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Gaining What I Cannot Lose - Encouragement for Today - December 22, 2021

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Lynn CowellDecember 22, 2021

Gaining What I Cannot Lose

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“… he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Luke 6:48 (ESV)

It’s a good thing seasons change — because for me, these are often the catalysts for other changes in my life.

A few months back, the opportunity to sit outdoors was coming to an end as the weather grew colder and winter approached. It was time to sweep autumn leaves from the deck for the coming change of seasons. As I swung the broom back and forth across the wood, the floor boards felt not quite right. Am I going downhill?

My first thought was to run and grab the level from my toolbox. If the bubble was in the middle of the plastic block, I could rest and not worry about the stability of the deck. But as my eye traveled down the railing, I saw it: a wave in the wood. The deck had somehow become warped.

Taking a flashlight, I headed down to the house’s foundation. Quickly, I spotted where the wood had pulled away, the heavy beams no longer tight against the foundation post. I sent pictures to a contractor, who confirmed my suspicions: The footer holding up the deck had sunk. If it was not corrected, the deck would eventually fall right down the hill.

In Luke 6, Jesus is developing the foundation for His disciples’ faith, creating a word-picture as He often did: “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built” (Luke 6:47-48).

After researching, I discovered flooding is the deadliest type of severe weather — it can carry people off in fast-moving water. It only takes 6 inches of water to wash a person away!

Over the past few years, it has felt at times like a flood has threatened to overtake me. What I have held closest to my heart headed in a direction I would have never chosen.

Jesus says when we have chosen to build our lives upon Him, even when the most severe of trials come our way, we will stand. I have experienced this. Coming to Jesus, listening to His words of hope and following His instructions has allowed me to keep standing even in the pain. Even in the hurt. The foundation I built from years of studying His Word and walking with Him each day has allowed me not to become swept away in discouragement and hopelessness through dark days.

Jesus makes it clear what takes place when we do not choose to build our lives on Him: “But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great” (Luke 6:49, ESV).

If the post of our deck had been set in a secure foundation, the shifting would have never happened. Thankfully, it is not too late for us to go back and make the needed repair now so our house will stand for years to come.

Today, Jesus gives us the opportunity to inspect the foundations of our lives and consider if we are building on:

  • Someone — our family or friends.
  • Someplace — our homes, our work or the group we belong to.
  • Something — our career, our education or our marriage.

In our trials, these things can be swept away. We know this because we’ve all experienced it. We’ve lost relationships, safe places that gave us comfort, and things that gave us a sense of security.

Thankfully, it’s not too late for us to go back and make the needed changes with Jesus now. We can choose, going forward, to build our lives on the only One we can never lose or have taken from us.

Jesus, it’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday things of life instead of investing our days obeying You and Your ways. Empower me, Holy Spirit, to build my life on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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Building the unshakable foundation Jesus speaks of comes from studying His Word. Dive into six Bible stories of not-so-well-known women who found themselves needing confidence, and learn how they uncovered the faith to get it, in Make Your Move by Lynn Cowell. Lynn encourages women to leave behind all the unnecessary insecurity this world induces and find confidence in God alone.


Join Lynn on her site today, where she is sharing the free resource “Gaining What I Cannot Lose: 5 Verses for Building a Firm Foundation.”


1 Corinthians 3:9, “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God's field, God’s building.” (ESV)

Colossians 2:7, “having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” (NASB)

The Apostle Paul in his writings often refers to architecture, likening you and me to posts and beams. What is one habit you can create to help you build your foundation on Jesus rather than on someone, someplace or something? Share your answer with us in the comments!

© 2021 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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