Laying a New Foundation for Your Life

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Connecting With God

I wrote previously about rebuilding the “house” of my spiritual life. It’s my hope this example will inspire you to lay your own foundation, whether with these verses or others.

The foundation is the least visible part of a house, but it’s also the most important. I pray these verses by heart at the start every week. (Note: the words in italics are based on studies in the original Greek and Hebrew.)

sand_faceRomans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to (“shaped by”) this world (or age), but (instead) be transformed (literally “metamorphosed” like a caterpillar) by the regenerating of your mind, so that you may be able to discern* what is the will of God: what is good, well-pleasing, and perfect.**

Prayer is not about aligning God to my will. It’s about aligning mine to His!

Matthew 7:24-25 – Having chosen to center my life on God’s will, I look to Jesus for the “how to”:  “Anyone who hears these words of mine and is doing them is like the wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house, but it stands (Jesus shifts to present tense—the house is still standing!) because it is founded upon rock.”

Bottom line: “Build your life on his Word!”

John 8:31-32 – I now focus on motivation: “When you remain*** in my word, then you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set* you free.”

How could anyone not be excited by a promise like that?

Psalm 119:10-13 – Next, I personalize my intention, using the words of King David: “With my whole heart I seek you! (And to that end) I have hidden (or “treasured”) your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you (David realized that all sins are sins against God because anything that is not in accordance with His will damages something or someone He created). And with my lips I will proclaim all of the ordinances of your mouth.”

I will live by and teach all the truths I have learned.

Matthew 26:41 – Here I add Jesus’ warning and promise, “Watch (“stay awake!”) and pray, so that you will not fall into temptation (there is certainty in these words—if you watch and pray, you will not fall!). The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Greek = “infirm,” not weak by design, but sick, broken).

I’m sincere, but I’m also fallen and must constantly nip temptation in the bud!

John 15:10-11 – “When you obey me, you remain*** in my love, just as I obey the Father and remain in His love. (This does not mean, “I only love you when you obey me,” it means, “Obeying me keeps you out of harm’s way and allows you to ‘stay’ in my love.”) “I’m telling you this, so my joy will remain (stay) in you. Yes, your joy will be complete!”**

What a promise!

Hebrews 12:1-2 – I always conclude with these words of encouragement: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses (we are not alone!), let us also (just as others have) lay aside every burden (the fears and failings that pull us off course) and the sin that clings so closely (addictive behaviors Run-the-Race-2-220x119that seems impossible to overcome), and let us run with perseverance the race set before us (keep getting back in the race!). (How? (By) looking to Jesus, the founder and finisher** of our faith.”

He put us in this race and he will enable us to finish it!”

To be continued…

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

*The aorist verb tense (Greek “no limit”) = an ongoing activity, sometimes translated “keep on doing.”

**Teleos (Greek) appears repeatedly in the New Testament. It may be translated whole, complete, mature, perfect. It’s an essential God-quality that we are called to grow into, meaning, in essence, “no longer broken.”

***Meno (Greek) can be translated remain, live or rest, but may most accurately be rendered “abide.” It means to make something your “home.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Laying a New Foundation for Your Life

  1. yakpro2015 says:

    Whenever I think of laying a foundation, I am reminded of a scene in Miss Grant takes Richmond, with Lucille Ball and William Holden. She takes her home owners to where the foundations are flagged for pouring and they start moving flags, thinking they are making the rooms bigger. Hysterical but a comment on how we try to change our foundation, making it “our way.”

    Joseph Yakovetic 4480 Powderhorn Place Drive Clermont, Florida 34711

    mobile: 909.241.6088

    SDG Soli Deo Gloria “To God Alone the Glory”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. K.L. Hale says:

    Beautiful post! We know the foundation is the most important indeed. Christ, as HE does, has helped me build again on top of the solid foundation I only found in HIM❣️ Hebrews 12:1-2 was in my morning devotion just today. What beautiful promises we can count on in Christ alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the fuller meaning, the richness, of the original Hebrew and Greek. Thank you for doing the work and allowing us to read and be blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lesley says:

    Wonderful! Great words of guidance, thank you. 🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really good, solid teaching! And echoes of some of the very scriptures the Holy Spirit has been highlighting for me recently! I like the weekly prayers through the scriptures!! I do something similar!! Such a blessing!

    Thank you for sharing!
    Peach

    Liked by 1 person

  6. alsavignano says:

    These are great verses to study, memorize, and meditate upon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Ruegg says:

    What a powerful discipline that must be, Mitch, to start the week with these verses of encouragement and challenge. Especially love the references to original Greek and Hebrew. What resources do you use? Might have to invest in one or two myself! (Or have you taken courses and no longer need the training wheels of books for English-speakers only?!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Times past is like the silt at the bottom of the Pond. In many cases to revive the pond, one must dredge out the silt. If one is into “rebuilding”, let the dredging begin. One may want to dry the silt by forgetting and forgiving. Keep building on the foundation. Great advice to be considered.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Keenan Devereaux says:

    The pleasure is mine to meet you through this important post, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. TEP336 says:

    Mitch: “I’m also fallen and must constantly nip temptation in the bud!”

    Me. Every. Day. Constantly. I can name this tune in two notes, which is why I combat temptation by avoiding temptation. As a former smoker, I stay away from places where people smoke. As someone who used to revel in sexual sin, I avoid that place at all costs. I’m constantly on guard, seeing to the defense of my heart and my marriage, so that my wife will never have to question my fidelity.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This would be a great little sermonette, just as is. As your favorite “agnostic” follower, I wonder what you think of original sin? How much of the self-centeredness we fight against is just inherited from our primate ancestors, or were Adam and Eve created perfect until they usurped God’s prerogative to define good and evil? Here is a rewrite I just did of “Can a Crocus Bloom…”
    ———————————
    Can a Crocus Bloom …
    © 2020 VERNON MILES KERR

    Can a crocus bloom in desert’s searing sand;
    Or altruism sprout from our surly, primate-band?
    Could love, the agápe of old, that out-flowing care,
    That emollient, applied without thought of recompense,
    Spring to life as an empty consequence
    Of colliding molecules and only, happenstance?

    Or was it—artfully and lovingly applied, mid-planting-season
    By a hopeful gardener, long ago, for a reason:
    A seed inserted in stony and unlikely ground
    So that when it flourished, perhaps It would astonish—and confound?

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Whoo, big question for a brief answer. I don’t think one needs to interpret the Adam and Eve story too literally to believe in original sin. Whatever they looked like and wherever the garden was, I believe the first humans had a profound sense of the presence of their Creator. In willfully denying his counsel (“You shall be as gods”), they broke their connection to him and disrupted their growth as spiritual beings made in his image. And all humans since have followed in their footsteps. Jesus came to restore that connection, which is why the apostle Paul called him “the second Adam.”

      Like

  12. One slight correction on your footnote regarding ἐλευθερώσει–“set you free.” This is is not an aorist. An aorist verb describes something that happened at a past point in time and does not imply any ongoing work. The correct parsing is that it is a future verb.

    Interestingly the word for “abide” is an aorist verb but the words for “know” and “set free” are both future verbs. The word “abide” is probably what is known as a gnomic aorist. A gnomic aorist does not usually have a time reference but describes something that is always true. Based on this, a good paraphrase of the verse might be: “If the essential truth of your life is that you abide in me, then in the future you will continue to know the truth and the truth will continue to set you free.” A bit wordy, I know, but I hope that it is helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Pingback: Life With a Purpose | Mitch Teemley

  14. Pingback: Laying a New Foundation for Your Life – Miaovoxdaily

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