Where will you build your house?
Sermon from Jan. 5th 2020
Our main section of Scripture this morning comes from the “Sermon on the Mount”
There are tons of important teachings that come from this
Love your enemies // give to the needy // turn the other cheek // the “Our Father” prayer // hate in heart equals guilty of murder, // lust in your heart equals guilty of adultery // Judging// lying // hypocrisy // seek and you'll find // where your treasure is, there your heart is too // anxiety // anger // lust // etc etc etc etc
And the reality that Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 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. 26 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. 27 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.”
→ → → Opening prayer ← ← ←
This part may be a little teach-y
#1 - what is it that Jesus is saying
the greatest Sermon ever preached. Jesus words throughout the entire “Sermon on the Mount” are filled to the brim with wisdom and love and golden nuggets that apply to everyone, everywhere, for all of humanity.
Peoples minds are being blown left and right, through the whole thing, and then he drops this bomb about where we build our house.
These verses, are the Conclusion // // // Application
Sometimes we’ll hear a great Sermon, or hear a great teaching, but it kind of leaves us with a “Now what” kind of feeling.
A “ok thats all well and good, and I agree with you and such…but what do I do with everything you just said?”
That wasnt the case for Jesus’ Sermon here in Matthew.
Sometimes we want those “action steps” so bad, that we only want to hear Sermons that are about us and what we can do….
Again, this wasnt the case for The Sermon on the Mount
He didnt preach some lofty abstract ideas…. and He didnt leave people wondering about what to do
These verses are the “boots on the ground” // “now what actions steps” that apply to everyone, everywhere.
With that, we can know that what God is saying to us, in the “grand finale” of the greatest Sermon ever preached…. is going to be incredibly important.
Where we build our house holds a high place of value to Him
Before I get into what that means, we need to define what He means when He says “house”
He’s not saying our actual “brick and mortar building where we keep our stuff”
He’s also not saying our “salvation” → → like He would forsake us if we messed this up.
Well then, how do we determine what he’s talking about?
If youve ever come to one of our Bible Studies, youve heard me say this before:
When you're unsure of what’s being said, look at the CONTEXT
So...what is the CONTEXT of these verses?
In all of this chapter, and the chapters before it
“The sermon the mount”
This entire sermon is about:
How we treat and interact with strangers, friends, and family
How we treat people we agree with, and how we treat people we disagree with
How we handle the thoughts that come to us
Do we let the bad thoughts hang out for a little while in our brains?
What do we believe about God?
What we do with the information about God
What do we teach others?
What do we do when someone teaches us
The context of our verses today, show us that when Jesus says “where you build your house” He’s talking about alllll of that.
Our “house” that Jesus is telling us to build, is “who we are on the inside, and who we are on the outside”
our “house” is who we are. It is our identity. It is our personality, our heart-cry, our passion, our cares and concerns, our needs and wants and fears and joys and everything about us that makes us who we are. That is our “house”.
Every thought we entertain, is a beam, every emotion a window, every action a piece of timber, every behavior a wall, our thoughts about God, how we live our life, everything about who we are constructs another piece of this house.
So, what Jesus is saying to us, is that we need to pay attention to where we build our “house”
#2 Why is Jesus saying this to us?
Jesus is giving us these “now what-actions steps” because of the one thing the men in His story dont have in common.
The wise man and the foolish man are doing all of the same things, experiencing all of the same things, but there is one key thing that seperates them
This is so important, because all of us fit into one of these categories.
The wise man or the foolish man.
The things that these men have in common -------we all have in common
All of us take the time to build our “house”
Weve all had those obvious times in our life when weve made a choice that went on to define who we are
(Honor roll story)
Big choices and big events, or small choices and small events
Weve all had that inner dialogue with ourselves that leads us to make those choices
Do I want to be known for this or that?
Is there anything I can do about it?
Why am I like this and not like that?
Can I do anything about it?
Why do people treat me this way?//Why do I treat people that way?
Why arent I like that person? // Why isnt anyone out there like me?
The answers that we come to, when asking ourselves these questions, will lead to choices that we make when building our houses
And just like weve all had those conscious questions about ourselves and who we are, weve also all had the events in our life that are outisde of our control influence the way we “build our house”.
The way we were raised
How our parents treated us or didnt treat us
The strengths God made us with, and the strengths He didnt make us with
How our siblings and family treated us
How strangers or friends treat us,
All of these things arent choices that we ourselves make when were building------our house, but they influence us nonetheless
Now, for most of us, we arent consistently sitting around and going throughout our day with the thoughts of building our identity.
It happens over time, day by day, year by year, decade by decade
Some parts stay around for a while and we make an effort to keep it that way
And the same thing can be said about the parts of our house that dont stay
Some parts of our house that have been there for years---we dont want.
And some parts that we do want ----- arent there
These are struggles that are common to everyone, everywhere
Romans 7:19 ---“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.---
Its never too late to remodel your house
All of us will experience the storms of life beating against our “house”
Now all of this is important because of another thing we all have in common with the two men in the story.
All of us, regardless of how and where we build our house, regardless of if weve built our house intentionally or if who we are kind of just emerged from the experiences of our life
Regardless of everything that exists in our life….all of us will experience a “storm”
In His story, Jesus says that the wise man and the foolish man both experience the storm-----The rains came at both of them // The winds came at both of them
These storms, are the effects of the sin in this world, that everyone encounters
Its like that, because this world is broken.
It’s a computer that’s entirely infected by a virus
It’s a body with all of its systems being ravaged by cancer
Because of this, all of us will feel the effects of sin.
When suffering is thrown at us - we are going through the storms mentioned here
When death and hurt surround us - we are going through a storm
When the temptation to act in a certain way seems to overwhelm us
When our weaknesses rise to the surface and remind us that were not perfect
When the ramifications of our weaknesses are then enforced upon our houses
When were fired
When a loved one passes away
When we can’t pay our bills
When a disease appears for no reason
When the choices weve made in the past tempt us to indulge again
When we make stupid choices
When those stupid choices effects us and our loved ones
When people we love hurt us
All of our houses will be hit by the storms of life
All of us will feel the rain pounding
All of us will be threatened by the flood
All of us will feel the wind
Shattering the windows // Peeling the paint // Lifting the roof // Breaking the walls
The winds of this world will uproot the trees in our life that we thought would always be there, and cause them to crash onto us and cause a massive hole in our house ------ opening the way for all the elements of the storm to come into our life
All of us will experience these storms.
The wise man didnt escape the hard times in life by saying the right prayers, or building his house on the rock.
If someone tells you, that the hard times in your life have happened to you because you didn’t pray the right way, or you didn’t follow the Words of Jesus the right way and didn’t build your house on the rock, you politely tell them to go have a nice day ------ because that is grade A, certifiable nonsense
Its in times like these----within the winds of struggle and storm----where our foundation is revealed
It is within the storms of life where the testing of our faith reveals, where our foundation is built
When the storms of life come to us, will we grit our teeth and try our hardest to overcome whatever situation is in front of us?
Will we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and rely on our own thinking and our own strength?
If we do, how many times can we do that?
How long can I fight against the storms in my life before I become a broken shell of a man
How long can I fight before I burn out and succumb to the wind and the rain?
I know that I have personally been there, Ive walked that road, when the storms of my life relentlessly pounded against me, and I fought as long and as hard as I could, my house fell, and great was the fall of it.
I was a broken shell, a hopeless wandering husk, pushed in whatever direction the storm blew me in-----this is what it looks like to have our house built on the shifting sands of uncertainty
Or….. when we encounter those storms….. do we cry out to God?
James 4:7-10 “7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
This is what happens to our house when the storm reveals the foundation of stone we have built it upon.
If you are sad, be sad
If you feel broken, then be broken
Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up
He will clean you
Make you new
He will love you
When we allow ourselves to be broken, the light of God shines through the cracks, and when that happens, and other people see it, they too may have the chance to know Him.
The storms we have gone through give us the opportunity to show other people the love of God.
Jesus told us to build our house upon the rock, because when we do, we will know Him better, and the people in our life who dont know Him, will get a glimpse of what it means to be loved by God.
Now, before I go any further, theres one more thing Id like to say
Dont build your house, using the elements of your storm
In other words - dont build your identity based on the bad things in your life.
That is not a house that anyone can live in
Thats easy to say, but its hard to do. I get that. I understand thats hard. Its easy to stand up and say it, but when the storms of our life have been so strong, for so long, and the only way weve survived them is by embracing them, its hard to see any other alternative. I get that.
But that leads us directly into our follow through
Now, what do we do with all that? ------------------how do we follow through?
Its ok to think to yourself :
“That’s all well and good…..but now what?”
“How do I build my house on the rock, what does that mean?”
Well, what does Jesus say is the difference between these two men?
v.24 → “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them…”
V.26 → “And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them…”
Putting the words of God, into action, in our life, is how we build our house on solid rock. Not only hearing them, but actually, literally, DOING them.
And what are His words?
First and foremost → repenting of our sins, and believing in Jesus to save us
Without this, everything else in life will be built on sinking sand
Without God living inside of our hearts, everything we build will come crashing down around us.
When that is a reality, when we rely on God to save us, to forgive us, to build us, to direct us, we will be living on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ.
Secondly, we NEED to know what His Words actually are
And the only place, in all of reality, where we can see the words of God, is within the pages of the Bible
Spend time in prayer...yes
Spend time in worship...yes
Spend time kneeling at the edge of your bed, crying and praying over the issues in your life….yes
All of these things will grow your relationship with God, and strengthen your house
But if we want to put into practice the words of God, then we need to read our Bibles every, single, day.
Make a habit of it
Make a schedule
Memorize key verses
Find friends and loved ones who will support you and help you along the way
Read your Bibles, hear the words of God and put them into practice
Call up the Worship team
If we do that, if we immerse our hearts and our minds in the Bible, THEN we can start putting His words into action
We can love our enemies
We can be kind and compassionate
We can be safe from false teachings
We can be used in His plans and His work
We can stand up for the weak
We can defend the defenseless
We can forgive those who hurt us
If Jesus Christ lives within our hearts, and His words are manifested in our life, then the storms of this world will crash and break upon the foundation of Him
(→ → Closing prayer ← ← )