If I believe what Jesus did then I will certainly do what He says. That was the thought process behind a series I recently did with our students on the teachings of Jesus. There is something so powerful and fundamental about really focusing on His teachings with the intention of applying it to our lives. Not just hearing His words, but living them.
After all, that is the difference between the wise man and the foolish man in Matthew chapter 7. (I actually recorded a sermon on this at home last month, I’ll post at the end if you want to watch it.) Both men heard the teachings of Jesus, both men built houses- or if we drop the metaphor built their lives with ever decision they made. We’re no different. We hear God’s instruction through preaching, our devotions, podcasts, blogs (thanks for reading), and more. We make decisions every day about how we will spend our time, who we will spend it with, what thoughts we will dwell upon and those decisions determine the strength of or foundation.
I’m sure, like the two men in Jesus’ story, our houses all look great. Then the storm comes and it always reveals how strong our foundation is. If we, like the wise man, have intentionally applied and lived the teachings of Jesus then our foundation is strong and the storm does not have power over us. If we are more like the foolish man and neglected to let the teachings of Jesus transform the way we live, talk and love then we find ourselves with a crumbling foundation and begin scrambling, calling out to God trying to repair it.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be scrambling trying to fix my roof in the middle of a hurricane or a blizzard. I’d much rather make repairs before the storm hits. Ok, I would hire someone to make those repairs, but I can’t hire someone to fix my life. That responsibility lies with myself. Except I’m no more capable to fix my life than my roof, so I must surrender to Jesus and follow His path instead of my own.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about knowledge in the church. In my denomination, there has been a history of biblical illiteracy, valuing spiritual experience over scriptural understanding, but that is starting to change. I hope that we all continue to pursue greater knowledge of God’s great Word. However, let us be careful not to chase knowledge for the sake of knowledge. As we spend time daily in God’s Word, I pray our goal is not just to learn about God, but to let that knowledge empower us to live for God.
Psalm 86:11-13 (NLT)Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you. 12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever, 13 for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death
I love that it says, “teach me…that I may live.” If our knowledge doesn’t inform the way we live then it is completely useless, and it shows we are fools. The wise receive knowledge and live better because of it. My prayer today is that we would grow in the wisdom of God. Live by the instructions Jesus gave to us and truly be people who build the Kingdom of God.
If you enjoyed this blog post, then you might enjoy the message I preached last month, check it out on my youtube channel Chris E Lewis.