“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)
For as long as I can remember, I have loved music. God reminds me of Biblical truth through music and so today’s focal verse evokes strong reminders of a classic hymn that echoes the same truth.
The hymn, My Hope is Built On Nothing Less, echoes:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
What a beautiful shadow of the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 7:24-27. In the words of Jesus I am reminded of a basic truth: storms will come. It isn’t a matter of “if” trials and tribulations will find us, but when. It is when the storms of life come that the truth of where we’ve built the house of our lives will be revealed.
Being a true follower of Jesus has always been about faith and action motivated by that faith. Jesus tells us that it is those who both hear His words and “does them” who are truly founding their lives on the Rock. It shouldn’t be strange then that we see this same reminder in James 1:22: But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
As I think about “building my life on the rock”, I also think: what other things do people build their lives on? Some build their lives on professional pursuits, their career defines them. Others build their lives on their physical health. Some build their lives in worldly relationships like their marriage or with their children. Some place their trust and hope in manmade religion or the human pursuit of knowledge in the sciences. What about you? What (or who) are you building your life upon today?
Jesus promises us in John 16:33 that in this world all of us will have tribulation. In essence, Jesus says that the storms of life will come and in these moments, if we’ve built our lives on anything but Him, our lives will fail in the fury of the winds and waves. Simply, when you lose your job because of a worldwide pandemic, crisis will strike. When an unexpected sickness comes or the diagnosis is terminal, your world will come crashing down around you. When your spouse betrays you or they are taken much sooner than you imagined, you will be left numb and broken. When religion and science fail to give you the answers you know you need, your faith in them will be shipwrecked.
So… how do we respond in light of the words of Jesus? I’d like to share some general thoughts but I will summarize all of them this way: trust Jesus fully and build your life on Him as the unchanging Rock of your salvation.
You might respond this way:
- Realize that there is nothing and no one else besides Jesus on which you should build your life (John 14:6)
- You can’t build your life on Jesus if you don’t trust Him as Lord. If you haven’t already, confess Jesus as Lord and trust in Him alone for salvation and life (Romans 10:9, Romans 10:13)
- Prayerfully and carefully consider: what or who defines you? If it is not Jesus and His unchanging Word that defines you, your life is not founded on the Rock. Ask: am I a doer of the Word? Why or why not? (James 1:22)
- If you are a true follower of Jesus and you’ve been trying to build your life on something or someone else, stop. Confess it. Ask for forgiveness and step back into a deep, surrendered life before Jesus. (1 John 1:9)