach in the synagogue and sadly shaken their heads, saying, “He shouldn’t have built his house on the sand.” Instead, they raced the tide, and patched up the breached walls of his house until he had enough knowledge and will to rebuild on The Rock of doctrinal Truth.
*******APPLY WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED*******
-Did someone labor to keep your spiritual house from washing away before you understood foundational doctrine?
-Who in your life can you reach out to and expound the way of God to more perfectly?
-Are you familiar with these DOCTRINES? The Oneness of God, Repentance, Baptism in Jesus’ name, The Infilling of the Holy Ghost With the Evidence of Speaking With Other Tongues, (Acts 2:38) Holiness, The Rapture of the Church, Jesus’ Millennial Reign, The White Throne Judgment -If not, I’d love for you to ask me.
Warm Regards, -Pat