Everything you build needs a foundation.
It doesn’t matter if you’re building a house, a bridge, a fence, a marriage, a family, or a spiritual life. If you don’t have a rock solid foundation, anything you try to build will fail.
I’ve noticed a trend in America. We don’t like to work on foundations. We’d rather put our effort into the things we can see. Is it any wonder that we live in a nation of so many failed marriages, relationships, careers, and dreams?
We need a solid foundation. How do we get there? Look to Jesus.
Specifically, look at what Jesus did in the first chapter of Mark. This chapter outlines the five foundations Jesus built into his life before he launched into his public ministry.
When you read through chapter five, you’ll find Jesus living through five different scenes. Each one illustrates a foundation that Jesus built His ministry on. We can use those same foundations in our own lives.
Today we’re going to look at the first two.
Foundation Number One — Humility
Jesus let people minister to him
The first eight verses of Mark 1 tell us about the ministry of John the Baptist. In verse 9, Jesus enters the scene. What’s the first thing He does? He gets baptized.
So let’s back up a step: what is baptism? Baptism is a symbol. It isn’t something that saves you. It’s not something that makes you a Christian. It’s a representation of being united with God. It symbolizes all of your sins being washed away and being raised to a new life. It’s an important act. If you’re a Christian and you haven’t been baptized, I recommend it.
Jesus’s baptism is a big deal. It’s reported in three of the four gospels. It’s the very first thing Jesus does in his public ministry. And I think it’s really interesting that Jesus’s first public act is to let someone else minister to Him. This is Jesus we’re talking about — the Son of God, the Creator, the King of Kings. But the very first thing He does is be humble enough to let someone else minister to Him.
So why is this so important? No one can live a Christian life without power. There is a power that is released when you let someone minister to you. God uses people to lift others up, to provide spiritual strength. If you can’t find the humility to let others minister to you, if you don’t build your life on that foundation, you can never reach God’s full potential for you.
Foundation Number Two — Identity
Jesus listened to the voice of God
Jesus is getting baptized. When He is raised out of the water, here’s what happens:
“10 Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:10–11)
Who you end up being depends on the voice you’re listening to. It determines whether you’re miserable or loving God and life. It determines whether you’re discouraged or encouraged. It determines whether you have a future or not, and whether you’re delighted or devastated with your life. It’s all who you listen to.
Who you end up being depends on the voice you’re listening to.
Our culture would love to tell you that you don’t matter. If you build your life on that message, you’ll face nothing but discouragement and despair. Jesus used a different voice as his foundation — God’s voice.
Here are the three things God said to Jesus. They’re also three things He wants to say to you:
- You are my son: In other words, “you belong to me.” God is saying “you are in My family.” How do you feel about your own children? That’s how God feels about you. You belong.
- Whom I love: You are loved. God’s love gives you the number one thing everyone wants: security. A person who truly loves you will never abandon you, and there is no greater love than God’s.
- With you I am well pleased: You are forgiven. These words give us hope. There is no condemnation for us in Jesus.
If you’re asking yourself “why am I so discouraged, depressed, and afraid all the time,” it’s because you’re listening to the wrong voices. You have to move to seeing yourself how God sees you instead of how other people tell you you are.
If you’re asking yourself “why am I so discouraged, depressed, and afraid all the time,” it’s because you’re listening to the wrong voices.
Here’s what God is saying to you: “You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” Is there anyone today who doesn’t need to hear this? Can you imagine the difference that basing your life on those words can make?
Listening to God gives you identity, and it’s a foundation you can’t afford to live your life without.