Summary: It's not necessarily how we build, but how we start that counts. We can build a great building, but if it is on the wrong foundation...trouble!
Passage: Matthew 7:24-29
Intro: Story of the Quimpers on the banks of the river, in Michener’s book “Texas”
1. the Sermon on the Mount has been full of images.
PP very fast: paths, roads, gates, wolves and sheep, salt, light, trees…
2. but there is a final one, and we can’t get much more serious than this image of houses built on good ground and bad.
3. such a well-known image that has spawned a children’s song!
4. the focus is not on the building, because the houses are much the same.
5. the focus in on the process of site selection, like the Quimpers on the banks of the Bravos.
6. because you can build a great house, well-constructed and strong.
7. but if you build it in the wrong place, on the wrong ground, it will fail.
8. so what are we looking for in good building ground, how do we demonstrate what ground we have chosen, and how do we know we are right.
I. Seek Wisdom
1. there is a great word here in v24
2. translated “wise”, but it is a unique word. Sophos is the most common, but not here.
3. phronismos, meaning prudent, sensible, practically wise.
4. we might use the phrase, “common sense” to translate this word. Or “using your head”
5. the wise man, the sensible, prudent man, uses wisdom in his consideration of the site upon which he will build.
Il) he might ask for a core sample report, might search the web for pictures like these.
PP fissures in Queen Creek
6. he is not just grabbing the first place he sees that has a nice view.
7. he’d like a view of the ocean, but not if it means…
PP slide of CA house hanging
8. the idea here is thoughtfulness, taking care, observing the lives of other home builders.
9. and as we saw last week, it also involves checking out the “salesman” to see if he can be trusted.
10. so there is a wise way to go about this process of site consideration. It was never meant to be a blind process.
Il) sometimes Christianity is said to be a blind leap into the darkness. And this leap is called “the leap of faith”
PP Indiana Jones at the leap of faithbridge
11. but that is not what Jesus is talking about.
12. He calls us to consider the character of the one claiming wisdom, to look around and consider the building site carefully, and then to make a decision based on that thoughtful consideration.
13. it is the liar who hurries us, shouts loudly and speaks quickly, who hides the truth behind the smoke and mirrors of deception.
14. God is a revealer of the truth, breaking past the deception and giving us the truth we can see!
PP Daniel 2:29…”the revealer of mysteries”
II. Apply Wisdom
1. we can talk until we are blue in the face about wisdom.
2. but Jesus is not going to allow this huge decision to remain an esoteric, philosophical argument.
3. at some point a site must be chosen and a house built, because everyone builds a house.
4. both of these men, wise and foolish, build a house.
5. and both have selected a site upon which they will build.
6. and Jesus refers to this process of building as “put (my words) into practice”, or “not put (my words) into practice.”
7. it is very powerful to realize that there is only one choice, and not a bunch of equal choices.
8. either you believe me and demonstrate that faith thru obedience to my words or you don’t. Talk is cheap!
9. so if you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, you are foolish and your house is doomed to collapse because you did not apply the words of Jesus, did not obey him.
10. the Christian life is far more than what we believe, what we assent to.
11. a Christian is the person who listens to the words of Jesus and rejects what Jesus rejects and embraces what Jesus embraces.
12. so we reject externally based religion and pride and abusive power and unrighteousness and mercilessness and impurity of heart and hypocrisy and legalism and hatred of others and lust and saying one thing and doing another and a vengeful spirit and selfishness and being religious to impress others and materialism and anxiety and prayerlessness and deception going along with the crowd and foolishness.
13. and we embrace internal transformation and humility and gentleness and righteousness and mercy and purity and consistency and salvation by grace and love and sexual faithfulness and consistency between words and actions and justice without vengeance and choosing to honor God no matter what others think and living by faith and peace and prayer and living in the truth even if its lonely and wisdom.