November 20, 2019
Keeping Up Appearances
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. – Jude 20-21
When we put our house up for sale, we began receiving calls from realtors, telling us that people were interested in seeing our home. After trying to make everything attractive for prospective buyers, we left the house so that they could walk through it. Several couples came and went, but no serious offers were made.
The preparations for these visits were a strain. One evening I dropped on my knees in front of our couch and cried out in desperation, “Lord, what are we going to do? You know we need to sell this house. Please, Lord, You send the right buyer!” Not long after that, the Lord gave me an assurance that He would send us just the person.
A few days later, I was ill and stayed home from work. I was lying in bed when the doorbell rang and my husband opened the door, and from the bedroom I clearly heard the tones of an older woman’s voice. I realized it was another prospective buyer, so I jumped up from the bed and went into house-prep mode. Because we had a wood-burning stove, the floor was strewn with moss and dirt particles. In addition, the kitchen counters had not been cleared as I was recuperating. Of all times for someone to come and see the house!
My quick clean-up attempt was interrupted as our petite, grey-haired visitor invited herself inside. With no appointment and no accompanying realtor, she had seen our sign and simply stopped by to look the place over! I apologized for the appearance of the interior, but she just shrugged it off and responded, “Oh, don’t worry about that! That’s just cosmetic. I want to know if the house is structurally sound.” As it turned out, this woman’s son needed a home in our area, and he bought our house!
Not only was the Lord faithful to answer my prayer, He also taught me a lesson about appearances. After all the times I had worn myself out to make our house appear superficially acceptable, a keen-minded observer was looking for more important things.
Even more than our impromptu buyer, the wise Master Builder wants our spiritual houses to be structurally sound. In our focus verse we are encouraged to build upon the “most holy faith.” That is the key to having a structurally sound spiritual life—building upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Keeping our feet firmly planted on the solid foundation laid in Jesus Christ will help us not to lean too far to one side or the other, and there are no cracks in this foundation. It is possible to “look nice” from the outside, but on the inside have a structure that is weak and unstable. May we all take time to ensure that our spiritual building is sound and solid in Christ today.