Do you know what your foundation is in life?
Jesus has been outlining a very clear design and calling for those who want to follow Him, and here at the end, there is a clear choice to make. 2 trees 2 gates 2 houses….The way of the flesh or the way of the Spirit. We must obey the Gospel,
Jesus is contrasting not just between obedience and disobedience, but the vast difference between fleshly liberalism and fleshly moralism and the life of faith. Be warned that we can’t just apply this need of choice only to the unbelieving, it’s for those who have professed faith with their lips, but not in their hearts.A call to the elder brothers as well as the younger. A call of repentance to those who know they need to repent ( the broken sinners) and those that don’t ( the proud). Moralists repent of sins with no issue, but they don’t see the need of repenting of doing the right thing with the wrong motive – those who say “Lord, Lord,” but are far from the kingdom…those that do things in His name, but not for His name…
If you think your own goodness will save you, Jesus might be your example, your hero even, but He might not be your Saviour. Jesus as your example alone will crush you, you’ll never be able to live up to it. Seeing Jesus Christ as the Lamb who takes away your sins will save you – Keller
We can take what He has said,believe and obey Him, or we can ignore Him.
This is the most important choice you will ever make, and there is only the two options.
Two houses, two ways of life.
Which house will you live in?
I. The House on the Rock. v 24-25.
From the outside, the two houses could look exactly the same.
They have a lot in common.They both, have walls, windows, doors, rooms. Both are designed to live in.
But there is a foundational difference between the two that is vitally important.
One is built on a rock, the other on sand.
The man who hears what Jesus has said, and follows through with “doing” and obeying is like the wise man who built his house on the rock.
James, had a bit to say about being doers of the word and not just hearers only ( James 1:22-24).
This is the main difference between the houses and the men in Jesus’ story – one hears and acts, the other hears and does nothing.
If you want to be wise, if you want to have a life that is safe and secure, build your life on the teachings and authority of Jesus and what He has done.
Foundations matter, and the only way to have a strong foundation in life is to trust in what Jesus has done, and what He said is true and faithful.
Jesus didn’t come to earth to be an ‘addition’ to our lives.He came to save us, and to be our Lord and Savior.We don’t build ourselves around Him and His teachings, we build from and in Him and His teachings and authority. We don’t ‘slot’ Him in like a jenga piece. He’s after our hearts, lives, souls, minds, strength, and spirit.
His is the Chief Cornerstone, not a rock for your mantle or a slat for your wall. Not the piece you’ve been missing, but the whole.
You don’t invite someone like Jesus into your life as an advisor, if He is Who He says He is, and has the authority He claims to have, and we believe it to be so – then He should have the rightful place of Savior AND Lord – the foundational premise of all we do our lives.
Why is this so important?
Because when the rains and storms of life come, if you have a solid foundation, your house/life will stand firm.
Storms of life expose not only your weaknesses, but who you are at the core of your being. Your hopes, dreams, faith and loves.
If Jesus is your foundation, and you trust in Him, trials in this life will only prove His faithfulness, and only make you rely on Him more.
The House on the Sand. v 26-27
What’s the other option?
What does life lived without obeying Jesus ( way of the flesh) look like?
You may well think that your life without Jesus is just fine. You appreciate He had some great teachings, and was a very loving person, but you can’t bring yourself to ‘believe’ in Him, or you don’t see His death as having any purpose or meaning at all.
You’ve heard Him, but don’t see the need to do anything about what He said.
Life without Jesus can be, well, life. You could live in this world with a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, even blessing in a way, but there is something fundamentally wrong with treating Jesus that way.
Jesus says the person that hears His words, and doesn’t do anything about them is like a foolish man who builds his house on the sand.
We automatically say, “Of course he’s foolish! Who would do such a stupid thing?!”.
But the man’s action of building on the sand isn’t foolish because he hasn’t heard it’s wrong to do so, but because he has heard and doesn’t trust the authority of the person who told him it was wrong. His own authority has higher value than anyone else’s.
He want a beach view, and to hear the waves at night. He built a castle, but it was made of sand, so what he was really getting himself in for was a sinking feeling that what he founded his life on was susceptible to destruction at the first sign of wind and rain, and something would break down as soon as the tide came in, as soon as death came close.
When you build your life on anything you want, you will fall for anything also.
“When we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing. We worship anything.” – GK Chesterton
You may think it’s a great idea to build your life on inclusivity of belief systems. The more the merrier, right?
The worst thing we can do is to ask Jesus to co-exist with all of our other ‘gods’, or idols.
…you might think that’s it’s ok to live however you want, trying out any form of lifestyle that takes your fancy.
…you might even think that your own authority is all that really matters, and to hell with everyone else.
Another approach is to rely completely on your own interpretations and live a life that is ritualistic, controlled by rules and structures of either your making, or someone else’s
The end of it all is, whether by naivety, ignorance, arrogance, pride, or selfishness, you want to build your life by your own design. You want to be your own life’s architect, and you forget or overlook the fact that you have an eternal soul, and if your life choices and plans aren’t founded in eternal truth, then your life is founded on a lie, because you haven’t believed in the Sovereignty of God, or His love He has shown to you through Jesus.
What happens when your life’s foundation is a lie?
When ‘life happens’ to you in this house, that’s built on sand, when storms come, everything falls apart, from the ground up….
The fall of the foolish man’s house was great. It didn’t just collapse – it imploded!
How Should We Respond to Jesus? v.28-8:4
The question for everyone is, what will you do with Jesus? How will you respond? How do we avoid the destruction of a foolish life?
…you could be offended. – He’s not what you expected, and you don’t like the implications of applying His teachings to your life.
…you could be indifferent. – What He did doesn’t matter. It doesn’t affect me. Why should I care? I’d rather do my own thing.
…or you could be astonished. – Be amazed at His authority, just like the people on the mount were. They knew the authority of the scribes and Pharisees. They taught with authority they got from studying out and interpreting the law, their experience and knowledge they gained from reading it. Jesus, on the other hand, taught with His own authority – He had a way of clearing through all the intellectual mumbo-jumbo, all the misconceptions, all the misinterpretations, He cut straight to the heart of the issue, with an authority that was without comparison. He knew more the words that made up the law – He was The Word. He knew more than what the law meant – He fulfilled it.
There was no way you could hear Jesus and not be amazed.
He made some very bold statements, claimed to be God, the Son of God.
How do we know what He said was true? How do we know we can even get anywhere near Him if He really is the Son of God, and requires obedience in faith of us? How do we act in faith?
….there is a big difference between amazement and faith.
I can be amazed at people that drive the V8 supercars around a race track, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to put my faith in one of the drivers to take me on a hot-lap.
We can’t stop at amazement. We must see what it means for us.
We must believe that He comes and interacts with us, not make us feel overwhelmed, or inadequate in the face of His authority and Deity in light of our failures, and sin alone, but to make us turn to Him, see Who He really is, not just in His words, but His actions also.
See what He does straight after coming down from the mountain ( 8:1-4).
In cleansing the leper, we see He not only has authority to speak words of meaning, purpose, and holiness that require action on the part of those who would follow Him, but He also has compassion, and is willing to take the risk of getting His hands dirty with our sin and the consequences of our sin.
He is willing to take our sickness on Himself. Thats how we know we can trust Him completely, obey Him completely, because any shortcomings we have, He takes on Himself when we place our faith in Him alone for our healing and deliverance,because He is willing to die for us.
Where will you build your house?
No other foundation
Will you live in the house built on The Rock, or in the house that rocks? Don’t be swayed back and forth by what the world offers as easy and comfortable, seek the compassionate Savior Who takes you as you are, and makes you stable, secure, and completely loved in Him…
Chose one thing….purity, Prayer, humility, giving, judging, forgiveness, worry – get someone alongside you, get accountable to God first, then another mature believer – go out and choose one thing to obey Christ in this week…ask for help with every day…Return to Christs finished work in every moment you are weak, His grace us sufficient…