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Summary: Jesus talks about, “hearing these words of mine and acting on them.” What words? The sermon on the mount. Storms in life are inevitable – they will come, but they don’t have to overcome you! What are you building your life on?

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DEVELOPING ROCK SOLID FAITH

OPENING TEXT:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall." When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matt. 7:24-29).

Jesus talks about, “hearing these words of mine and acting on them.” What words? The sermon on the mount. Storms in life are inevitable – they will come, but they don’t have to overcome you! What are you building your life on? If you want to develop a rock-solid faith, build on the rock of Jesus’ teaching!

ILLUSTRATION: Retiring Carpenter

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer-contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to poor workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career. When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. "This is your house," he said, "my gift to you." What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built so poorly.

How are you building your life? Are you being a smart or a stupid carpenter?

Are you ready to start developing a rock-solid faith? Let’s re-read Jesus’ words from the Message Paraphrase:

“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit - but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.” (Matt. 7:24-27, The Message).

#1 – HEART ATTITUDES AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS:

“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, “Blessed…” (Matt. 5:1-2).

BLESSED: happy, supremely blessed; to be envied, and spiritually prosperous – with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favour and salvation.

· “The Pursuit of Happiness” - Everyone is searching for it

· This first part of the sermon on the mount deals with heart attitudes.

· Being happy is not about being rich or famous. Here are God’s keys to blessing:

“3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 "Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3-10).

- these are the heart attitudes we must cultivate if we want to be blessed!

#2 – HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FORGIVENESS:

“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘you shall not commit murder’ and ’Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ’You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ’You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” (Matt. 5:21-24).

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