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. Matthew 7:24-25
I love these verses. They have a Hebrew bent to them. Hebrew words have an action attached where Greek ones often point to feelings or thoughts.
Did you catch this? Whoever hears (Hebrew: hear means to hear with the intent to obey—not just listen.) to these sayings of Mine, and DOES THEM…
In this age of technology, there is a lot of listening going on for information or entertainment. But, how many are listening for instruction to put into action?
Every December I ask God for a word to focus on in the new year. On December 31, He told me, “ANCHORED is your word for 2022.” With that revelation came the immediate understanding that there were storms ahead. Being anchored would keep me safe through every one of them.
Today, January 12th, as I write this blog, I am sitting in the hospital waiting for my husband to have a catheterization. This is our sixth day of hospital life. This is a storm we didn’t see coming but we are anchored in God’s faithfulness to see us through. And by God’s grace we left on Day 7 with the assurance that his heart was in good condition.
When we build our lives, we have the choice of materials and the kind of foundation to put in place for our structure. We can build our lives on our hopes and dreams or the opinions of others about who we should be and what we should do. We can build looking at our bank accounts, our positions in life, or our talents. But the rock-solid choice is to build on Jesus and His constitution of the Kingdom.
The only unchangeable, immoveable, forever foundation for genuine Christian life is Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nothing else even comes close.
We’ve watched hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, and snow demolish every kind of structure this year. But, in every case, if the foundation was created with rock or cement, the foundation is still intact.
We must build our foundation on solid truth. Jesus is that truth.
Isaiah 28:16 highlights this solid foundation: Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;
And in Acts 4:11-12, This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
In Ephesians 2:19-22, underscores the building process. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
And 1 Timothy 6:17-19 offers good counsel. Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
David listed some of the attributes and practices of good builders in Psalm 119:1-16
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, Who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart! 3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways. 4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently. 5 Oh, that my ways were directed To keep Your statutes! 6 Then I would not be ashamed, When I look into all Your commandments. 7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart, When I learn Your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep Your statutes; Oh, do not forsake me utterly!
9 How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. 10 With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! 11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. 12 Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. 13 With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. 14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. 15 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. 16 I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
The Pharisees were notorious in hypocritical obedience: They made long prayers, yet devoured widow’s houses. They fasted twice a week, yet laid burdens on their disciples. They tithed, yet taught that neither father nor mother was to be relieved if men had placed their substance under a vow to God.
If we are honest and truthful with our friends, but rob God of the submission, devotion, and praise which are His due, we are not pleasing to Abba.
Luke 1:6 says that Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless. This does not mean they were perfect, following all the law, but that they were fully committed to walking out what they knew to be right and repentant when they failed.
God judges our hearts, not our outward performance. What is the foundation in our hearts? Is it love for God and His word? Is it a desire to love Him by doing His will, or are we trying to win the approval and recognition of men? The latter is sandy soil.
We will cover the sandy soil builders in the next installment. For right now, read over the Matthew 7:24-25 passage again and ask Holy Spirit to search your heart. Ask Him, Am I building on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ and His word or am I building on sandy soil? Then listen.
If He reveals some sand, ask Him for help in replacing it with the Rock. Here at the beginning of 2022, submit to God and without question do what He tells you. The storms are coming in all our lives, and we need to be anchored in the Rock—our sure foundation.