Matthew 7:15-29 Read the New Testament in a Year:Acts 10:24-48 Jesus knew all about building houses. He was a craftsman by trade and had worked as a carpenter. The illustration he uses is down-to-earth and practical: two men who each decide to build a house (7:24–26). No doubt they intended to live in and enjoy them, perhaps with their families. Both were building something of long-lasting significance. Our lives are like these houses, yet their significance is for all eternity. The most important feature of any house is its foundations. These houses differed little in appearance. But only one had ‘its foundation on the rock’ (v.25). Similarly, two lives can look alike, but the difference in the foundations is evident when, inevitably, the storms of life come. You will face challenges in life. They will come in many forms: misunderstandings, disappointments, unfulfilled longings, doubts, trials, temptations, setbacks and satanic attacks. Success, too, can be a test. There is also pressure, suffering, sickness, bereavement, sorrow, trauma, tragedy, persecution and failure. Ultimately, all of us will face death and God’s judgment. The image of ‘rain… torrents… winds’ is used in Ezekiel to refer to God’s judgment (Ezekiel 13:11), but the language of judgment is not confined to the Old Testament. Here, and elsewhere, Jesus warns of the coming judgment, as do the other New Testament writers. When ‘the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house’ (Matthew 7:25,27), the house built on the rock ‘did not fall’ (v.25), but the one built on the sand ‘fell with a great crash’ (v.27). These are solemn words of warning. The trial may be during this life or it may come on the day of judgment. What is certain, according to Jesus, is that it will come. However, you need not live in fear. It is not easy, but there is a way to be sure that, when the foundations of your house are tested, they stand firm. It is possible to know that your future is secure. Jesus tells us that the key difference is that the wise man not only hears the words of Jesus, but he also ‘puts them into practice’ (v.24). The foolish man, on the other hand, although he hears Jesus’ words ‘does not put them into practice’ (v.26). Knowledge must lead to action – our theology must affect our lives or else we are building our lives on sand.]]>