Today we find out that there’s something else you can’t do, Biblically speaking: you can’t ignore God’s Word and do well in a storm. As you listen in, you’ll find that Jesus has a great formula for thriving in the great storms of life.
Matthew 7.24-29 for 3.23.14
This was Atlanta about 6 weeks ago. Didn’t you just snicker a little bit over the gridlock there? 4.Two and a half inches of snow left thousands of motorists stranded on expressways, people abandoning their cars, semi’s on the expressway for days. 5.Unprepared for the storm because State and City officials there ignored the advance warnings, or at least, didn’t give them enough credence.
Jesus said something similar, except way more important.
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
“But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Verse 24…whoever hears and does these sayings of Mine…
Hearing. What is that? Some of you are hearing me but you’re not hearing me. Hearing in this sense, is not just getting the sound waves to vibrate your eardrums.
Someone who is hearing does this:
Listens, takes notes, and understands the meaning of what is said or questions until they do, in light of the whole of Scripture.
Allows the Holy Spirit to convict and convince them of the universal truth and the personal application. In other words, they believe.
They look for what doesn’t conform to this word in my life, and what needs to change. And when the end of the day comes, you look back and say, yes, that’s a reality in my life now, not just a good idea.
That’s hearing and doing.
You’ll have to cut me a little slack, but when I was little, like 3 or 4 years old, my Mom brought home her dog, Janie, from her parents’ house. I can remember being very interested in Janie, but in retrospect, I don’t think Janie was very interested in me. One warm Spring day, Mom was getting Janie’s food together and was putting her food dish out on the front yard. Her words to me were, “Don’t go near Janie while she’s eating.” So Mom fed the dog and did whatever. Only I wanted to pet Janie. So I did. She growled, snapped around and bit me. I cried. Did I hear my Mom?
Is there value in hearing and doing? It depends on who you’re hearing.
Jesus said, “…whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock;…”
How many voices do you hear in one week? You’re getting hundreds of advertising messages a day, thousands per week. Are you hearing and doing them all? Of course not.
Jesus said, though, that it’s the ones that hear His sayings and do what He says that are like a wise man who built his house on a rock. Jesus is making a statement. If you hear His sayings and do them you’ll be like someone who built a house on a rock.
Uncle Roland. Bought and rebuilt a barn. On a bedrock outcropping. No storm would ever wash out the foundation. It was rock. That barn is still there.
But a building built at about the same time was on some property in our hometown, right off the main road into Albany. Behind the property there was a pretty steep valley that ended in the Normanskill Creek far below. 14. One wet and stormy period, you guessed it, there was a landslide that carried that modern building down the hill with the soil underneath it.
Okay, well that’s engineering. Does that apply to my life? Yes, Jesus says. To the wise and to the foolish there’s a universal experience: storms. Rain, wind and flood. What would be a storm for you? A man has a heart attack. But for you, what would be the perfect storm?
Jesus said that hearing and doing these sayings of Mine make it such that you’ll do well when the inevitable storms come.And the reverse of that: you can’t ignore My sayings and do well when the inevitable storm comes.
When do you get ready for an unknown but inevitable event? You do things in advance of the inevitable. So when do you make changes to affect an outcome?
So what were some of Jesus’ sayings?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
So what are the sayings of Jesus that are hardest for you to hear and do?
The degree to which you hear and do His sayings, is the degree to which you do well when the inevitable comes.