Summary: A look at the final words of the Sermon on the Mount - living as the wise person who listens and applies the words of Jesus.
Live on the Rock
September 4, 2005
Well, folks, we’ve covered a lot of ground since starting to look at the life and words of Jesus in the gospel according to Matthew. And today, we finish up our look at the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus has talked about a wide range of things - but all of it practical and at the same time simple and profound.
And today, we look at his closing words.
These words are not just another topic he’s covering. In these closing words, we hear a caution about ignoring the words he’s just spoken, and while the context is the Sermon on the Mount, the principle applies to all the words of Jesus,
Matthew 7:24-27 (page 686) -
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
You know, everybody here is aware of the tragedy in the south, with Hurricane Katrina. And in a very real and physical sense, the storms tore down houses.
But Jesus isn’t talking about houses made of wood, stones, bricks, or steel. He’s talking about the house of your soul.
And he’s addressing the fact that he wants you to be able stand when the storms of life come.
And he says that the way to do that is to take his words seriously and put them into practice. So today I want to give you some practical stuff on just how to do that.
It’s immeasurably important that we take Jesus seriously. If you decide not to, then you are not really a follower of Jesus.
And you run the risk of coming to the end and finding out that the road you were one was the one that took you to the wrong gate, as we discussed last week.
So I want us to take a good hard look at these words of Jesus so that we can be among those who stand rather than crumble when the hard time come.
But before we do that, let’s pray.
What’s in it for me?
Normally when working through a passage like this, I just kinda start at the beginning and go through it in order.
But today I want to start about two-thirds into the passage, in verse 25, which says:
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
In this verse, Jesus tells us the benefit of listening and applying his word - they stand - they make it. And in looking at this verse, I can think of three ways we come through the storms by living for Christ, some benefits, if you will:
1. Security - survival during the storms.
And they will come, believe me.
Jesus says that they will survive - he keeps them safe from the things that would wreck their lives and faith in him.
Another benefit is...
2. Strength - for future storms.
I read one time about how shipbuilders back in the days of sailboats would prepare the masts for their ships.
They would go to the forest and find an appropriate tree, then they would clear out all the surrounding trees and leave that one standing, leaving it exposed to the wind and storms.
As the tree continued to mature, it would gain strength. The kind of strength it would need to be able to stand up in the storms at sea while holding a large sail.
But that tree would never gain that strength if it was just left among the other trees. It developed strength because of the storms.
I believe that if we build our lives on the solid rock of Jesus and his words, then when the storms come, we will not only survive, we’ll gain strength.
And a third benefit of living for Jesus is that we will gain...
3. Wisdom - finding the lessons to be learned and used in life.
Jesus said that it’s the wise person who listens and obeys his words. The foolish person ignores them and ends up having their faith and their life crash around them.
But a wise person can not only find security in the midst of the storm, not only gain strength to face future storms, but can also gain wisdom in learning from the storm. Wisdom that can help others weather the storms as they have.