You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:23-25)
There are six people in my house. I don’t drink milk, because it’s gross. That leaves five milk consumers. Those five milk consumers go through, on average, four million gallons of milk per month. Or at least it seems like that. We buy milk every single time we go to the store, and still we run out every time before we get to the store again. No gallon of milk ever comes close to expiring in my fridge. Yet still, when we shop for milk, we try to find the “freshest” gallon we can – the gallon farthest from its expiration date. You do the same thing, I’m sure.
We all know that ignoring the expiration date of a gallon of milk – or any perishable thing – is a bad idea. In the same way, we should know that building our lives on a perishable thing is a bad idea. Perishable things…perish. If we make them foundational to our existence, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.
Yet we often do that very thing. Some of us live like everything is staked to our reputation. We try so hard to craft and cultivate the impression that we make on other people, assuming if that is stable then life will be good. Some of us build our lives on a foundation of comfort. Perhaps that is material comfort. We hope for just enough nice things around us that we are distracted from whatever we don’t want to think about. Perhaps this is a relational comfort. We don’t want anyone in our life that threatens us or challenges us. Some of us try to build our lives on a foundation of religion. Religion isn’t bad, of course. But Jesus was quick to rebuke people who practiced religion with their hands but not their hearts. He was quick to rebuke people who went through the motions. Many of us assume that, so long as our hands are doing religious things, our lives will be stable and steady.
But your reputation can – and will! – fail you in a moment. Your comfort can – and will! – disappear in a moment. Your religious deeds, if they are divorced from any real, heart-level trust in Christ, will get you nowhere. The only foundation that will last in life is the Word of God. Don’t you want to build your life on something that has no expiration date? Don’t you want to build your life on something that will endure forever? Don’t you want to build the lives of your children and your grandchildren on something that will never wither, fall, or fade? Then build your life on the Word of God. It is precious and priceless – because while all the things of earth fade, it endures forever.
This is an excerpt from the message, The Living and Abiding Word, preached at Capitol City Christian Church on 5/6/2018. To hear the entire message, click here.