Speaker: Rev. Shine Thomas
Christian life in the Bible is compared to a person building a house. We are responsible to build our own Christian life. One of the most important aspects of the building is the foundation and next comes the structure. In part 1 we saw that the foundation of our Christian life is Jesus Christ. It is the recognition that Jesus Christ is the Lord of our life and having a personal relationship with Him.
Today we are going to see how we can build a strong Christian life once our foundation is intact.
Let us turn our attention to the parable of the wise and foolish builders. Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
To have a strong Christian life we need to hear the words of Jesus and put them into practice. When Jesus was in this world he taught people regarding the Kingdom of God. Today Jesus is not physically present with us. So how do we hear the words of Jesus now? One of the best ways to hear from Jesus is to read the Word of God, the Bible.
Jesus Christ was the Word of God in the beginning. John 1:1-2 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
Jesus Christ is word become flesh. John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We know that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day. After almost 40 days he ascended to heaven promising that he will come back again.
Jesus Christ will be the word when he comes back. Revelation 19:11-13 11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
Jesus Christ was the Word of God in the beginning, Jesus Christ is the Word become flesh, and Jesus Christ will be the WORD. Jesus Christ is the Word of God. There is total agreement between the Word of God and Jesus Christ. So we can hear from Jesus if we read our Bible. We cannot believe in Jesus and disbelieve in the Word of God. Our attitude toward one is the attitude toward the other. So if you respect Jesus, you have to respect the Word, the Bible. Carry your Bibles.
Coming back, when we hear what the Bible says and do it we are indeed building our life on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. Do not be just a hearer only, the Bible has no promises for them, be a hearer and a doer. It is practical. It is applying the teaching of the Bible in our own life and as we do this we will find that God will continually open up new areas in which we need to apply the Word of God. So when we build our life based on the Word our Christian life is being built. My building is not complete, it is still being built as I read and meditate the Word of God daily. Read the Bible, meditate on the Bible, do what it says – your building will be strong.
WHAT DOES OBEYING GOD’S WORD DO IN US?
How does obeying God’s word make our life strong? In John 14 Jesus makes a striking comparison between true disciples and the ones who obey his word.
John 14:19-24 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Here Jesus is talking to his disciples and listen what he says:
John 14:19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.
John 14:22-23 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.
Disciples read and obey the Jesus’ teaching. Reading and obeying the Word of God distinguishes the disciples of Jesus Christ and the worldly people. Are there any disciples here?
John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.
Reading the keeping God’s word is the supreme test of our love for God. Jesus said if anyone loves me he will keep my word. Love is our motivation for obedience. We are not motivated by fear but love.
John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Keeping God’s word is what causes God the Father to love us with a special love. God loves all, everyone but God has a separate degree and measure of love for those who obey his word.
John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
God wants to make our body his home and it comes only for the keepers of the Word of God. I believe God (Father, Son, & Holy Spirit) manifest inside of us. It is not an emotion, it is not a one-time experience, it is God living in us. When we come to the presence of God the emotion and experience is good but remember it does not last long but if you want God’s presence in your be the reader and doer of the Word of God.
How many of you love God? We do not love God more than we love his word. So if you want to know how much you really love God, just ask yourself, how much do you love the Bible? How much place does the Bible have in your life?
Coming back to the parable that we started this morning, we saw that the Word of God is what enables us to build our spiritual lives. Let us see how the wise man built his house.
Matthew 7:24-27 The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Let’s look at the background of this passage.
Jesus being a carpenter’s son knew a bit about building houses. Jesus is talking here with regard to the people who build houses in Palestine. In Palestine in summer the rivers dried up altogether. So the entire river bed and some streams where the water would pass would be dry and sandy. Many times a man looking for a site to build a house found a beautiful flat stretch of sand and built there only to discover when the rains come that the house he had built is in the middle of a raging river or stream which swept it away.
The wise man searched for the rock where it was much more difficult to build and where it was hard labour to cut out the foundations. When the rains came his toil was completely repaid for his house stood strong, firm, and secure. So the builder must think ahead and be wise before he builds his house.
Now Jesus uses this background and says that reading and obeying the Word of God makes us wise to build strong Christian lives.
WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD DO IN US TO BUILD RIGHT?
1. The Word of God gives us the wisdom to build right
Have you ever searched for a site to buy and construct a house? We usually look for plain square land where we can build without much trouble. No one wants to build on an uneven land. When both the wise and the foolish builder searched for land they would have come across all sorts of land. But it was the wisdom of the wise builder that made him build on the rock. The Word of God gives us that wisdom to build our life right. Whatever situations you are in, whatever decisions you have to make in life, the Word of God enables you to take the right decisions.
Psalm 119:130 The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.
2. The Word of God gives us life. Word enables us get the real perspective in life
The foolish builder was short-sighted. He never chose to think what his house would be in 6 months’ time. He just wanted to complete his house very fast. The wise builder was long-sighted. He thought about the future. There are many people who are laboring and toiling day and night for momentary comfort and pleasure. The Word of God enables us to think beyond and helps us to prepare ourselves for the future. It is the Word of God that gives us the real perspective about life – about children, youth, marriage, work, old age, death, and eternity.
Psalm 119:93 I will never forget Your precepts, how can I?? for it is by them You have quickened me (granted me life).
3. The Word of God enables us to dig out deeper. The Word of God enables us to lead a holy life
Luke 6:47-49 47 As for those who come to me and hear my words and put them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
The man who needed to reach the bedrock or had the foundation on the rock had to dig deep. The ground was not level. The toil required was more. More time was spent on the digging. He had to get a lot of things out of the way before he could build on the bedrock. We all have a lot of things to dig in and throw out of our lives. It can be from our culture, society, tradition, rebellion, unbelief, prejudice etc.
John 17:17 Sanctify them purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy? by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. When we read the Word of God it enlightens us that many things that we are doing is not in according to what God wants. Then we dig it out. The Word of God is the Truth and the truth makes us holy.
In short, in this parable we have 2 lands, 2 builders, 2 foundations, 2 houses, but 2 destinies, and one big storm. Listen, each house is subjected to the same test. The same storm hit both the houses. There is no house that is free from being tested. Life with Christ and without Christ both has storms. God has never guaranteed that you will not have problems. But you will never be washed away if your foundation and structure is strong, i.e., if you have Jesus Christ as your foundation and Word of God as the structure of your life.
Eleven miles off the coast of Scotland stands the Bell Rock Lighthouse which is the world’s oldest surviving lighthouse. It was built on an acre of solid rock in the middle of the North Sea. Waves and storms have been crashing into this lighthouse for 200 years. But it still stands strong as a beacon of light because of its foundation on a solid rock and an interlocking stone structure. A foundation in Jesus Christ and a strong structured Christian life can help us withstand any storms that come across in our life. Amen.