Sunday, August 28, 2022
Cory Bragg - Journey Church Connections Pastor
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
Our family has moved a few times around the south Denver area over the past decade. Moving can be a hefty ordeal, and it is also preceded by the looming task of searching for a new home to purchase. Few have succeeded at only seeing one home before going under contact. But for the majority of us, the list of homes we have had to walk through is exhausting.
Over the course of all the homes for sale my wife and I have viewed, not once have I thought, “Let’s go take a look and see how awesome the home’s foundation is.” I’ve never had that excitement. Why? Because it’s not that visible, and it’s just not that appealing. It can’t compare to shiplap, shaker cabinets, voice control lights, and home theater systems. Now that’s exciting! The foundation…meh.
Jesus wraps up one of his greatest sermons by talking about two houses. For the audience, he makes no distinction about the way the houses look on the outside or inside. We can assume they visibly look the same. But there is one main difference, and it is something no one can see. One person builds their house with its foundation on rock. The other person builds their house with its foundation on sand. Of course, Jesus is being satirical. Who would build their house on sand? The audience would agree with Jesus’ word choice of calling the man a “fool”. In fact, Jesus uses the Greek word from which we get the term “moron”.
What you build your house on matters.
And being the amazing storytelling teacher that he is (v. 28-29), Jesus uses these houses metaphorically to represent two different lives. One only hears Jesus’ words. The other actually practices them. One admires Jesus’ ideas on life. The other understands the importance of living them out. One is a moron. The other is smart. Why? Because the different topics that Jesus addresses in his great sermon aren’t suggestions or ideas…they are the true way of life. They work.
What you build your life on matters.
And how do we know? Jesus points to storms. Struggles. Disappointments. Hurts. It’s the storms of life that ultimately reveal the strength of the foundation, and Jesus wants us to grasp this foundational life truth:
When the storms of life come…and they will come…those who are rooted in Christ the deepest are the ones who weather the storms the strongest.
So Jesus invites you and I to start practicing (v. 24). Practice forgiveness. Practice loving those who are tough to love. Practice owning up to my own stuff. Practice prayer. Practice not letting money or possessions own me. You pick one of the many topics Jesus addresses in his sermon, and simply start practicing.
I like that. Practice. Practice takes on a whole different meaning than performing. Practice means I can work on things. Performing means I have to be perfect. Practice means I can try, fail, learn, and grow in an environment of grace. Performing makes me feel like there is no margin for error because it’s showtime.
You see, Jesus cheers for the one who is willing to practice. Practice isn’t as visible or exciting as the performance, but I’d rather practice and build my life on the way of Christ than become, as Jesus says, a moron.
“Father, I am so thankful that you teach me the way to live. I am sorry for the ways I don’t trust you and choose a different path, but I am grateful for your forgiveness and grace. I ask that as I begin practicing [specific area you sense God wants you to work on], give me the wisdom and the strength to trust you and follow through on the way you want me to live. Amen.”
Daily Prayer Initiatives
- Jesus to change more lives as we double the square footage of our Castle Pines location.
- Momentum as we launch our Highlands Ranch location.
- Someone you can invite to Journey on Friend Day (Sunday, September 11)
- One bold prayer you sense God is personally inviting you to pray during the 21 Days.
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.