The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
"Like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand"

Scripture:  Matthew 7:21-29

21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22 On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works  in your name?' 23 And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'  24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;  25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon 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." 28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
Meditation: If the threat of disaster where to come your way, would you be ready to meet it and overcome it? When Jesus told the story of the builders he likely had the following proverb in mind: When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm for ever (Proverbs 10:25).  Whatís the significance of the story for us?  The kind of foundation we build our lives upon will determine whether we can survive the storms that are sure to come. Builders usually lay their foundations when the weather and soil conditions are at their best.  It takes foresight to know how a foundation will stand up against adverse conditions.  Building a house on a flood plain, such as a dry river-bed, is a sure bet for disaster!  Jesus prefaced his story with a warning: We may fool humans with our speech, but God cannot be deceived.  He sees the heart as it truly is ó with its motives, intentions, desires, and choices (Psalm 139:2). There is only one way in which a personís sincerity can be proved, and that is by oneís practice.  Fine words can never replace good deeds.  Our character is revealed in the choices we make, especially when we must choose between what is true or false, and good or evil.  Do you cheat on an exam or on your income taxes, especially when it will cost you?  Do you lie, or cover-up, when disclosing the truth will cause you pain or embarrassment?  A true person is honest and reliable before God, neighbor, and oneself. Such a person's word can be taken as trustworthy. What can keep us from falsehood and disaster?  If we make the Lord and his word the rock and foundation of our lives, then nothing can shake us or keep us from God's presence and help.  Is the Lord and his word the sure foundation of your life?

"Lord, you are the only foundation that can hold us up when trials and disaster threaten us. Give me the wisdom, foresight, and strength of character I need to do what is right and good and to reject whatever is false and contrary to your will   May I be a doer of your word and not a hearer only."


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(c) 2002 Don Schwager