24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
Everyone likes the Sermon on the Mount. It speaks to so many subjects, contains the “Lord’s Prayer,” shows Jesus’ compassion and much more. While all of this is true, we cannot pull even one lesson from this great sermon without closely observing its conclusion.
Are you aware of the problem of familiarity? The more familiar you are with something the more commonplace it becomes. Let’s say you grew up next to the Grand Canyon and saw it every day for all of the years of your growing up. You hiked it often, you rafted it many times a year, you flew over it in the helicopter regularly, and then met someone who was seeing it for the first time. While they wanted to see and learn all about it, you want to know where they live and what they do. The beauty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon had become familiar to you. It is still beautiful but you are accustomed to it.
As a child, we sang the song about the wise man who built his house upon the rock. We sang how the rains came down and the floods came up and how his house stood firm. We sang about the foolish man who built his house upon the sand and that when the rains came down and the floods came up his house, (with a loud clap of the hands) went “smash.” So when you read this familiar story at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, do you really see it as Jesus’ great conclusion to his greatest recorded sermon?
Are we really aware that when we take the teachings of Jesus and live them to the fullest of our Spirit-led ability that the structure of our lives will stand firm? Do we really believe that when we let the clear teachings of Jesus sit outside of our lives that we are building life in the sand and that the structure of our lives will collapse? Jesus could not have made this application any more clear. And yet person after person comes in with major parts of their lives in rebellion to the teachings of God’s word and wonder why their lives are collapsing. They see those whose lives are strong and flourishing and just think that those blessed people just got a better break in life.
My friends, lives that are shattered are usually the result of those that did not found themselves on the truths of God’s word and did not anchor themselves to those truths. Lives that are secure are usually the result of those who have anchored themselves to the teaching of God’s word and seek to live in submission to God’s wisdom. Built of the rock or on the sand? Standing or falling? Come to the foundation of God’s word and begin in the power of the Holy Spirit to live according to all of its teachings. You will find great security here.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is a memorial of the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem to the praise and worship of thousands upon thousands of people. We will reflect on the Lord’s teaching in light of Palm Sunday as we gather this Sunday. Then Friday night, Good Friday, as it is called, we will gather again to remember the death of our Lord. We will sing of the Cross and spend time focusing the Lord’s sacrifice of himself for us. Then next Sunday, as you know, is Resurrection Sunday, (Easter to the others) when we gather once a year to especially remember the Lords’ resurrection and the glory of it for us and for men and women of all time.
I came across this presentation last night and was particularly blessed by the families determination to accept all seven babies to be born. This was now 20 years ago and especially relevant today as they reflect on how God blessed their family and has directed the lives of all seven of their children who were born at the same time.
Have a great day in the Lord,