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Foundations Introduction

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Foundations Introduction

In 1174 the Italian architect Bonnano Pisano began work on what would become his most famous project: A separately standing bell tower for the Cathedral of the city of Pisa. The tower was to be eight-stories and 185-foot-tall tall. There was just one "little" problem: builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated, and the foundation was far too shallow to adequately hold the structure! And sure enough, before long the whole structure had begun to tilt... and it continued to tilt... until finally the architect and the builders realized that nothing could be done to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again. It took 176 years to build the Tower of Pisa and during that time many things were done to try and compensate for the "tilt." Foundation was shored up; the upper levels were even built at an angle to try to make the top of the tower look straight. Nothing worked. The tower has stood for over 800 years, but it leans 18 feet away from where it should be. One day, experts say, it will fall. All because it wasn’t built on the right foundation.

1. Have each participant get out a piece of paper or give each some paper.  Write five things that you know (or believe) about prayer?  

After this turn over your paper and write how many hours (minutes) you spend praying each week.

2. Read Matt. 5:1-12.

Can we, honestly, state that we believe-all of the time? Immediately go to #3

3. We only know what we act on    or    We only believe what we obey.

We say we know, but we do not do as we know.  We say we believe, but we do not act like it.

4.  The shocking part of this simple principle that we only know (or believe) what we do (or obey) is that we do not act as if it were true.

A quote by a famous theologian John Henry Newman “obedience to the light we possess is the way to gain more light. Nor must our obedience be anything other than unconditional: “till we aim at complete, unreserved obedience in all things, we are not really Christians at all.”

5.  Now turn to Matt. 7:24-25 “24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” [1] 

Only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.  -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Why do I often say that I believe what I do not embody with my life?

The purpose of  “Foundations” is to gain that knowledge that we might be fully obedient.


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[1]The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984), Mt 7:24-25.

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