Story of the House on the Rock and a Fundamental Principle
In the last few verses in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7:24-27, Christ is speaking about the parable of the House on the Rock. Actually, He is speaking about people who either listen and do what He says or do not.
"Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.
"Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell-and great was its fall." (NASB)
The fundamental principle we may choose to take from this story (and there are many possible) might be to decide that we should wish to hear Christ's approval as being wise.
Check for Understanding Exercise
Now, let's do a series of steps to take what we have learned and make it a virtue, something that is new and good in our character.
The learning objective we will try to reach is to take what Christ says and apply it to our greatest single weakness and find ways to unshackle ourselves from it.
Breaking it down (analysis)
Let's take the parable in parts. First, let's read carefully what Christ says. He says that He will compare a person who not only listens but puts into practice what He says, to a wise man.
First, then, what does that say about choosing to value what Christ says?
Second, what does it mean to us to apply it in our own individual lives?
Third, what are some benefits to doing that?
Fourth, if Christ compares one who does hear but does not do what He says to a foolish man, why might a person choose to not do so?
Fifth, what is the possible benefit of doing as the foolish man does?
Sixth, what is the value of doing what Christ says compared to not doing them?
Finally, are there other questions you would like to ask specifically about doing versus not doing what Christ says? If we pursue our own feelings and logic, are we greater an authority than Christ where we can place our trust for things to turn out right?
Is it fair to say that the parable of the "House Built on the Rock" is about approval of Christ as being wise if we both hear and do as He speaks? Why or why not?
The crowds were amazed that Christ spoke with such authority. Christians today are not quite so amazed because they recognize Him as the Son of God. Non-Christians around the world know His name. They call Him a great teacher, a prophet, even a god among gods. So, Christ does speak with a certain authority even among many who do not worship Him. But, we Christians do worship Him. So, all in all, there is no greater voice of authority on the earth. Therefore, to both listen to His words and to do them is indeed wise.
Is all of this true? Why or why not?
Now, go back to the beginning. Have you built your house, your life, your best devoted efforts, to build your house on the rock of what He has said in the Bible? If you have, even if you have not been perfect, Jesus Christ calls you wise. Who, then, has standing to call you a fool?
Creative Next Step
Now, what new thing will you choose to do consistently, God helping you, to put more of your life's foundation on the rock of what Christ has said?
OK, what if you put on your calendar three or four days in the future as check points to evaluate yourself on your new goal. You might choose one day each week for the next four weeks. Or, you might choose one day every ten days for a month. Or, you may choose a different schedule.
Whatever you do, please write down your progress and make what you write an item to pray about and to compare to scripture. Use a humble, not a defensive attitude. Then, you should feel spiritual growth. And, you should begin to sense a level of approval from the Holy Spirit as you pray and read God's Word.