How to Build Your House Upon the Rock

By Matthew Robert Payne

Today's article is based on a little story Jesus told, you could call it a parable but was basically just an illustration.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NKJV)
(A) 24"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: 25and 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.

26"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: 27and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." If this is the first time you have read this scripture verse it may be scary to contemplate the outcome of a person who does not build his life upon the sayings of Jesus.
What is more scary is that people sit in churches all over the world, week after week and do not realize that Jesus is speaking to them. The most common understanding of this scripture is that when a person becomes a Christian that they have begun to build their life upon the rock and the sayings of Jesus. But this is not correct.
If you want to test that this is true in another person's life just ask someone for money the next time you are in need. Jesus says:
Matthew 5:42 (NKJV)
42Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. If the person that you ask is a Christian and they do not give to you or let you borrow from them they are not obeying the command of Jesus to do so.
Can you imagine a world that people didn't preach Jesus to others but actually lived like Jesus in the world? Can you picture a world where Christians didn't fight in a war to liberate a country but they actually prayed so much that the country's leader was taken out of leadership by the people?
What would the world be like if you were hungry and the first person you approached gave you money or bought you some food?
Matthew 25:32-46 (New King James Version) 32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' 40And the King will answer and say to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
41"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.'
44"Then they also will answer Him,[a] saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' 45Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' 46And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." Do we act like the righteous in this parable? When we see the hungry do we feed them? When we see someone in need of a drink do we buy it for them? Do we walk past the stranger in the street and ignore them when they need a place to live? Do we visit people we know in prison? Do we heal the sick by laying hands on them?

I ask you reader, do you do these things?
Many people assume that Jesus is not talking about them when He says this story and yet if you fulfil the deeds of the goats then you will not see the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 13:22 (NKJV)
22Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. In Matthew chapter 13 Jesus shares a parable about a sower. In this verse he describes the seed that fell on ground where thorns choked the word. Many times when we do not obey the teachings of Jesus it is because the cares of this world and our wanting to have the things this world has to offer get in the way.
Jesus says if we live in the world with all of its pleasures and we do not deny ourselves to become like Him then we will become unfruitful. And we all know what happens to a tree on a farm that is unfruitful for many seasons. Soon enough the farmer will pull it up and put another there to bear fruit.
James talks about the world like this:
James 4:4 (NKJ V)
4Adulterers and[a] adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James says that we are committing spiritual adultery if we love the world and the things in it. He says quite clearly that friendship with the world is making for ourselves an enemy of God. James is writing to Christians here and he is giving a stern warning.
Living in the world is building your house upon the sand. Loving the things of this world more than loving the teachings of Jesus is dangerous. Denying someone that you know is in need, is placing yourself in a dangerous position when it comes to the day of judgement.
Do you want to build your house upon the rock?
Closing prayer:
Lord God, lead me into fresh understanding. Let me not be a person who loves the cares of this world and who loves the world but Father let me be one that loves you and all that your Son Jesus taught. Father today I give you my whole heart and I place my life in your hands, lead me to places in your love where I will be refreshed. Do not judge me Father, rather lead me slowly and surely into your green pastures where I can live and obey your Son's teachings and where I can inherit your kingdom. In Jesus' name I ask. Amen.

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