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The Chocolate Palace.

Today I met up with some friends both of whom got recently baptised for a Bible study and a chat in a local Coffee shop.

I was working through the story from Matthew 7.24-29 about the story of the wise and foolish builder:

24 “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. 25 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. 26 But 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

As Ky read this, he said it sounds like this scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW9Zvzhf_Rg.

A prince who has a Palace built of chocolate, a dream come true, all you’d want, and yet the sun came out, and melted the palace of chocolate (see clip).

In many ways I can see the parrel, it is like a house built on sand, it looks great, it is a dream come true, and the Prince thought life was going to be wonderful, and yet this dream drips away and evaporates, it’s not a dream of substance.

It made me think do the things we build our lives on melt when exposed to the sun?

Are we building our lives and our dreams on chocolate on a warm day?

Perhaps we dream of being rich, popular, famous, learned, successful or whatever it is for you?

Interestingly, the chocolate palace or the house built on the beach, might look vastly superior to the house built on the rock. Yet foundations are essential, but normally pretty invisible

Yet, all of these things might look good on the surface, might bring some momentary pleasure, but often leaves us in a sticky mess. Interestingly, most major lottery winners wish they hadn’t won. The experience about having everything you could dream of actually has become for many a nightmare.

Jim Carey once said “I wish everyone could become rich and famous so they could see how empty it is”.

Jesus, tells another story, not of a melting palace, but of a house that stands firm. A house that stands firm, firm on the rock, with deep and stable foundations.

A house that with-stands the strains and stresses of life. Remains steadfast in the face of the wind and the rain of troubles, difficulties and adversity. A house that does not fall with the floods and hurricanes of pain and disaster.

Jesus is described in the Bible as a firm foundation. The only unchangeable thing in a changeable world. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Always good.
Always faithful.
Always longing to forgive and to restore.
Always trustworthy.
Always true.
Always loving.
Always abounding in grace and in mercy.

A hymn-writer put it like this “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand”.

Jesus starts this story with the words “if anyone hears my word and puts them into practice, they are like a wise-person”…

As I thought about this, so often as Christians we hear Jesus’ words, we read Jesus’ words, we even highlight them in our Bibles, memorise them, even learn them in Greek (or Hebrew) but sadly too many of us fail to apply them to our lives.

Sometimes when the storms of life hit, I’ve realised that perhaps I’ve been living too much in the wrong house.

I’ve been getting too much of my self worth and value from the chocolate palace and am lost when it starts to melt. Rather than bedding down in the truth of the stability of the rock-solid place of security and safety that is dwelling within the truth of God’s living word.

Perhaps our home dwelling started off built on the rock solid foundation of Christ, but maybe we’ve added a sand-based conservatory… Or maybe a chocolatey guest room?

Perhaps there is some stuff that needs under pinning?

Perhaps even some stuff we need to move out of and return back to our rock solid home?

Interestingly too the sunny image melting the chocolate reminded me of a truth I discovered researching for my degree, people are just as likely to walk away from their relationship with Christ when things go well as when things fall apart.

Both success and failure can be used by the devil to derail our relationship with God.

The questions I want to leave us with is what are we building our lives on?

Does our life need some underpinning and work on the invisible -but vital- work of our foundations beneath the surface, the unseen part of us.

Don’t let success or failure cause you to build your life on anything other than the rock that is Christ Jesus.

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