JESUS OFFERS A PEACE THAT NO STORMS OF LIFE CAN TOUCH
Is the foundation of your life built upon sand… always shifting, everchanging? Or is it built into bedrock… the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ?
“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 7:26-27
Jesus warns His followers of the dangers of a life lived apart from Him… apart from His love, His kingship, His providence. He often refers to the foolish ones who fail to seek divine wisdom for their lives.
Jesus tells this parable purposefully at the end of His Sermon on the Mount. He has just shared with His listeners a new way to live as His disciples based on the law of love. Yet not all choose to take His teachings to heart.
There is the foolish man who builds his home’s foundation on sand. Why would he choose to build on such an unstable medium? Perhaps because it requires less effort, less commitment. Or maybe he is looking to his neighbors who have built on sand and appear to be safe. Or he may believe that he will be untouched by the storms that threaten. Yet when the storms blow in, when the driving winds and rain arrive, his home collapses.
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11
Jesus alludes to the foolish ones who choose not to follow Him… who elect to disregard or ignore His teachings. Instead, they prefer the easy path that requires no commitment. They build their beliefs on faulty views and secular untruths. They follow along with the ways of the world and its people.
Perhaps the foolish ones are using religion as a façade. They have not embraced the free gift of salvation offered by Christ. Their religion is superficial only, useful for appearances and personal gain alone. It is not a religion of the heart.
When life is running smoothly, they sail along, seeing no need for God in their lives. Yet a life lived separate from Christ… a life lived hearing yet not heeding His words, will have eternal consequences.
When the tempests hit… when beset by trials, temptations, fears… the foolish ones find themselves tossed and battered by life. The base upon which they have built their lives is revealed as unsound. Their source of peace and security crumbles. Like a child building a sandcastle at the seashore, unaware that when the high tide and waves arrive it will quickly erode away.
“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.” – Matthew 7:24-25
To contrast, Jesus tells of the wise man who takes the time and labor to build a solid, stable foundation for his home on rock. He is not swayed by his neighbors who choose to build inferior foundations. He desires a home that will last, able to withstand the storms that will surely come.
Jesus alludes to the wise ones who not only listen to His words but put them into practice. The ones who believe His promises, pursue His path, live out His purpose. They lean into their Redeemer and do life along His ways. They look to Him for guidance, seek Him in times of trouble and honor Him with their lives.
“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” – Isaiah 33:6
The homes built in this parable may appear similar in appearance yet differ greatly in structural integrity. So it is with people who hear the teachings of Jesus. They may appear similar, yet in stormy times the foundation of their lives will be revealed. Only the ones who build on the Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ, will ultimately prevail.
Jesus offers His followers a peace that no tempest can touch. Trouble, doubt, temptation, opposition, fear may strike. Yet Jesus is our calm in any storm. He is our Rock… steadfast, immovable, unchanging. He is our only true source of peace and security.