Thursday, September 24
Peace with Others
Focus of the Week: Obeying God’s word brings peace
Please read Matthew 7:24-27
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)
Whenever I read this scripture passage, I remember the song that many of us memorized as children in church, ““The Wise Man Built his House upon a Rock.” The concept of building on solid ground rings true. My daddy was a contractor and he often talked about how critical it was to build on a firm foundation. He used to complain that Mississippi clay was horrible to build on because it prevented rainwater from draining and inevitably caused foundations to crack.
Our scripture verse urges us to look at the foundation of our own lives. And, it goes one step further. Jesus makes a stark comparison between a house that is built on a rock and one built on sand. He calls the person who builds on rock “wise” while labeling the person who builds on sand “foolish.” No, Jesus wasn’t being mean; He was making a point. He declared, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” He was linking “hearing” with “doing”. He called the man who didn’t listen “foolish” because after hearing, he did not do what Jesus told him to. Despite listening, the foolish man’s response was to ignore God’s Truth.
How often do we do this? Maybe not intentionally, but we do it just the same. God lets us hear a powerful message on Sunday morning that really hits home with us, and by the time we have finished lunch we have totally forgotten what God wanted us to do. We are like the foolish man.
There is great symbolism in this passage: The Rock represents Jesus Himself. In 1 Corinthians 10:4, Paul identifies the rock that the Israelites drank from as Christ Himself: “...for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” David praised the fact that God was his rock, his place of inner strength and physical safety: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
Jesus is the Rock for all who believe on Him. When we build our lives on Him, when we obey His words, we will weather the worst storms. Hurricane Sally that just hit in the Gulf Shores area is a real-life reminder of how desperately we need Jesus as our Rock and how we can experience true peace in Him even in the middle of a hurricane. But, we can only have that confidence if we are committed to being obedient to God. And, when we consciously obey God, we are promised peace. We don’t have to be afraid of circumstances because our foundation won’t crack…our foundation is the unshakeable, unbreakable Rock, Jesus Christ Himself!
For further reading: Psalm 119:129-135; Proverbs 3:21-26; Deuteronomy 32:4
Precious Lord, Thank you for being our rock, our fortress, our refuge. We have built our lives on You. You are the strong foundation that keeps us from being washed away by sin and destroyed by the evil one. Thank you for always protecting us and for giving us true peace in the middle of the storm. In Jesus’ Name and for the Father’s glory, Amen.