Bella Vista Church of Christ
Life Upon The Rock
The Sermon on the Mount is about life and living. Jesus is telling us that life is made up of choices: Live by His principles or live by the principles of the world, Biblical ideals or Political Correctness, straight & narrow that leads to eternal life or the broad and wide road that leads to death, separation from God and His blessings. The choice is ours!
Let's hear Jesus: "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 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. 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (Matthew 7.24-27)
In Palestine, the ideal homesite would be next to a stream, a family water source and crop irrigation. Even though the area was hot and dry, when it did rain, flash flooding was a real issue. Gale force winds and water would surge down canyons, what they called wadies, destroying everything in their path. Builders knew that unless a house was built on a solid foundation, it could and would be destroyed in such weather.
Come… Let’s see what we can learn...
Doers are the wise builders. Jesus indicates that it's not enough to know Biblical teachings; we must put them into practice. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like the foolish man who built his house on sand." Interesting that Jesus’ brother, James, picks up this same thought saying, "be doers of theWord, not hearers only" (James 1.22). First John 2.17 says "The world and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. Knowing and not doing is foolishness.
We examine the storms. I believe the storms represent two things 1) The trials of the Judgment Day, and 2) the Trials of Life. Jesus is saying that each of us will be called upon to face these two storms, both the wise and foolish. Hebrews 9.27 tells us that "Man is destined to die once, and then to face judgment." Jesus came teaching us, equipping us, on how to face this storm, by building our life-house on His teachings. Jesus is the only sure foundation.
Storms of life are gonna come, it's not will they come, but when? We're living in one now with this pandemic. It could be that we’ll be called to face a more intense storm later today or tomorrow. John 16.33 has Jesus saying: "I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble (Storms), but take heart, I have overcome the world." There’s no storm-free areas, no storm-free neighborhoods. We must stop looking for such a life. Even though Jesus doesn’t guarantee us a storm-free existence, He does tell us how to weatherize our lives to face the storms.
We must be totally preoccupied with our foundation. David said it so well in Psalm 16.8: "I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken." Listen, if Jesus is our foundation, the rock of our salvation, if He is our way, truth, and life, we may be swayed, but not swept away. Isaiah wrote: "So this is what the sovereign Lord says, I lay a stone in Zion, a Cornerstone for a sure Foundation, the one who trusts in Him will never, be dismayed"..."So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 28.16 & 41.10). Indeed, the teachings of Jesus must be the foundation of: Our religion, our marriages, parenting, finances, our careers, our dress code, entertainment choices, our conversation, even our thoughts and emotions. Everything! Every thought and intent of the heart, our disposition and behavior, must be preoccupied with Jesus and His principles. The storm will reveal our true foundation. We can't see the difference in one another's foundation until the storm comes, then the difference becomes apparent.
A few years ago, a hurricane struck the Pensacola Bay area destroying most of the homes. CNN was interviewing a man whose house was still standing between two others that had been completely destroyed. The reporter asked:"What do you attribute this to? Why is your house still standing?" "Well, when I built this house, they told me that if I would build it by code, it would stand hurricane force winds. So I did, and it stood the galeforce winds and water.
Which will it be for you and your writer: Will we build our life-house upon the sands of our culture or upon Jesus principles? Will we be wise or foolish builders?