Story Time: The House That God Built
The House that God Built
One day, a young man began to build a house from the bottom up. He laid the foundation with strong materials that could weather any climate or catastrophe that dared oppose it. A curious onlooker gazed at the young builder’s handiwork with genuine admiration. “I am impressed”, he stated, “but what materials did you fashion it with?”
“The very word of God” the builder replied humbly.
“Building a house with mere words appears a tad foolish, don’t you think?” The stranger said dubiously.
The young man chuckled briefly and said, “Jesus once proclaimed, ‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’.” (Mt 7:24-25)
The natural man, not understanding the things of God, only shook his head in bewilderment. The builder expounded. “You see, my friend, the rock Jesus spoke of is the word of God. The house is symbolic of the life you live. A house built apart from his word will surely collapse in the shifting sands when trials and tribulations rain down like hailstones. The real estate of Satan, the Prince of this world, is cheap and easy to come by, yet all houses built on his infertile soil must come to destruction.”
Indignant, the man replied, “So you’re saying I’m in league with Satan simply because I don’t live by the word of God?”
The builder shrugged and said, ”It is not for me to pass judgment, but the word plainly states, ‘he who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters’.” (Mt 12:30)
Snorting in disgust, the affronted man turned on his heel and walked off, muttering something about a high-horse hypocrite. The young man only shook his head, marveling at the truth of God’s word.
The hours, days and months passed over the faithful Christian like clouds on a breezy afternoon. He proceeded to fashion bricks, cementing them to his structure with faith, obedience and the precious blood of Jesus. Many passers-by walked by his edifice and scoffed at him. Said one, reflecting the thoughts of many, “if you’re going to all the trouble to construct your own home, then why not be ambitious and make one taller and grander than all these that surround you? Why not adorn it with jewels, diamonds and precious gold so people will stop in their tracks, admire its beauty and praise your name?”
The long-suffering builder responded to his critic with the word. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk 14:11) The critic muttered incoherently and walked away, scratching his head in wonder.
Another curious onlooker approached the builder and said timidly, “I’ve been watching you for quite some time and I was wondering. When will you finish this house that you are building?”
The builder gazed at him and smiled. “Not in this lifetime, and not by these hands will this house be completed. My hands are guided by the Lord to lay every brick. The blueprint by which I follow no man can complete of his own power. ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.’ (Psalm 127:1) All that lies before you is because of God’s goodness and mercy through his son, Jesus Christ. His blood cements this crude structure together, and one day he will finish this work he has begun and it will contain the fullness of the glory of God.”
“Well said,” the stranger stated. With that he walked away, satisfied.
The builder continued his work faithfully day and night, never hesitating, never wavering, but always moving steadfastly forward. One day, dark clouds gathered on a distant horizon. They boiled and surged toward the builder’s town. Fear and anxiety spread quickly among the townspeople like a morning fog. People rushed to fortify themselves in their homes built by the arm of the flesh.
The builder paused in his work and glanced at the clouds unconcernedly. He laid his tools down and inspected God’s handiwork. Pleased with what he saw, he gave the glory to God. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit, the young man went into the streets seeking, the poor, the homeless, and the destitute. He led them into his home that served as his high tower, his rock and his fortress. He called to all that would incline an ear, to come and partake of his shelter, even to those who had homes. He stood at the door and proclaimed boldly, as people from all over filed into his house. “As you come to him, the living Stone-rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”(1 PT 2:4-5)
The storm descended on the small town. Lightning flashed, thunder rolled, the wind howled and foundations were shaken. The builder closed the door after the last willing man entered. The frightened people listened intently to the house patron as he read from the word of God. Peace prevailed over fear and the people entered into rest. They participated when he praised and worshiped with song and dance, bowed their heads when he prayed and gave thanks. In the morning, evening and night the builder prayed diligently and earnestly, “’Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.’(Psalm 23:6) For zeal for your house consumes me…(Psalm 69:9) I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”(Psalm 84:10)
For days the storm raged unabated over the village, but the builder’s simple unadorned home stood against it. Some people who took refuge with him became anxious and untrusting, fearing that at any moment the house would collapse beneath nature’s fury. They expressed their concern to others and tried to convince them that they could find safer shelter elsewhere. The builder heard their grumbling and said to them, “a house divided against itself will fall. (Lk 11:17) If you insist on speaking unbelief then like a little leaven that leavens an entire lump, so will your unbelief spread, destroying the very faith that allows this house to stand.” The grumblers departed for the promise of safer ground, never to be heard from again.
The others continued to praise and give thanks to the living Lord for his mercy and protection. The builder, full of the joy of the Holy Spirit, proclaimed God’s truth. “You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Eph 2:19-22)
As their praises and rejoicing reached a crescendo a strange sound descended upon the household; the sound of silence. No drumming of rain pounded on the roof, no wailing of wind battered the walls, no crashing of thunder rumbled across the ground. The only sound to be heard was that of birds singing praises to the Lord. The builder opened the front door and blessed sunshine poured into the house. The people rejoiced and walked out together but they became suddenly silent as they looked upon the town. Every house and building had been toppled by the fierce storm. No structure stood except the one fashioned by faith, and the blood of Christ. Many perished in the tempest. Those that did survive stood looking vacantly at what was left of their lives. Everything that they had put their trust in was gone, never again to be reclaimed. They had nothing and no one to lean on, they were empty and without life; many no doubt wishing they had perished with their belongings.
The young builder turned to his group of believing brothers and sisters, a look of deep sorrow etched on his face. He spoke brokenly, “…man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets.”(Ecc 12:5) All because they chose to heed their own desires and build apart from the blueprint designed by God.”
One distraught young woman approached the builder and yelled, “How can a God of love and mercy allow such calamity to befall us!”
He answered calmly with the word, tears still lingering in his eyes, “Jesus spoke truthfully when he said, ’everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Mt 7:26,27)
The woman lowered her head and began to weep. “I’ve been foolish and full of pride. Now all is lost; I have nothing.”
The builder looked at her straightly, and with genuine compassion, said, “You have a humble and contrite heart, the very things He desires.”
The woman’s face lit up with hope. “He would accept me, after the horrible way I’ve lived?”
“’Love covers over a multitude of sins.’(1Pt 4:8) No sin is greater than God’s love for you.”
The Lord in that very moment opened her heart to receive the pure Word of the Lord. The woman dropped to her knees in repentance and put her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Tears again flowed down her cheeks, but these were not the tears of bitterness, but sweet, cleansing tears of joy and new found peace. The builder shared her tears, raising his voice in praise to join those of the angels of heaven.
One day, a young woman began to build a house from the bottom up. She laid the foundation with strong materials that could weather any climate or catastrophe that dared oppose it. A curious onlooker gazed at the young builder’s handiwork with genuine admiration. “I am impressed”, he stated, “but what materials did you fashion it with?”
“The very word of God” she replied humbly.
“Building a house with mere words appears a tad foolish, don’t you think?” The stranger said dubiously.
The young woman chuckled briefly and said, “Jesus once proclaimed, ‘Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock’.” (Mt 7:24-25)
The Word of God pierced the onlooker to his very heart. He rubbed his bearded chin with his hand, thoughtfully. “Hmmm, that is a wise idea, indeed. The house I built by my own hands perished in the storm. I too shall build my home in this manner, so that my household may share in all the blessings of God.”
The builder rose up from her work and embraced him warmly. “Brother, welcome to the household of God,’ which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth’.” (1Tim 3:15)
The man beamed at her and walked off to build his home, with a new song in his heart.
The woman watched him disappear over the horizon then returned to her work, faithfully constructing her house with faith, obedience and the precious blood of Jesus Christ…