Summary: What does it take to be ready for the storms of life and death? Jesus says what is essential.
10.4.20 Matthew 7:24–27
24 “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on bedrock. 25 The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was founded on bedrock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of mine but does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—it was completely destroyed.”
How to Be Storm Ready
St. Norbert’s Catholic Church in Munger was recently for sale for only 119,000 dollars on four acres of property. I thought, “that would be cool to fix up the church!” We’d have to sell our house, then quickly build a kitchen and a shower. Over time we could then put a basketball hoop up in it and a pickleball court. We could have the future grandchildren over - it would be a lot of fun!
When Jesus talks about how you build a house, it’s not for entertainment purposes. He wasn’t wanting us to worry about the bells and the whistles. It’s for survival, ultimately from the Final Judgment. If you don’t build a strong house that can withhold storms, it isn’t going to last. It’s going to crash with a thud. Worst of all, you’ll end up in hell.
This is, of course, talking spiritually. God doesn’t care whether you live in a mansion or a shack. Some of the strongest Christians I have met have lived in shacks. What He cares about is the state of your soul. What kind of a spiritual house do you want to build? Do you say to yourself, “I want my children and grandchildren to be strong Christians. I want them to trust in Jesus as their Savior with a firm faith. I want them to know their Bibles well. I want them to be respectful to their elders. I want them to pray regularly. I want them to know their Bibles well. I want them to fear and love God and to put Him first. I want that for ME too!” Or are your only goals physical, like getting a degree, a job, your house paid off, a spouse, children, a nest egg for retirement? We love to make physical goals, but what about the spiritual?
Notice the way that Jesus paints this picture. Sooner or later the storms will come and beat against the walls of your life, no matter what kind of a household you’ve built. Your health will deteriorate and relationships will go sour. You will lose a job. You will have friends and family that will die. There is no avoiding it. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. Yet somehow we always seem to be surprised when the storms come! We somehow think that we should be immune, as if we aren’t sinners living in a sinful world and body? The point is that you will need to have strength to deal with those things so you don’t crash.
There are two things that are primary to establishing a strong household. Hearing Jesus and doing what He says. (If you think about that in itself, how audacious of Jesus! Whether you stand or fall on Judgment Day - it all depends on listening to HIM and doing what He says.) These words come at the end of His famous Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7. Everyone was listening to what He had to say. But not everyone was going to do what He said. So Jesus made a distinction, a key distinction, between those who hear and those who do. If you don’t have both, your house won’t stand.
But it starts with listening, and that’s why we have Christian education and that’s why we have church. We want our children to know about Jesus. We have a Christian day school where we call Christian teachers to teach about Jesus. They can hear about Jesus every day and have Biblical knowledge intertwined with all of our subjects along with the way that we discipline our children. That’s also why we have Catechism classes for public school kids as well as Sunday School. You can usually tell a difference between the children at Trinity and those in public school when it comes to their Bible and Catechism knowledge. Jesus loves public school kids too, but boy it sure does help to get Bible education every day. Either way, you too as parents can play an integral role in raising your children. If you take the time to read them Bible stories and pray with them, that is the most important.