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Which Foundation Are You Building On

Marilyn Monroe reportedly said on one occasion, "To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I'm working on the foundation." Some people would say Marilyn Monroe had a fantastic superstructure. She was considered by millions in her heyday to be one of the most physically beautiful women on the planet. She was an actress, a singer, and a show-girl who became a sensation as a so-called "sex symbol." In 1999 she was ranked as the greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. I don't know how hard or how long or even if Marilyn ever really worked on her foundation. While her superstructure rose high into the sky of fame and fortune and popularity, whatever foundation she may have had seemed to crumble in the final years of her life. Those years were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being difficult to work with. She died from an overdose of barbiturates, officially classified as "probably suicide," although the possibility of accidental overdose or even homicide have not been ruled out. 

Marilyn Monroe's life, and her tragic death, brings to mind the immortal words of Jesus in Matthew 16:26 - "For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" Why is it that the material superstructure of so many people's lives seems to rise so high while there seems to be no real and lasting spiritual foundation? More words from Jesus in Matthew 7:24-27 remind us that at the end of life's little day, all that will really matter is what kind of foundation we worked to build. Listen — "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. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." These simple but profound words warn us that ultimately every person builds on one of only two possible foundations — the rock, or sand. Children often sing the little song, "The wise man built his house upon the rock . . . .the foolish man built his house upon the sand" in Bible classes and vacation Bible school. But Jesus's words in this passage are not child's play. They are a bold and unbending and non-negotiable challenge from the Lord Jesus Christ to every person who hears His teaching. Understood correctly, these are sobering and solemn words. Human beings may choose to totally ignore Jesus, or tame Him down to being just one of many great moral teachers who lived and caused quite a bit of social and political and religious turmoil and then died and stayed in the grave. But the radical, astonishing claim of the Bible is that Jesus Christ is the rock upon which men and women must build their lives if they hope to survive the much-forecasted but yet-to- come storm of God's wrath and judgement on this sinful world. An ad' for the U. g_ Air force said this: `Our most amazing accomplishment isn't what we've done. It's who we've become." Are you building on the rock or sand?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ