Summary: A LIFE IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THAT ON WHICH IT RESTS.
July 16, 2001-- AM
STORM PROOFING THE HOUSE
(1) During a thunder storm in the midwest, my parents turned on the TV to watch for tornado warnings. Just as the screen flashed a warning, a limb crashed outside the living room window. Mom bolted toward a safer spot in the dining room, but a terrific lightning strike stopped her in the doorway.
Wringing her hands, she shouted to Dad above the storm, "Where are we going?"
"I guess," he said calmly, "it depends on how we’ve lived." -- Martha Vancise, Ft. Pierce, Florida. Christian Reader, "Lite Fare."
(2) In 1938 a hurricane threatened the New England coast. People feared that the railroad bridge at White River Junction would be destroyed. The danger was averted when some thoughtful person backed a line of loaded freight cars onto the bridge. The bridge withstood the force of the winds because of the weight that it bore. The weight of your responsibilities may rest heavily upon you, but that weight may be the very thing that keeps you from being swept away by the storm of sin. -- Robert C. Shannon, 1000 Windows, (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing Company, 1997).
(3) What though my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth;
What though the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth;
No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing? Robert Lowry
PROPOSITION: A LIFE IS ONLY AS STRONG AS THAT ON WHICH IT RESTS.
TRANS. Q: How does the strength of a house become affected by what it rests on?
TRANS. S: Here are four implications of a life¡¦s foundation.
I. TO BE WISE, HEAR AND DO THESE SAYINGS (7:24)
A. With wisdom, there is an important connection between hearing the sayings of Christ and doing them. This is key: that one who hears also does the sayings of Christ (James 1:22-25). These sayings are Christ¡¦s and therefore are worthy of the highest respect. There is wisdom in heeding Christ¡¦s words. A wise man is one who characterizes his actions by well-applied knowledge and yields results accordingly. He makes good decisions and choices. The wise man¡¦s wisdom shows in his building activity. Something as needful and valuable as a house ought to be trusted only to that which is able to hold it.
B. ¡§These sayings¡¨ to which Christ refers are the items preceding verse 24. The immediate context reaches back into chapter five of Matthew. We read that He saw the multitudes and taught them the very important truths of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:2). A summary of these teachings reveals the activities of a well-founded or storm-proofed life. These are the things to do if your house is on the right foundation.
1. The storm-proofed house is constructed with consideration for the blessings of Heaven (Matthew 5:2-12). The foundation is not on the shifting circumstances of earth but on the unchangeable promises of Heaven. Therefore, the storms of life here do not rattle the security a believer draws from there. This life does not anchor the believer¡¦s rewards.
2. The storm-proofed household replenishes its supply of usable salt (Matthew 5:13). As a seasoning and a preservative, the believer functions to present the Gospel and prevent moral decay. He offers a taste of Heaven to the earthbound.
3. The storm-proofed house will glow with light (Matthew 5:14-16). With no attempt to hide, the well-founded believer or collection of believers radiates the Word of God and attracts people to the household. Everyone within the household has ability to see and do good works.
4. The storm-proofed house lives by the rules of Christ (Matthew 5:17-48). It is a household rule to do and teach the commandments Christ describes. This includes respecting the Law Jesus came to fulfill. This results in a house filled with excellent righteousness (20). The members of the dwelling clear up matters of anger quickly because the certain but often unexpected arrival of the storm will make harmony necessary for survival (21-26). Drastic measures remove and prevent repetitious sin because the distraction of such tolerated urges will be hazardous if pursued at the onset of a storm (27-30). The household protects marriage from frivolous divorce so that storm does not advance on unsuspecting couples whose hearts are torn by unnecessary disagreement (31-32). Words and expressions are carefully guarded and truthful so they are dependable in time of crisis or catastrophe (33-37). The house discourages retaliation and encourages helping the undeserving making this a more likely occurrence in the face of needs created by storm (38-42). It reflects the perfection of our Father in Heaven (43-48).
5. The storm-proofed house cultivates sincere giving (NKJV= charitable deeds -- Matthew 6:1-4).