Saturday, June 28, 2014

Firm Foundation

By Terry Livingston and David A. Sargent

    The bell tower of the cathedral in the Square of the Italian city of Pisa is popularly known as "The Leaning Tower of Pisa." It dates from 1173 when the foundation was begun, and it required hundreds of years for completion due to political disturbances and technical challenges. Several architects have been credited for contributions, including Gugliemo, Pisano, and Diotisalvi. It was noted by one of his students that from this Tower, Galileo conducted some of his experiments on gravitational descent. Today it is known worldwide as a popular landmark for tourism due to its historical lean of about 3.97 degrees.
    Modern engineers have attributed the tilt of the Tower to its original foundation, being a mere eight feet in depth and set in unstable, sandy soil. Throughout its history, it has been in motion, causing a progression of projects to be done to prevent it from leaning too far and toppling, such as soil removal and reinforcement with cables. Interestingly, the builders tried to counter the lean by designing some of the walls in the upper stories to be shorter than the opposing walls. Even if the foundation were straightened perfectly, the ceilings in the upper stories would not be level! Thus, the unstable foundation led to other imperfections in those things which it supports. *
    The Tower of Pisa reminds us that a structure is only as stable as its foundation. Like the Tower, our lives are also built on foundations. For many, that foundation might be a family history, a career, a famous philosophy, or political leanings. But like the Tower’s foundation, these too are subject to shifting and change.
    The question is "What foundation could we use to set the structure of our lives, a structure which is timeless, stable and unwavering?" The answer is found in Holy Scripture. JESUS CHRIST is that one true reliable Foundation upon which we may build our lives with full confidence.
    "On Christ, the Solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand." –
Edward Mote. See Matthew 7:26-27. To build our lives on any other foundation will only lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
    Jesus said: "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock" (Matthew 7:24-25).
    To build our lives on the solid, eternal foundation of Jesus, we must place our faith and trust in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from our sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), be baptized(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16), and continue to HEAR His Word, and DO it (Matthew 7:24-25; 1 John 1:7).
     Won’t YOU build your life on the only Foundation that will lead to eternal life?

- David A. Sargent, minister for the Church of Christ at Creekwood in Mobile, Alabama, is also the editor of an electronic devotional entitled Living Water."  To learn more about this excellent resource contact David via their website: http://www.creekwoodcc.org


* Sources: New World Encyclopedia, Iowa State University Engineering Department


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