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. 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. 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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
This little parable speaks for itself without much interpretation or complicated application from a preacher like me. Are you going to live like the wise person who puts Jesus’ words into practice? Will you build your life on the firm foundation of obedience? Choosing to follow Jesus should be simple, but obedience to God’s word requires a steadfast determination, every single day, to set aside what we may desire or what the world may suggest and actually follow Jesus’ teaching. Look back through all the hard and surprising things Jesus just finished saying in the Sermon on the Mount and consider how you can put them into practice. Don’t just agree that they are nice ideas. Don’t just hope that others will follow Jesus’ teaching. Live his words out today in your life.
There is one aspect of Jesus’ parable that is worth highlighting so we don’t miss it: both houses, the wise man’s and the foolish man’s, were hit by the storm. You can picture them built almost side-by-side on the same river bank. One has a strong foundation, dug deep down to rest on bedrock. The other has no foundation, just sits on the loose sand. Then the rain falls and the wind blows and the river floods, and both houses are put to the test.
We have learned in recent days, maybe in ways we never before imagined, that every life gets tested by storms. We all endure hardship and suffering and loss. If your life has a strong foundation of faith in Jesus, resting on the bedrock of obedience to God’s word, then you will have strength to weather the storm without fear or anxiety.
Father, You are my strong foundation. Help me to listen to Jesus and follow His example in all I do today. Give me strength and a willing spirit to do what You know is good. I ask this through my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
I hope these devotions have been meaningful to you. I have enjoyed writing them over the past three months. For now, this will be my last devotion to send out. Our church family will soon be back together for worship, Bible studies, prayer groups and times of fellowship.
Pastor Mike Mirakian