"On Christ the solid rock I stand..."
By Rev Victor Neill
‘Some trust in chariots and some trust in horses: but we will remember (trust) the name of the Lord our God’ (Psalm 20 v7)
The above text was on a Gospel poster we often displayed alongside other Gospel texts for many years at the Cheltenham Festival when it took place in mid-March. I was there with my fellow Evangelist, Peter Partington, who organised the Outreach, occasionally we were joined by one or two others. The Open-Air Mission would also have had a couple men there in another area of the racecourse to witness to the tens of thousands, who would turn up from all over the UK and Ireland for the biggest event in the Horse Racing Calendar of the UK. We did not preach sermons but would have shared quick 10-15 second comments or texts as people streamed past us on their way into the Racecourse. St Patrick’s day would have seen the thousands of Irish passing by with their shamrocks proudly displayed and that was often my cue to use a well know comment 'On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other rocks are sham-rocks!'
I suspect that most, if not all who read this, will never have been to Cheltenham, but our text and comment raise two important questions (1) Whom or what are you trusting in? (2) What sort of foundation are you building your life upon? How we answer the first question will determine the outcome of the second! For some their trust is in the physical and material things – ‘the chariots and horses’. For others, their trust is in themselves - their education, their abilities, essentially such are saying ‘it really is all down to you!’ For others, their trust and confidence are in their church, their religious practice – their motto being ‘just do the best you can!’ These are just some of the foundations upon which many choose to build their lives upon, for what you trust in - you will build upon! We note that Christ taught the wise person would obey Him and build their life upon Him. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock’ (Matthew 7 v 24). To obey Him means to trust Him alone for salvation ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4 v 12). Having trusted and committed ourselves to Him, we continue daily to trust Him throughout life, and that means we have built our lives upon a secure foundation, the Rock, which is Christ Himself - ‘and that Rock was Christ’ (1st Corinthians 10 v 4 b). This verse from a hymn I trust is a reflection of our testimony:
'My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness, I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly live on Jesus’ name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.’