Summary: Katrina on the Gulf Coast was a ravaging storm: but there are many others that hit our lives --- this sermon points to the only way to survive life’s storms.
Will You Survive the Storm?
Matt. 7:24-27, NIV
Are you ready for hurricane season? It’s almost time for those months of tension here near the gulf. It’s almost time to get prpeared. When the season hits, water, canned food items, flashlights, and the like will rapidly disappear off store counters.
Now, no major hurricane might make it our way, but storm watchers have been warning for some time now that, eventually, another big storm will hit the coast. Such warnings are particularly tough after the monster storms of the past..
The question I have today is, will you survive the storm when it finally comes? Will you be ready when it hits and spins its fury?
What about the storms you are facing right now? Those strong winds of doubt that hit you, those periods of turmoil that wreck havoc in your heart? Will you survive those storms? Are you ready to face them?
As we come to the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we are confronted by the image of storms—and what it will take to survive them. What are the truths of our text? Well . . .
I. Storms will come.
Picture for me:
A single mother working two jobs because daddy won’t pay child support, who is racked with guilt because she can’t be with her children the way she wants to be.
A young man diagnosed as HIV positive, who, regardless of how he became infected, now faces the fear of mortality, and who doesn’t have a clue how to find hope in his life. He is alone.
A honest worker who has given almost twenty-years of his life to his job, only to find out he’s being “laid off” one month before his twentieth anniversary and that his retirement benefits will be cut in half. He has to go and face his wife with the news—their “golden years” aren’t going to be golden after all.
A couple coming to a marriage counselor, because after years of pain, neither can stand each other anymore. They seek help, not certain if they are trying to ease their consciences or really trying to save their marriage. But their once fairy-tale life certainly doesn’t look “happily ever after” any longer.
A. Jesus used an image for life that was far more real than “once upon a time.”
1. During the dry months, a river bed, a wadi, might look as hard as concrete.
2. But, in the rainy months, the floods would come and that dried river bed would become a raging torrent.
3. His hearers would certainly get the point, the storms of life would come—without a doubt.
B. My friends, we cannot avoid the storms of life.
1. I have no formula for a trouble-free life.
2. I have no quick solutions for your pain.
3. Storms will come and we can do nothing to stop them.
II. Foundations will be tested.
A. Once again, Jesus confronted his disciples with two possibilities.
1. The truly wise person will chose to build his or her life on a firm foundation.
2. The foolish person will chose any spot, any foundation that proves convenient.
B. When the flood waters come, the foundations will be battered—and will either stand or crumble.
1. If you have a bedrock foundation—no matter how bad the storm may get, you can have the assurance of riding out the storm.
2. If your foundation is weak, eventually, you will fail.
3. While you may stand strong during the floods through life, will your foundation hold at the end?
a. I know strong people who by sheer will seem to face the storms of life with a powerful reserve.
b. But in the end, the greatest storm of all must be faced—the end of this life and the beginning of eternity.
c. If you have chosen the wrong foundation, you will not be able to stand firm.
III. Only one way exists to build a wise foundation that can stand the test.
A. Keep in mind the context of this parable.
1. Jesus was describing the life of a kingdom citizen.
2. The Sermon on the Mount was designed for disciples.
3. Now, Jesus concluded the sermon by calling them to acting upon what they had heard—he called them to make the right choice of foundation.
B. In order to build a sure foundation, we must walk the way of the disciple.
1. The way of the disciple is opened up to us through the grace of God.
2. The way of the disciple is entered by trusting the loving actions of God in Christ—in short, we must have faith.
3. But be certain of this, the faith we are bear is so much more than intellectual “belief.”
C. You see my friends, true discipleship, true faith will result in true obedience.