RECAP–THE SOLID ROCK based on Matthew 7:24-27
#9 Hymn–MY HOPE IS BUILT ON NOTHING LESS
Context for the Hymn (from umcdiscipleship.org)
Edward Mote (1797-1874) falls into the rare category of hymn writers who grew up without religious training and whose parents were pub owners. He was apprenticed at a young age by his parents to a cabinetmaker but found faith when he heard the preaching of John Hyatt at the Tottenham Court Road Chapel in London at age 15.
Living in Southwark near London, he established a successful cabinet-making enterprise and became a Baptist minister in 1852, at 55 years of age. He ministered for 21 years at Strict Baptist Church in Horsham, Sussex.
Singing hymns was of great interest to him. The master cabinetmaker became a prolific hymn writer, composing more than 100 hymns. He published his hymns with selections by others in 1836 in Hymns of Praise, A New Selection of Gospel Hymns. Hymnologists note that this is the first time the now-common term “gospel hymn” appears.
One morning it came into my mind as I went to labour, to write a hymn on the ‘Gracious Experience of a Christian.’ As I went up to Holborn I had the chorus,
On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.
“In the day I had four verses complete and wrote them off… On the Sabbath following… by the fireside [I] composed the last two verses… Brother Rees of Crown Street, Soho, brought out an edition of hymns (1836) and this hymn was in it.”
Baptist hymnologist William Reynolds summarizes the rest of the story: “The next Sunday [Mote] visited the home of some fellow church members where the wife was very ill. The husband informed Mote that it was their custom on the Lord’s Day to sing a hymn, read the Bible, and pray together. Mote produced the new hymn from his pocket, and they sang [“The Solid Rock”] together for the first time.” She passed away shortly thereafter.
Three little pigs–three different materials to build houses, but one big bad wolf. The house of straw and the house of sticks fell to the wolf, but the house of bricks stood. We can learn much from children’s stories. The reality is everyone wants to have a life of meaning, one that can stand the test of time. As a Christian, we want to have a life where we can boldly stand before God with confidence, knowing we had a life fulfilled.
Jesus addressed this in the Sermon on the Mount.
1) Everyone is building a house. In Hebrew, house was understood more than just a kingdom or physical structure; your house was your lineage, your life, your legacy. Every day of our lives we are building our house. What are we building our life out of? And what are we building it on? Every house needs a foundation.
2) Build on the solid rock. The ancients believed that the deities dwelled on the tops of the mountains. For Israel, the mountain, the solid rock marked powerful moments in their history, from the sacrifice of Isaac (Mt. Moriah) to the giving of the law (Mt. Sinai) to the renewal of the covenant (Mt. Gerizim) to the defeat of the prophets of Baal (Mt. Carmel). The rock signified strength, security, safety, and something enduring. Nothing would destroy the solid rock! God himself identified as the rock, and the Word of God is our rock. Are we building on the solid rock of God?
3) Avoid the shifting sand. Unfortunately for many within Israel, the shifting sand was the only place they could build. It was easy to build upon, but it was a very dangerous proposition. You never know when the flood will come down the cliffs and flood the wadi below! The shifting sand represents anything in our life that we could build upon outside of the solid rock, or any life outside of God. This could be ambitions, agendas, dreams, goals, popularity, or the like.
4) Storms will come–it’s guaranteed. The Scripture did not say, “if the waters rose”; it said, “the waters rose.” Storms are certain to come, whether it is of our own making or circumstances beyond our control. And the enemy uses the storms to discourage the saints and wash away God’s work from our lives. But the life anchored on God will stand in the midst of the storm. The life built on the shifting sands will be swept away.
So how do we build on the solid rock?
Hear the words of Jesus. We need to listen to his Word, which means reading the Word, spending time in prayer, coming together for worship, community Bible study, etc. If there is anything that is distracting us from listening to his voice, we need to remove it to hear more clearly!
Put the Word into practice. We need to live out our faith. As we live the words of Jesus, it will empower us to grow even stronger in our faith. As we see God strengthen us, we then are even more anchored on the rock!
Everyone, regardless of how they lived, will have to stand before Jesus someday. Will we have a life of meaning, of brick, standing on the solid rock? Or will it be a house of straw or sticks, one built on the sinking sand?
On Christ the solid rock we stand; all other ground is sinking sand.
Questions for reflection
1) What matters most to you in life?
2) What is one way God has revealed to you his security and strength?
3) What is one effort you have tried on your own without God? How successful was it?
4) Are we regularly hearing the voice of Jesus? What distractions do we need to remove?
This Sunday Pastor Ryan continues the Favorite Hymn Series with our #8 hymn. The sermon will be titled, “As I Am,” based on John 4:1-26. How should we come to Jesus? And what is our #8 hymn? Come or tune in Sunday to find out.
Daily Bible Readings for April 27 – May 3
April 27: Isaiah 55:8-11 How can we know the Word is the Solid Rock?
April 28: Hebrews 4:12-16 How can the Word change our lives?
April 29: James 1:22-27 How should we interact with the Word?
April 30: Matthew 13:1-23 How do we allow the Word to grow in our lives?
May 1: Ephesians 6:10-18 How can the Word become the solid rock?
May 2: Genesis 18:1-15 How did God meet Sarah just as she was?
May 3: Genesis 32:22-32 How did God meet Jacob just as he was?
This Week’s Events:
Saturday, May 1–SNL event @ Brethren Woods from 2 PM – 5 PM
Sunday, May 2–carry-in meal after service!
Tuesday, May 4–Women’s Fellowship @ 6:30 PM
Wednesday, May 5–Worship Team @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 8–National Day of Prayer event @ 6:30 PM
Friday, May 21 & Saturday, May 22–Disaster Auction
Sunday, May 23–Pentecost Sunday Love Feast!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
Call to Prayer–National Day of Prayer Service
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
We will have a National Day of Prayer Service on Saturday, May 8 @ 6:30 pm. If you would like to assist by leading a station of prayer, please let Pastor Ryan know. We would love to have six volunteers willing to lead a prayer station.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
John Bennington (health)
Sam Carr (health)
Cooper family (strength, rest and wisdom)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Janet Good (health)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Shannon Hollen (health)
Shirley Holland (health)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Larry LaPrade (COVID)
Lent family (work)
Ella Makely (health)
Alda Miller (health)–also condolences to Alda’s family in the passing of her great-grandson, Jacob Shifflett, from a Service incident. He was 21.
Diane Miller (health)
Mark Milstead (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Chris Shirk (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB