"So then, everyone who hears My words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock. The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. But it does not fall. It is built on the rock. But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man. He builds his house on sand. The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. And it falls with a loud crash." ~ Matthew 7:24-25, NIRV
I'd like to share my lesson notes from a church sermon a few weeks ago, when one of our pastors preached on Matthew 7:24-29 -- Jesus' story of the wise builder and the foolish builder -- because of how it correlates to today's hymn.
Pastor Jared pointed out how the two builders were similar -- both were trying to construct something...a house that would perhaps be a legacy for their children, and their children's children, etc. And apparently, both builders were affected by the same storm.
He went on to tell how they were different -- the wise man took his time building his house, while the foolish man built his in haste. Both built on different foundations -- one on a strong, firm foundation of solid rock; and the other on a weak, shaky foundation of sand, and where they built revealed the quality of the building, especially when a horrific storm came along.
The wise builder took into account that storms WOULD come down the road, and he prepared accordingly. Jesus said that when the rains came, the waters rose and the winds beat against his house, it did not fall.
But the foolish builder did not take into consideration the possibility of storms coming his way and therefore did not prepare his house adequately. Jesus said that when the rains came, the waters rose and the winds beat against his house, it fell with a loud crash (v. 27).
Pastor Jared said that Jesus was comparing the wise builder to those who knew Him, heard His words and acted on them. He compared the foolish builder to those who live as if God does not exist (Psalm 14:1- 'The fool says in his heart, "there is no God."'), hearing His words, but not putting them into practice.
Lesson learned from this sermon and this Scripture:
**Our best time to lay foundations is BEFORE the storms come -- not during, when we're so scared, confused and unfocused we're totally paralyzed; and not after, when it's much too late and we're left standing amid the rubble of our lives. We must be prepared and ready.
Jesus has a promise, found in verse 25, for those of us whose hearts belong to Him:
For a life built on the Solid Rock of Jesus, no matter what happens to shock us, rock us or knock us down we can stand firm, with our faith remaining strong and secure.
May we be mindful today, as we gather together to worship our Lord, and every day, of the kind of life we are constructing, and on what kind of foundation we've chosen to build.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' Name.
On Christ, the soid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.