I want you to think about the house that you live in. If I asked you to describe your house to me, you would most likely tell me about the location, the color, the design, area, the size, and the number of bedrooms. But you probably wouldn’t tell me about the foundation. Perhaps you don’t know anything about your foundation. Yet, it is the foundation of your house that makes all the difference. Proverbs 24:3 states, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.” This is true not only of your house; it is also true of your life.
In Matthew 7:24–27, Jesus tells a parable that compares and contrasts two builders: one wise and one foolish. He emphasizes how critical it is to have a strong foundation. This story is not just for architects, carpenters, and contractors. It is for you and me. Building a house is simply an analogy for building a life. Everyone is building their life on some kind of foundation. The point is this: The foundation you choose is the most important feature of your life. Here Jesus provides two options for building your life.
- Build your life on the strong foundation(7:24–25). Jesus says, “The only way to build a strong foundation is by obeying His words.” This passage comes at the end the Sermon on the Mount. He begins His parable in 7:24 with the word “therefore,” which looks back to the entire Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says, Math 7:24… By using the word “everyone” Jesus reveals that His words are intended for all people for all time. He begins by stating that you must “hear” His words. In order to do so you must expose yourself to the truth. You can do this by reading the Bible, by reading Christian books, by attending worship, and by meeting with Christian friends who can teach you. The key to listening is to interact with the one doing the speaking (my daughter asks questions). We should ask clarifying questions when interacting with Christ’s words. Is God warning me of something? Do I need to repent? Is this a promise that I can claim or a command I need to obey?
Jesus urges you to hear His words, but He goes on to say that you must act upon His words. You must put them into practice. If you are going to build your life on a solid foundation you must actually DO what Jesus wants you to do. Hearing His words is not enough; You must obey them (see Jas 1:22).
In 7:25, you will discover why it’s so critical to build on the strong foundation. Jesus says,“7:25” Jesus does not say “if the rain falls” or “if the floods come” or “if the winds blow.” He says,7:25(Read). Jesus tells you straight-up that storms will come and you will not be spared! And you might have observed that people who hear and do the words of Jesus have the very same crises in their lives that people have who don’t do His words. Obedience to Christ does not mean you will not get storms. Anyone who tells you that the Christian life is all sunny days has lied to you. Nevertheless, the storms are what test us. Living in the sunshine of life doesn’t tell us much about ourselves. It is the storms that reveal the strength of your foundation. When you build on the rock you must expect storms, because only storms can show your wisdom to the world around you.
When you think about storms in your life you probably think about
- dealing with a difficult or broken relationship; going through a financial crisis
- withstanding legal problems ; unpleasant or painful health problems
- the death of someone you love; dealing with rebellious children
- facing something that brought public disgrace; being laid off from work
- dealing with a conflict situation at work or in church
Sometime in our lives we are all going to face these kinds of storms. It is true that there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who are going through a crisis and those who are going to go through a crisis.
Times like these reveal the foundations of your life. When personal storms come lives of people who didn’t build on the foundation of Christ’s words will be destroyed. But if you construct your life on Christ you will not be disappointed. While obedience to Jesus’ words is not a protection from the troubles; it is a protection in the troubles. Yes, you may lose some widows and the house of your life may be shaken but it will not collapse and be swept away. I want to encourage you: If you haven’t already seen the results and benefits, I can assure you that one day you will. [Storms will come and go]. You are either in a trial, coming out of a trial, or entering into a trial. Nevertheless, if you’ve built your life on the foundation of Christ, you have nothing to fear. A good storm will demonstrate the stability of your foundation.
Does the house of your life have a rock? Have you built your life on a strong foundation? We all need the rock. Without the rock, we would all just roll away. Place your faith in Jesus Christ today. If you’ve already placed your faith in Him continue to grow in Him.
- Destroy your life on the wrong foundation(7:26–27). In 7:26 He says… The opposite of a wise man is a foolish man. A person who disregards Jesus’ words is foolish. He didn’t build on the rock of Jesus’ words! Please note: The foolish builder also heard Jesus’ words but didn’t act upon them. The foolish live by someone else’s words; He builds a life according to some scheme, some design. People don’t build at random. Everyone has a world view or a philosophy. Who or what is your foundation? If it isn’t Jesus Christ, make sure He is today.
Why did the foolish man build his house on the sand? He miscalculated the weather. He thought every day was going to be sunshine. He thought his life was always going to be smooth. So he figured a sand would do as a foundation. Let’s face it; it is appealing(attracting) to build on the sand. Who wants to dig down deep if you don’t have to (see Luke 6:47)? It takes more work to build on the rock. It takes more time and energy. And it costs more. It is easier and faster to build on the sand. It’s always easier to take shortcuts in building a home. It’s cheaper to use inferior materials. And for a while, no one may notice. But somewhere along the line, you will pay for your cheap workmanship.The same is true when it comes to the foundation of your life. It is easier to go with the crowd. It takes less time and energy if you simply maintain a superficial faith. And frankly, most of the time, who can really tell the difference anyway? It’s easier to just show up for church for an hour a week than it is to develop spiritual roots. But there’s only one problem with this mentality, the Bible teaches that storms are waiting to come.
In 7:27, Jesus closes His parable with a storm warning: “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Jesus concludes His parable and the entire Sermon on the Mount with an illustration of warning rather than of encouragement. I like to encourage others and be encouraged myself. Yet, as much as I appreciate encouragement, there is something about a strong word of warning that snaps me to attention. Jesus is saying, “You neglect My warning at your own danger!” The word “great” is the last word in 7:27, hence the last word of the Sermon on the Mount. The point is that if you reject Jesus Christ, you will spend eternity separated from Him.
Do you know what many Christians do when it starts raining? They try to change foundations. When the sky gets dark, the winds pick up, and the rain begins to pour they pick up the telephone, call the most spiritual people they know, and say, “Help me build a new foundation under my house. It’s falling apart.” But you can’t change foundations when you’re in the midst of a storm. You have to lay your foundation before the storm comes, so that when the rain, the floods, and the winds come, your house is secure. This is also true in the natural realm.
** How is your foundation? Is it built upon the rock or is it built upon sand?
If it’s built upon the rock, keep on. Continue doing what you’re doing. Seek to stretch yourself further in God’s Word. Pray that He gives you an even greater hunger and thirst for His Word. *If your foundation is built upon sand and you know you’re sinking down, build your foundation on the rock of God’s Word. Today, I invite you to do a building inspection of your life. * If you want a stable life—one that doesn’t cave in when the rain comes—build it on the rock TODAY. *Remember, you will not be rewarded in heaven for what you heard and believed, only for what you did. * If you have never believed in Christ as your foundation stone, do so today. At the moment you believe in Christ, your foundation turns from sand to stone. If Christ is your foundation stone, build your life on His teachings. I would encourage you to go home and find a small rock. Jesus said that what mattered to God was their relationship with Him. He said that true religion wasn’t a performance; it was a deep reality of who we are deep inside.
Directions: Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, yet obedience to Jesus’ teaching is important in this life and in the life to come. Remember, the Sermon on the Mount was not intended to be admired, but obeyed. Consequently, you will not be rewarded in heaven for what you heard and believed, only for what you did in obedience to Christ.
- How often do I read and listen to God’s Word in the course of a week (7:24)? What are the best methods of filling my mind with God’s Word? To what degree do I obey and apply what I read and hear? Have I grown in my obedience to the Savior in this past year? If so, how have I specifically progressed as a disciple?
- What personal storms have I experienced in this past year (7:25)? How did I fare spiritually in the midst of these storms? What did I learn about my spiritual foundation (i.e., my obedience to Jesus’ words) in the midst of my personal storms? In what ways do I need to strengthen my foundation? How will I go about this and who will help me?
- Who do I know that is building on a sound foundation (7:26)? How can I challenge these individuals to build on the rock of Jesus’ words? As a Christian, how have I been guilty of building my life on the sand? What specific areas of my life need to be stabilized or restructured? How can I go about this building process in 2009?
- What made Jesus’ teaching so amazing? How did He teach with such authority (7:28–29)? How can I learn to teach like Jesus taught? What specific methods, skill-sets, and character qualities would help me be more effective in my communication of God’s truth? Do I believe that I am a teacher? ReadHebrews 5:11–14. What responsibility do I have to teach God’s Word to those who have been placed in my life?
- What have I learned from my study through the Sermon on the Mount? How has God changed my heart? In what ways have I determined to obey Jesus’ teaching? What are my spiritual goals for 2016?