Apples of Gold
Radio Script for November 30, 2009
“The New Tallest Structure in the World”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
How high can Superman jump?
Why, he can jump over the Empire State Building!
When I was a kid, that was the ultimate measurement. When you wanted to say how high or tall something was, you simply compared it to the Empire State Building.
Then along came the Sears Tower, and the World Trade Center. And now, dwarfing them all, is the Burj Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The exterior of the Burj Dubai is now complete.
And get this. It’s over twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
The builders of the Empire State Building used around 60,000 cubic yards of concrete. The builders of the Burj Dubai used about that same amount of concrete . . . in the foundation.
That’s over a hundred thousand tons of concrete, in the ground, before they even started building up.
The foundation for the Burj Dubai begins over 160 feet deep in the ground.
When it opens in January it will be a modern marvel, but it sure didn’t pop up over night. They say the construction will have taken over 22 million man-hours.
Now there are some pretty simple lessons we can draw from this. If you want to build something tall and strong, it’s going to take a lot of time and effort, and you have to start with a deep, rock-solid foundation.
That’s true for building a skyscraper, and it’s true for building a good life.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about Jesus’ words in Matthew 7. In verse 24 He said, “…everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Then in verse 26 He said, “…everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”
Okay, so do you want to be a wise man or a foolish man? Do you want to build your house on the rock or on sand?
I’ve lived long enough now to see both ways. I’ve seen people build their lives on the rock and I’ve seen the stability they get from it. And I’ve seen people build their lives on the sand, and the resulting problems and instability.
So what is the key to building our lives on rock? Jesus said it is hearing His words and putting them into practice.
It’s a two step process. Hear His words, then put them into practice.
Today, let’s focus on step one: hearing His words. Have we heard Jesus’ words? Do we really know what Jesus said?
Most people hardly know anything Jesus said. Most of us have a mind full of various philosophies and ideas that we’ve picked up from all over the place: from our parents, our teachers, our friends; plus television and books and movies and music and magazines. And throw in our own desires and inclinations and that makes up our personal philosophy of life.
Well here’s the way I see it. Our life is solid in areas where our philosophy intersects with Jesus. But any place our ideas veer away, then we are building on sand and the results will be ugly.
So if we don’t want ugly results, then we must hear the words of Jesus, and put them into practice.
But like I said, there is a general ignorance of what Jesus said.
I see it in my own life. Even though I’ve spent years studying the Bible, I’m afraid my own philosophy still includes some sandy spots.
So I am ready to begin a new building program. I want to build my life to be tall and strong in the Lord, so I must begin with a deep, rock-solid foundation.
It starts with hearing the words of Jesus, but Jesus warned that some people are “ever hearing but never understanding.” I don’t want to be that guy. I want to be a guy that hears and understands.
I want to hear the words of Jesus in a way that I never forget, in a way that I comprehend them, in their proper context.
It takes a lot of man hours to build a proper foundation. It takes a great commitment – a lot of time and effort.
So here is what I’m going to do. Starting tomorrow I’m going to begin memorizing the book of John.
I’m going to do it in my usual way – one verse per weekday. With well over 600 verses, it will take me over three years.
And knowing how things go, I will miss a weekday here and there, so here is my schedule.
Right now I’m just over 46 years old. My goal is to have the entire book of John memorized before I turn 50.
I announced that to a group of young men last night, and one of them popped out that he could do it a lot faster.
I don’t doubt that at all. It’s not a very aggressive plan. But it will allow me to really marinate in the words of Jesus. They will become part of me and shape my philosophy and my life in ways that, right now, I can’t even imagine.
Like I said, it’s a new adventure, and I’m excited about it. It’s like standing at the bottom of a mountain, preparing to climb. It’s like staring at a piece of dusty ground and preparing to dig a deep foundation on which to build a skyscraper.
So the book of John – I’m going for it. I want that deep foundation. I want to build on the rock, and that comes by hearing the words of Jesus and putting them into practice.
I can’t do that without truly knowing the words of Jesus, and that’s where the Bible memorizing comes in.
So anyway, learn the lesson of the Burj Dubai. If you want to build something tall and strong, it’s going to take a lot of man-hours and a strong foundation.
And the way we do that in our lives is just like Jesus said – by hearing His words, and putting them into practice.
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
One other thought – I’m going to turn 50 one way or another. The time will pass whether I do this or not. I would rather set a goal and meet it than just let the time pass without such a goal.
© 2009 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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