Jesus Did It!
By: Norm Rasmussen
And Jesus said: "Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."
-- (Luke 6: 47-49 NAS)
When I was a little boy, I had a close friend whom I looked up to very much. He set a good example in so many ways, but of all the qualities I admired the most, it was his desire to know and please God.
During my friend's teenage years, he became a Christian. Unlike the rebel I was, he became a model example to the young and old, and especially to me.
In his early 20's, he served his country in the U.S. Air Force. Having a gift and a burning desire to excel in the field of electronics, the military spotted his near genius potential and placed him carefully in an ultra top secret branch of the Intelligence arena in the Air Force.
Six years later, with some of the best electronics schooling in the world crammed inside his brain, my friend chose to leave the military and make some big money in the private sector.
High-tech electronics firms eagerly sought him to come to work for them, with salary offers well over $50,000. Having good looks from his youth, along with his now high-paying job, my friend was ready to find himself the perfect wife. And, find her he did. She was an airline stewardess. She spoke several different foreign languages fluently, which was only one of her many admirable talents. Having physical and inner beauty second to none, she was the ideal match for my deserving friend.
As I struggled in most every area of my own life, my friend and his wife excelled in all of theirs. Especially spiritually. Together they involved themselves in their denomination and learned of the mysteries of the Bible. By his late 20's, my friend was the envy of everything I had ever hoped to find in life, but just couldn't seem to attain.
Then his storm came. It came in the form of chronic depression. Doctors diagnosed him as a manic-depressive.
Months of depression turned into years of depression. The devastating side effects of the drugs given him by his doctors to stabilize the depression, plus the horrendous effects of the chronic depression itself began to take its toll. The time came when his wife chose to no longer remain his companion in marriage. She divorced him. After that, depression gripped him all the more at his place of employment. Job after job fell along the wayside. Soon he was unable to hold down a decent paying job at all.
By age 40, my friend, whom I had looked up to as having everything good this world has to offer, found himself living on the streets with down-and-out winos and drug addicts. Having only a sleeping bag and a duffel bag of scant personal items, his world became one of garbage cans and soup lines. Mere survival was now his existence.
And God? The Lord Jesus Christ? Church? The Holy Bible? It's hardly important to him anymore. It all failed him, or so he believes. Afterall, how could a loving God allow all this suffering to happen in his life?
The final chapter has yet to be written in my dear friend's life. Personally I believe the day will come when he will once more be on fire for God, helping to build the Kingdom of God. But I also know this. Before that day comes, he is going to have to come to a very sobering truth. And for him, it will be a very humbling truth. He did not build his house on some right foundational truths. God allowed a storm to blow his way to test the kind of foundation He had built his Christianity on, and you know the end result.
Believe me, I am not casting stones at my dear friend. I hurt and grieve deeply that all of these things have come his way, and that's the reason why I believe the Lord has me writing what I'm writing - to help others build a right foundation.
Allow me to pass on some thoughts that others have passed along to me about building one's foundation:
(1) Build your foundation on the Word of God, the Holy Bible. And, be very careful how you interpret it. Be very, very careful to those you listen to or read from that interpret it for you.
(2) Never serve God for what you can get out of Him. He is worthy to be served and followed simply because He's God, regardless whether God blesses you or not. If God were to say this to you tonight, how would you respond? "Would you keep believing in me and walking with me and serving me and giving me glory in all that you think, say, and do . . . if you were suddenly paralyzed from your neck down, bedridden the rest of your life?" If we can't say "Yes!" from our heart to this question, our foundation is already on shifting sand.
(3) Do not allow the lusts of the flesh, cares of this world, or the deceitfulness of riches to contaminate your walk with God. (See Matt. 13:21-22; Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14). Volumes can be written about these three areas and how they are a deadly cancer that will crumble your foundation and pick you off.
(4) Keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ (and off man), the author and finisher of your faith. He will never leave you nor *forsake you (Heb. 13:5), but He will allow you to be tested. In times of testing, will we leave or forsake Him?
*Forsake means that God will never give up on us during our lifetime on earth. This is our testing ground that determines promotion or judgment in the next life. No matter what we feel, no matter what we believe, no matter what anyone else says ... God will always take us back if we have walked away from Him because the going seemed to be too difficult - too painful - too confusing - too many sins were committed - we feel betrayed - an unforgivable sin was committed. Until your dying breath, God will always be eager for you to come back to Him: Ask His forgiveness, forgive yourself, and forgive anyone else who may have played a part in it all. God paid too great a price to give up on anyone on this earth, please always remember that!
If you would like to read Norm's born again testimony, you can click on this link: http://precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/L-N/Norm.htm
Here's a poem from a precious brother who is spending some of the prime years of his life behind prison walls. If anyone knows what testing is about ... he is fully qualified to write about it. His name is: Sir Anthony Miles
It's Just A Test
No matter what the hardship, saint
Remember it's a test,
It is designed by our Lord
To help bring out your best.
There is no form of
That Jesus Christ can't feel,
He is our faithful, Holy Priest
And knows our pain is real!
He's touched with our
And knows what pain's about,
For He was nailed upon a cross
Which brought great pain no doubt.
The death, divorce or
That's left you feeling down,
Is just a test that works for good
So lift your head, don't frown!
Rejoice and praise the
He surely cares for you,
Let not your heart be troubled saint
Because He'll bring you through.
Inspired by: Eph. 5:20; 1 Cor. 10:13; Romans 8:28
© Copyright 2004
JESUS DID IT! - or - JESUS DID IT!
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