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Friday, April 14, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 39 of 40: House on Rock, House on Sand

Matthew 7: 21-27
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!

My wife and I were in Jackson, Wyoming several years ago.  Above our hotel across the highway was a house on a high hillside that was split in half.  The owners of the house had begun noticing gaps in the floor and walls, cracks in the walls, doors that would not shut properly.  Years went by, more cracks and problems.  Then suddenly, overnight, their home was split into two pieces, the kitchen and living room separated from the rest of the house by a slow moving, ever present landslide that suddenly decided to slide several feet down the mountain instead of the steady quarter of an inch or so.  The family moved out of the house.   The slow motion landslide continued to carry the house down the mountain.  At the bottom of the mountain sat a newly built pharmacy.  

When you build a life on shifting ground, you will have problems and those around you may have problems.  Christ tells us that his teachings are the rock upon which we should build our lives.  In order to do this we are to listen, hear and act.

If we do not make an effort to listen, then we do not hear.  Amid all the clutter and chatter of modern life, we must constantly make an effort to hear the voices and messages that are important to us.  I know a man who rises at 4:00 am every morning to study his Bible before his busy day begins.  He is making a effort to hear God's voice first, before any other voices in his day.  In order to listen effectively we must clear our minds of any and all distractions, any and all worries or problems.

In order to hear Christ's words, we must study them and carry them in our hearts, meditate on them, internalize them.  Some people memorize them.

But carrying them around with us is not the answer to building our lives on a solid foundation.  We must act on them.  The real difference between two people who profess to know Christ is in their doing; the way they live their lives, the way they treat others, the way they reach out to those in need.  The person who says they know Christ, but does not attempt to act on Christ's words, is building their home on shifting sand.  And bit by bit, crack by crack, their home is sliding down the mountain in a slow motion landslide.

Tomorrow we conclude our study.

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