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Life consists of the choices we make and is built by the things we do, every single day. But how do you know if the life you’re building is secure? How do you know that your world isn’t just going to fall to pieces when the going gets rough?
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25.
The majority of us realize that a Christian life is not a passive one, and the words Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount give a clear indication of what one should be prioritizing.
Actions speak louder than words
Being actively involved in many things may give the impression that you’re really building something with your Christian life. However, you might only be hearing Jesus’ sayings and … singing about them, or hearing Jesus’ sayings and … sharing them with others on social media. But things don’t need to stay that way! “Actions speak louder than words” is an expression that comes to mind. Jesus says to hear His sayings and do them! Each day there are opportunities to make Jesus’ commandments your very own, by obeying them from the heart.
Perhaps until now, you’ve been attempting to build your life on the gospel you hear in church but it may not even be the true gospel of Christ. Modern-day Christianity has been watered down so much that the words, “he who hears these sayings of Mine, and does them,” have been exchanged with everything but actually carrying out Jesus’ commandments! Today there are people the world over who have been led astray, including self-proclaimed pastors who make a living by preaching a message that appeals to the masses: an easier way to heaven!
You might even have had people reassure you with phrases such as: “We all sin daily,” and, “Don’t put so much pressure on yourself; Jesus’ blood covers it all,” and of course that common expression which sounds something like this: “You mustn’t try and help God with your salvation!”
But when the storms of life come along, such as financial hardship, being treated unfairly or being tempted to adultery it becomes evident what kind of foundation people have built upon. Someone who tells themselves that “Jesus’ blood covers it all,” for example, and who hasn’t understood the seriousness of Jesus’ warning, “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” will find their life being swept away when the first wave of temptation hits them. (Matthew 5:27-28)
Those who build on the rock remain standing
It’s the people who have prayed, fought and suffered to obey Jesus’ commandments like, “do not worry about tomorrow,” and “love your enemies,” who have built on the rock and remain standing.
The time has come to stop relying on phrases that act as an insurance policy for your sinful habits. They might sound pious, but these popular one liners are a direct contradiction of what’s written in Titus 2:11-12: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age.”
It’s time to start using this grace for its intended purpose: to live a life without sinning.
Take heed to Jesus´ commandments – stay firm in temptation
People who do this are building with the right materials and will experience that their building will stand firm. And that doesn’t mean that God will spare you from every trial and tribulation. Even Christians experience financial difficulty, temptation to all kinds of lusts, being treated unfairly, etc. But the difference is that those who do what Jesus commands have the strength to go through the trials and emerge stronger on the other side. Their life will stand firm on the rock, not only throughout the various situations of life, but also on that Day when everything will be tested by fire.
“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15.
Think what a terrible loss that Day will be for people who have spent a lifetime building with materials such as wood, hay and straw. Imagine their disappointment at watching their good, Christian reputation, their monetary donations and all the volunteer work they did for people, literally go up in smoke.
Perhaps then it will dawn on them, that they were supposed to build on the foundation by actually doing Jesus’ commandments, living a righteous life, and getting victory over sin – thereby accumulating a wealth of “gold, silver and precious stones.” Regrettably, it will simply be too late to do anything about it. Though such people may end up being saved through the forgiveness of sins, all those good things they did for others won’t replace the value God places on personal faithfulness. Their glory in heaven will be considerably less.
No one knows how far away that Day is – the Day when everyone’s work will become clear. But we do know that the grace of God has appeared to all men. Let’s use it!