“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.”Matthew 7:24-27 NIV
Jesus has a lot to say about how I live my life, and the author of the gospel of Matthew has collected much of it into what we call “The Sermon on the Mount.” In this passage, I am challenged concerning my relationship with God as well as with the people I come into contact with every day. And the concern is not so much about my actions as it is with my attitudes and motives. Who I am on the inside will be reflected in what I show on the outside.
What will I do with Jesus’ teachings? Will I admire them from a distance, but never really embrace them? Will I dismiss them as something that may be appropriate for others, but not for me? Or will I take hold of them and try to follow his teachings?
Building on Rock or Sand
Jesus’ final challenge in this collection of teachings is to put into practice what he has taught. If I do so, they will serve as a solid foundation which I can build my life on. A foundation that will be secure during the storms of life. And in the end, after all the storms have blown, my house will still be standing.
But should I choose to ignore his teachings, whether I admire them or not, the results will be dramatically different. It will be like building my house on sand. It may be easy to do, but it is a shortcut that will have disastrous results when a storm comes along.
I may think I know what’s best for my life. But it is hard to imagine that I will know better than my creator. While it may get in the way of self-gratification, obedience is the wisest approach. Is your house built on rock or sand?