“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. 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. Matthew 7:24-25 NIV
Maybe you’ve seen me in the store, I have entered that stage of life when it is important to read the ingredients on the side of the box. I may even have to put on my reading glasses. I am looking for the amount of carbs, sugars and other preservatives that I need to limit. I am more concerned about the foundation of ingredients in the product, rather than the taste…well it still needs to taste good.
Jesus finishes his teaching that we call the “Sermon on the Mount” with a parable about a wise and foolish person. The difference between the two men was the foundation that they built to withstand the pressures of life that everyone will experience. All will be tested, the stronger will be the one who has a foundation of obedience and practicing of the words of Jesus.
Since I was not present at that teaching, I have always thought that obedience was specific to the Holy Spirit’s voice about the word of God in present time. This would still be true. Hear what God is saying through the Spirit and obey what He says…put it into practice.
Today, I noticed the “therefore” in verse 24. This word connected the story to the whole teaching of the Sermon on the Mount. It is quite worth it, to read chapters 5,6,and 7 all in one sitting. The relevance for issues of our day are remarkable. Jesus was specifically saying, live and do what I have just taught you and you will be strong in the storms of life.
HIghlights of the Sermon in Matthew 5, 6, and 7
- The Blessings of the overlooked
- Hatred equals murder – forgive
- Lust equals adultery – pornography
- Divorce equals adultery – remain faithful
- Keeping your word – pay your debts
- Turn the other cheek – cease getting even
- Love and pray for your enemies – don’t seek revenge
- Give, pray and fast without seeking any public approval – God sees and rewards
- Serve God and not money – everyone will serve one master
- God will give what you need – stop worrying
- As a hypocrite, you are not qualified to judge others – judge not
- Pursue God by asking, seeking, and knocking for what you need
- Do to others as you would have them do to you – the Golden Rule
- Discerning true and false prophets and disciples – inspect fruit
How would integrating these values into every fabric of our lives change the cultural climate of our nation?
Jesus addressed money, lust, and judging. It is more than just saying that we need to love one another, although that is a great place to start. There are specific actions that we can begin implementing into our daily routines. It is not enough to just say “I believe in Jesus”. Are we practicing what He told us to do?
The pressures of life will come to all of us. Let’s put all of the ingredients of obedience to what we have heard into the actions and activities of our lives. There is a blessing for putting it into practice.
Blessings Love y’all