Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Let us continue with the passage where we left off in the previous Post . . .
Matthew 7: 24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because its foundation was on the rock.
26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its collapse!”(BSB)
After everything is said and done in the Sermon on the Mount, (you should read Matthew Chapters 5-7 on your own, and meditate on them), Jesus closes out the Sermon in these verses given above.
The choice is yours! Always remember . . . always remember, He has given to you the freedom of choice!! In every life decision, you have the choice to choose right . . . or wrong.
I often tell my students, “You do have the right to be wrong!” However, if you choose the wrong, then own the consequences and give up the right to gripe over them! Don’t blame God or others for choices you make!!
Jesus gives you the option in these verses, if you choose to do right, then whatever you face will not defeat you. If you build on a solid-rock foundation, your house will prevail.
The house in this case is your life, and the foundation is Christ and His truth. If you have this firm foundation, all the trials and storms of life will not defeat you, He will carry you and you will survive, and be victorious!
When my husband and I built the house we live in, the hill we set our house on was so much rock the builder had to use some heavy duty machines to cut into to lay the foundation. As a result, my house is solid and well built.
We get wind storms that are very strong at times. We have measured winds that have been hurricane strength once or twice. We can see for miles around. As we watch the weather roll in with rains, snow, hail, or wind, we pray over our home and property and enjoy watching from the safety of inside. The beauty of Nature is grand and the power is awesome, but as we enjoy the beauty we know we are safe for the house is dug into a solid rock foundation.
Furthermore, our home is wrapped in prayer and Scripture . . . literally! When the house was under construction we had friends come help write a lot of scripture in the walls on the wood and concrete. As we wrote, we prayed over the structure giving the house to the Lord for His use. It is a house that our heavenly Father gave to us with His blessing, and we dedicated it to Him for His use! Read: Home, Sweet Sanctuary!
My physical house is safe and protected, so is my spiritual house. The Solid-Rock Jesus is my foundation and my desire to serve Him whole heartedly keeps me in His truth. Many storms have come and gone in life. He remains my Fortress in any and every life’s storm! I dwell in Him and He dwells in me. I run into my Fortress and my Fortress is in me! Think about it!! Selah!!!
Since I am a child of God, He is never far from me.
I feel safe!
Psalm 91: 1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”(BSB)
My faith has been tested and tried in many ways. Life’s storms have hit hard many times, but I have had victory over every storm in life because He, Jesus wins the battle for me.
You can have the same victory!!
1 Corinthians 15: 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.(KJV)
Below is a story that just fascinates me:
You should read about it. There are many articles on line about it, but for your convenience I am adding this link. https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/monk-lives-life-solitude-131-foot-tall-rock-2000-year-history-008109
Here is an excerpt from the article on this link:
“In 1993, a Georgian Orthodox monk by the name of Maxime Qavtaradze moved to the Katskhi Pillar after taking his monastic vows. At first, the monk slept in an old fridge, as there was nothing on top of the pillar to protect him from the elements. Later on, a derelict chapel was renovated by Christian supporters. In addition, a cottage was built for the monk.”
Katskhi Pillar 3 Photo by Amos Chapple
The little cottage was built in the 1990’s for his dwelling. Twice a week he comes down to greet and counsel his followers, and to pray at the small monastery at the base. It is said that he chooses to stay up as much as he can, for it makes him feel closer to God, and also protects him from temptation.
The place has been used before by other monks and hermits, over the centuries. It was even a place for pagan rituals before Christians found it and made it their own.
Here is another link I really like and found very informative:
Monk living on Katsaki Pillar photo from Daily Mail by Amos Chapple.
True, the house and the rock will remain through all kinds of storms, but Father Maxine has been able to cut himself from everyday life that the rest of us face. I wonder if he no longer has any personal soul-storms such as the rest of us do . . .
The thing I found interesting was that whether it is this monk, or monks and hermits of eras gone by, they chose this place to escape temptations of this world, and to draw closer to God.
If only it were that simple for all of us! Sometimes during personal soul-storms I have wished I could just go away to a quiet place like this myself. I have even gone on a retreat or two. Once a retreat was at a very quiet monastery, but it was just a weekend, and then life resumed!
The Bible tells us that temptations and trials will come, but they are to build us up in the faith.
James 1: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.(BSB)
I must admit though, it does not feel like fun when you go through hard times.
James says, to count it all JOY . . . really?! Come on James!!!
Yet, as life has gone on, I have grown enough in the Lord to discover some things like:
- My faith has grown as a result of storms. Just like physical exercise, my spirit and soul is exercised under the stress of trials and I am no longer afraid of storms. I can say my “faith-muscles” are far stronger than my physical muscles.
- Sometimes, it doesn’t look like I am winning over the storm/trial, but even when it looks like I am losing, I KNOW by faith that I am winning! and I do!!
- As a result, now I can count it all as joy just as James says I should!
- I have also learned that JOY is a choice! I can choose to worry, fret and fume, but that adds no life to me, only shortens it. Jesus said in the same Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 6: 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?(BSB)
I can choose joy by faith and turn to Jesus with trust that He is in control and works all things for good to me as He has promised in His Word.
Here again is the second option given to you in our Scripture for today:
Matthew 7: 26 But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, the torrents raged, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its collapse!”(BSB)
The owner of the house below discovered the results of a poor choice the hard way:
house destroyed by storm istockphoto
He chose to build on sand, hardly a firm foundation, and the house did not survive the storm.
He may have insurance to cover the cost, but regardless of how much money he may recover, the cost to his life has to be immense. Were their any casualties? Did anyone get injured? What about hospital bills? Did he or his family lose any treasured possessions? How about future fear factor? Did they suffer emotionally, mentally? Did they live with the stress of being homeless for a while, and maybe longer? How did his relationships fare in the stress? Many more questions . . . and finally, was it worth it to have made the choice to build in this place?
The consequences of his choice are his to deal with.
So it is in life. Wrong choices lead down the wrong road . . . AND there is never a wrong time to turn around and make the right choice!
No child is born imagining and dreaming of a life that turns out awful. No child when asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” says “I want to be a druggie, or an alcoholic, or end up homeless, or penniless,” and no child should!
Make the right choice in life, my friend, and teach your children to do the same.
Matthew 7: 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, 29 because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.(BSB)
Is it any wonder that people marveled at His teaching?! If only all had known . . . He did have authority! He was the Creator who came down to earth taking on human flesh so He could reach the people He loved so very much!
He still is!!
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