January 9 - Doing the Dirty Work


By Douglas W. Martin

Today's Scripture: Matthew 7:24-27

Central Thought: Building a strong foundation requires some unappealing dirty work.

    Anyone who has been involved in residential or commercial construction knows that many phases and types of work must be performed to transform undeveloped property into a landscaped site with a home or business structure. Every type of construction begins by planning and laying a proper foundation to build on. In fact, it may appear that construction is in reverse when the excavation for a foundation begins.

    Some locations feature shallow bedrock or stable compacted soil that requires minimal effort to survey, drive stakes into, and build a perfectly level and square foundation rather quickly. Other locations require an extraordinary amount of effort to drill and dig deep into the earth before anything can rise above the ground.

    Building a solid foundation is a rather thankless and dirty task. The foundation is seen in hues of gray. Evidence of the hard and dirty work that has gone into laying the foundation is covered by a structure and landscaping. No one will 'ooh” or 'ahh” over the beauty of a foundation. A structure that is built on a foundation that seems perfect but required very little effort may be the first to fall when a storm hits. A foundation with moorings that sink deeply into the bedrock can withstand a forceful storm. The outward beauty of a structure cannot compensate for a shallow foundation.

    Jesus established the hearing and doing of his Word as the only lasting foundation that we can have for our lives. It may not be exciting and may even seem to be boring or dirty work but it does not diminish its importance. Making His Word our highest priority gives us endurance against the storms and trials of our everyday life. No matter what comes against us, we can stand strong without a crack in the foundation.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me to not simply know Your Word but to also put it in practice. Help me to establish my life upon You and do the 'dirty work” necessary to ensure that I can stand firm regardless of the storm that may come my way.

Today's Bible Reading: Genesis 20:1-22:24; Matthew 7:15-29; Psalm 9:1-12; Proverbs 2:16-22