Matthew 7:24-27 - Building on Rock or Sand?
Matthew 7:24-27 - Building on Rock or Sand?
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV) "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. But 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. The rain came down, the streams
rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with
a great crash."
Faithfully pleasing God is an activity, not just a nice set of
beliefs. It must be a way of life. Twenty years ago, people were asking
the question: Does God exist? Today that question has changed to:
What difference does He make? The answer for too many people is: Not
much. Even for many people who have an enormous amount of Bible
knowledge, God makes little difference in how they actually live their
lives. If Christ doesn't make any difference in my ethics and values
at my job; if He doesn't affect my speech and attitudes toward
co-workers; ... if He makes absolutely no difference in the way I live and
work, then pray tell, what difference does He make?! What's the point
of playing a religious game that is all talk and no action? I take
the matter of obedience as an action quite seriously. I challenge
you to do the same. [Doug Sherman & Willaim Hendricks; Time with
God devotional SB]
Many people are headed for destruction, not out of stubbornness
but out of thoughtlessness. Part of our responsibility as believers
is to help others stop and think about where their lives are headed
and to point out the consequences of ignoring Christ's message.
[Life Application SB]
Teaching has not been effective until obedience has begun. To
build "on the rock" means to be a hearing, responding disciple, not a
phony, superficial one. Practicing obedience becomes the solid
foundation to weather the storms of life. See James 1:22-27 for more on
putting into practice what we hear. [Life Application SB]
When we receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we will obey
Him, and, as a result, our lives will be radically transformed. It's
in the doing, the obeying, and the living the life of faith that we
are changed (Acts 5:32). [Adult SS Quarterly 6/30/05]
The clearest evidence of a vital relationship with God is that
we hear God's words--and put them into practice. The person who
truly loves Jesus will keep His commandments. [The 365-Day Devotional
God doesn't want you simply to be a silent partner. To have a
faith that's lasting, you can't just talk the talk - you've got to
walk the talk. The apostle James puts it another way: "Obey the Word
of God. If you hear only and do not act, you are only fooling
yourself" (James 1:22). God promises your faith will be stronger if you
really live your life for Him. [The 365 Daily Promise Bible By
How do we find God and grow in him? Jesus was adamant at this
point. He says we must do what he says. We must put into practical
obedience the knowledge that we have. He continually asked people to drop
their nets, to sell all they had and to follow him. We might say that
Jesus had a theology of obedience. And the object of this obedience
was a living person, not a historical norm, not a code of laws, but
himself. He called people to be accountable to God whether they were
believers or skeptics who were searching. For example, he told his
disciples, "What is the point of calling me, 'Lord, Lord,' without doing
what I tell you to do?" (Luk.6:46 Phi)... Jesus knew that obedience
to his and his Father's words yielded faith ... If I had to sum up
one's response to the gospel message, I would say as William Pannell
has said, "It's paint - or get off the ladder." [Rebecca Pippert;
Time with God devotional SB]
"The biggest problem we face in the Christian life," said Dr.
Cynddylan Jones, a famous Welsh preacher, "is distance." He continued,
"The only way that distance can be overcome is by having the
perspective of Job who said: 'Though He slay me yet will I trust Him.' "
When I talk to counselors in training I tell them that what
they should be listening for as a counselee tells his or her story is
distance. That's what underlies most problems that bring people into
counseling. This does not mean we should ignore or make light of the surface
problems with which people may be struggling. But the plain fact is
this--when we are close to God and have a deep and intimate relationship
with Him, we may feel downcast but not destroyed. Therefore, every
Christian counselor's ultimate goal should be to close any distance there
may be between the person and God and to develop spiritual oneness.
Counseling is not effective or complete until this is accomplished.
How does distance come between ourselves and God? There are
many causes--bitterness and resentment against another, persistent
sin, failure to establish a devotional life--but largely it arises
through a lack of trust. If you cut your way through the maze of human
problems, that's what you find--an inability to trust. That's what happened
in the garden of Eden, and that's what happens in our personal
garden of Eden also. To try to develop a close relationship with God
and fail to deal with this most basic issue is about as effective as
building a skyscraper on an acre of sand.
O God, bring us closer day by day to that place of deep
confidence and absolute trust. May we know You so deeply that nothing we
see around us will shake or shatter our belief in Your unchanging
goodness. In our Lord's name we pray. Amen. [Every Day With Jesus Bible
with Selwyn Hughes devotional re 1Ch. 17:20]
We need to make clear the difference between diligence and
obstinacy. I know people who have experienced spiritual shipwreck because
they didn't know the difference between these two things. When asked
to clarify the difference between perseverance and obstinacy, a
student wrote: "One is a strong will and the other is a strong won't."
Diligence is dogged perseverance; obstinacy is dogged inflexibility and
A man whose life was full of promise as far as the Christian
ministry was concerned now spends his days in depression because he did
not know the difference between these two things. He set out on a
project that he thought was God's will for him, and when things started
to go wrong, instead of checking his guidance, he continued to
press on and ended up in failure. Those who loved him, and were more
objective, urged him to give up as what he was doing was clearly not the
will of God. However, he did not have the wisdom to realize that what
he was doing was not being diligent but obstinate. Now he lives in
When Jesus came to Calvary, He said, "I have glorified You on
the earth by completing the work You gave Me to do" (Jn 17:4). Note
the word "You." There were many who would have liked Jesus to do
this and that, to go here and go there, but He did only what the
Father required Him to do. Saying "yes" to God's will and pursuing it
is diligence. Saying "yes" to a thing that is not God's will and
pursuing that is obstinacy. We had better learn the difference.
Father, I see how important it is to be clear about these two
issues. Help me differentiate between diligence and obstinacy so that at
the end of my time here on earth I, too, will be able to say, "I
have finished the work which You have given me to do." Amen. [Every
Day With Jesus Bible with Selwyn Hughes devotional re Pro. 12:24]
The Christian life is hard work. Christianity involves
systematically striving to implement the truths of God's Word into your life.
Spiritual depth and maturity do not come without consistent effort.
Jesus had just concluded the Sermon on the Mount, which sets
forth some of the most profound truths ever spoken. The Son of God had
clearly explained the kind of life that is pleasing to the Father. Yet
Jesus knew, even as He was concluding His sermon, that some of His
listeners would leave and never apply a word they had heard.
Jesus said that a man who takes the words of God and builds
them into his life is like a wise man who builds his house on a rock.
Rocks are hard to build on. It takes great effort to attach a
foundation to a rock. A house built on sand provides instant comfort;
building on a rock is laborious and tedious. Yet building on sand leaves
the builder in a vulnerable position, while the one building on the
rock is secure.
How can you tell what kind of foundation a life has been
built on? Watch to see what happens when a storm comes. A life built
upon the Word of God will withstand the very storm that sweeps away
the life that did not heed God's Word.
There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. Maturity only
comes through hard work and obedience to what God says. The next time
you hear Jesus speaking, immediately begin to firmly build His truth
into your life, so that no storm can unsettle you. [Experiencing God
Day by Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby re Mat. 7:24]
Missing Heaven by 18 Inches
Does this title startle you?
How can anyone get so close and yet in the end hear the Lord
say, "I never knew you: depart from me''?
However, this will be the terrible result of many in our
churches today who are professing Christians, often with responsible
positions, but who have had only a head acceptance of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Tragically enough, even teachers, preachers and religious
workers are not exempt from the possibility of this chilling
The distance between the head and the heart is 18 inches.
Unfortunately, a head--intellectual--knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, fully
knowing and giving mental assent to the plan of salvation, without also
a heart acceptance that brings the personal relationship that the
Bible demands, avails nothing to any man.
Listen to Paul's heart cry concerning Israel as he spoke
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, " For I bear them record that
they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." He was
speaking about misdirected efforts, energies expended in the strength of
the flesh but not under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The lack
of power today in many of our churches as well as the lack of power
today in the lives of many professing Christians can be laid directly
It is only as we see ourselves in the mirror of God's Word as
without excuse and without hope, utterly lost and undone, that the truth
of the Scriptures convicts us, for the Bible clearly reveals that
this is how God sees man.
Then, when the glorious truth of the gospel brings us to
recognition of our own sinfulness, and in true repentance we cry out to God
asking forgiveness and help, asking Him to come into our hearts, not
our heads, we experience the new birth.
Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no
man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
The Bible also tells us that "He that hath the Son hath
[eternal] life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.''
Furthermore, the Bible promises "That if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the
heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation."
Christ wants your heart, not just your head because "The Lord
seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but
the Lord looketh on the heart."
It is vitally important that you make sure it is not just
head knowledge and mental assent you have given to Jesus Christ. He
needs the complete surrender of your heart and life so that you may be
truly born again.
Eighteen inches can mean an eternity with Christ or an
eternity without Christ. Are you sure of your personal relationship to
Him? Why not settle the question in your heart once and for all right
now? Paul W. Empet, American Tract Society, P. O. Box 462008,
Garland. Texas 75046
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
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