Summary: Everyone who puts Jesus’ words into practice builds a great life.

September 30, 2001

The Doorway to Heaven – Part 3


Who would have guessed that a series of books “…for Dummies” would sell more than 35 million copies?

You’re probably familiar with these big yellow self-education books. People a lot like you and me purchase them to help us learn more than we do about a particular subject. The series now boasts over 100 separate titles, meaning that there is advice for just about everyone.

Consider a few of the titles:

Bird-Watching for Dummies, Entertaining for Dummies, E-Bay for Dummies, Fishing for Dummies, Investing for Dummies, Law for Dummies, Parenting for Dummies, even Sex for Dummies.

Why has this series been so successful at tapping into people’s desire to learn? One satisfied customer said, “I buy them because they take the intimidation out of the learning process. Whatever the subject matter, they spell it out to me in simple terms. They make the complex understandable, so that even a regular guy like me can ‘get it.’” (Bill Hybels, Making Life Work, p. 15)

The same could be said for the Sermon on the Mount. It takes the ageless, priceless of wisdom of God himself and makes it understandable and accessible to regular people like you and me.

Jesus concludes this Sermon with the statements we witnessed him giving on the video… If you want to follow along in the Bible this morning you can find those verses on page 961-962 in the pew Bible.

In verse 24 of Matthew 7, Jesus says…

Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice…

That’s what the past 6 months have been all about. Hearing the words of Jesus and attempting to put them into practice in our daily lives. Easier said than done. Sometimes the words are so penetrating we wish they didn’t hit so close to home. Sometimes what Jesus asks of us appears to be way beyond our mortal abilities. And yet Jesus desires that we both hear the words and practice them.

Each week during this series I’ve tried to encapsulate Jesus’ teaching from the section under consideration into one memorable statement – something that I’ve been calling the “Big Idea”. Sunday by Sunday since back in March, here are the things we have learned from the Sermon on the Mount….here are each of the Big Ideas…

 My character will be noticeably different when I welcome the kingdom of God into my life.

 I can have joy, even in the midst of suffering for Jesus.

 I am salt – my influence on the world depends on my being distinctive, not identical.

 I am light – my influence on the world depends on my being visible, not concealed.

 With a merely external display of conformance to God’s rules, I will never clear the righteousness bar.

 Since anger is serious and dangerous I should take action immediately to avoid it.

 When I think right sexually, I will act right sexually.

 When I understand God’s intention for marriage I’ll have a new view of divorce.

 I must keep my promises and be a person of my word.

 When personally wronged or injured I need to respond with an outrageous attitude – like forfeiting my dignity, my comfort, my privacy or my right to ownership – in order to show greater love.

 Loving my enemy is a way to show I belong to God.

 When I give, God’s approval is what counts.

 My prayers are for God’s ears only.

 When I fast, I’ll focus exclusively on God.

 My stuff is not safe here.

 I will invest in things that last forever.

 I will let nothing of this earth cloud my vision.

 I will live a life of undivided loyalty to Jesus Christ.

 Because of my Father’s care, I can stop worrying about everything.

 Because God alone does the judging, I am freed up to encourage others in their spiritual journey.

 Because God only gives good gifts, I will pray with persistence.

 I will take the initiative to do something good for another person.

 My journey to heaven begins with a choice at the fork in the road.

 To avoid the nightmare of not being recognized by Jesus, I must recognize the truth and live by it.

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 house he’s talking about is just a metaphor for our lives. So that means…

Big Idea: Everyone who puts Jesus’ words into practice builds a great life.

God’s wisdom works…Embracing it will result in a house firmly planted on the rock.

To get his point across, Jesus tells an interesting little story about two home-builders. He points out something concerning the builders that is the same as well as something that is different. Out of that we’ll learn a couple of underlying principles that will help us understand how a great life can be built.

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