Summary: This sermon begins a journey through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I’ve begun with the end in mind. If we hear and do what Jesus taught, we will be like the wise person who built on the rock and withstood the storm.
Withstanding the Storms
[Show storm video]
Matthew 7:24-27 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."
1. Storms Happen!
John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Trouble is coming! Hard times are coming! Grief is coming. Disappointment is coming. Why? Because storms happen. Life happens. Stuff happens. And nobody gets to bypass the storms. We all have different kinds of storms at different times in our lives.
-I’ve heard a lot of people ask, “Why me?” And I’m pretty sure I’ve asked the same question a few times. “Why, Lord? Why did this storm have to come? Couldn’t you have stopped it?” Or, as the disciples asked, “Lord, don’t you care that we are perishing?”
-I don’t have all the answers for the storm questions. One perspective is that storms remind us who God is! The late Andre Crouch used to sing the song, “Through It All.” “If I never had a problem. I wouldn’t know that He could solve them. I wouldn’t know what faith in God can do.” Though it all, God does promise us peace and grace as we learn to trust Him more.
-But storms will come. Regardless of whether you’ve been naughty or nice. Not all storms are on the outside. Some come from within. The rains of sorrow will come. The streams of self-centeredness will rise. And the angry winds will blow and beat against us. How are we going to make it? How will we survive the storms of life?
2. Storm Prep happens now!
-You are preparing for a storm right now (Today may be the only prep time you get!)
-The choices you make today can affect who you are and what you do tomorrow. Your life choices today will affect how you respond when the storms come your way.
-So now is the time to begin to prepare our hearts and our minds for what is coming. I am not attempting to be prophetic in what I say about storms coming. Different Christians have different views on what the future holds. Some say we have nothing but sunshine ahead – a glorious time of ushering in the kingdom of God. Others say that it will get a whole lot worse before it ever gets better. I have to tell you that I don’t really know what’s ahead. I believe that sin will continue to abound, but I also know that grace will abound. There may be some horrendous things that we will have to walk through before Jesus comes back for us. The awesome thing is that He is coming back and that His grace is enough to sustain us until He does!
-So, if I’m in storm prep mode right now (whether I know it or not) what can I do to be prepared for the storms I know will come?
-If you knew that a famine was coming by the end of 2015, what would you do to prepare? Some of you would plant lots of veggies in the Spring, hoping for a huge garden. Some of you might stock up on grains and dried goods- maybe even MRE’s and other survival food. You might even make a bunch of jerky from the town herd. The point is that you would want to be prepared with enough food to stay alive for several months.
-Now, we don’t know if something like that will ever happen. It very well could. One thing we do know is that storms of life will come. Hard times will come. How is your preparation going? Do you have things in order?
3. Storm Readiness starts from the ground up
-It’s all about the foundation! It’s not about how high you go or how good you look. It’s about building a solid foundation.
-There is only one true foundation that will last.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.