We are starting a new message series this Sunday at Red Hills. The message will be based on the final words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5-7 Jesus teaches the crowd about anger, lust, divorce, retaliation, and love. For three chapters He brings clarity to things like prayer, fasting, money, anxiety, and our attitudes. Then, in His final words He makes this bold statement,
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
What Jesus is saying is that there is a big difference between hearing something and doing something. This may seem like a no-brainer, but think about how many times you have heard someone give you advice and your immediate response is, “yeah, I’ve heard that.” Well congratulations you heard it; why aren’t you doing it? Our lives have become so saturated with information that there are very few things most of us haven’t already heard. But if all we needed to do was learn more, your life would be better based on the sheer volume of information you know. However, Jesus makes it clear that it isn’t what you hear that makes a difference, it is what you hear and then do.
Jesus makes it clear that it isn’t what you hear that makes a difference, it is what you hear and then do.
This idea of hearing and doing is central to being a Christian. James mentions it this way,
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
The idea that Jesus and His brother James are communicating is that hearing and doing gives you the ability to persevere in trials. Jesus describes trials as coming from above, below, and every side. Trials are coming to your church, your family, your job, and even your relationship with Jesus. The enemy will tempt your flesh. Your mind will question God’s faithfulness, and your life will turn upside down. The only way to not be overwhelmed and washed away by these trials is to build on the firm foundation of “hearing” and “doing” what Jesus teaches.
Hearing and doing gives you the ability to persevere in trials
We all know some person, or some church, or some leader that seemed to be perfectly fine. They had it all together. However when the trials came everything crumbled because their foundation wasn’t firm. That’s the thing about people who hear and do the word, and people who only hear the word. They both build their houses and from the outside they both look the same. The difference shows when the trials hit.
My prayer for our church as we study Matthew 7 is that we become people who build on a firm foundation for our church, our families, our job, and our relationship with Jesus. If you would like to join us this Sunday, check out Matthew 7:12-29 and Acts 2:42-47. They will give you context for our new message series called, A Firm Foundation.
- Marshall Ochs
A few things to pray for
As you spend time in prayer this week, join with us by praying for these things:
- Pray for the courage to walk out your faith in daily life.
- Pray that you hear the Holy Spirit speak, and you are able to follow His lead.
- Pray for a firm foundation in your faith so that you can stand in times of trials.