Practice Makes Perfect
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts 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. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Many call themselves Christians. Jesus is looking for disciples:
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Anyone can claim to be a Christian. Many will go out into the world and do “great and mighty things,” but they have failed to understand the cost of discipleship:
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Jesus has asked us to be obedient to his commands:
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.
Finally, Jesus had the following to say about those who would cry to Him, “Lord, Lord”:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”
Rooted in Rock
Christ is the solid rock of our salvation. Any who build upon Him builds upon a solid and sturdy foundation. When we are obedient to Jesus, regardless of the pressures of the world around us, we can overcome and live out the imputed righteousness that Jesus has provided to us through His perfect, shed blood. This does not mean that everything will go well for us in this world – remember the faithful in Hebrews 11 who were rejected by the world, and yet the world was not worthy of them. Jesus spoke about this:
20 Looking at his disciples, he said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your
reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”
All who do not build on Jesus Christ are building on ground without a firm foundation. Nothing that we build on apart from Jesus Christ will stand. If we go our own ways, and do not yield ourselves to the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit, we will utterly fail. We may even have approval of those around us, but Jesus had this to say:
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”
In all things, we need to be sure we are building upon the firm foundation that is Jesus Christ.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I building upon rock or sand?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, I thank You for Your word, and the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You for Your patience, love, grace, and mercy. Help me to be obedient to Your word, that I would build upon the solid rock of Jesus. Show me the way in which I should go, and what I should do, that I may honor and glorify You. Help me to realize when I am going my own way, and to immediately come back to You. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.