Sermon for 3 Pentecost Matthew 7
Sermon for 3 Pentecost Matthew 7:21-29
God calls us to follow his will and build our house upon the rock of his truth and love rather than upon our own wisdom
We might even begin to do God’s will and perform miracles, preached the truth and even cast out demons, but at that point have become false teachers and doers of their own word and desires.
Bonhoeffer states that in our sin our “words are dead and destitute” as opposed to God’s Word which is life, grace and power. Our wisdom accounts for nothing in light of God’s truth. As Isaiah writes in 5 :20-21 “Woe to those who call good, evil…exchange light for darkness… bitter for sweet and who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
Such is the underlying and ever present temptation; to yield to our own desires and “wisdom.”
Those who were listening to Jesus thought they had it all figured it out. They knew according to their own ideas what the Messiah was to look like, what he would be about, and how he would accomplish it. They substituted their word for God’s Word. They were building their house on sand
They wanted to live according to their own plans and the security they thought their plans and ideas would give. But their security was as firm as butter or marshmallows for as soon as the storms come they are torn down.
But the Word of God is sure and certain as the rock upon one builds a house. It will weather any storm, any wind or tempest or flood. Our words, however, are like the grass of the field that will burn up in the light of truth.
Jesus clearly states that those who hears his “words and does them.”
Illustration of boy in hospital – dime for obedience/he was a terror – when asked about how good he was – he asked for a penny.
Illustration of building a house and listening/doing what the architect planned
Often the tendency is to leave things in the abstract and not act or live what we think we believe. Thing might even be good ideas, but never practiced and so the person doesn’t benefit from living the words of life that Jesus reveals to us. It is threatening to be convicted of the truth. To be convicted, to truly wrestle with Christ’s words means that we would, not might, but would have to either obey (in our weakness and frailty) or refuse to obey.
So it is to build a house. We might believe a good foundation is important, even agree with the architect’s recommendations, but then settle for less because of the cost involved. For a foundation we build next to the river on the really good soil, that should be great for gardening later because it’ss so rich and soft.
Instead of good plywood we use paper mache, instead of nails or screws we use wood glue, instead of shingles we use plastic shopping from Safeway stapled to the roof and instead of a good electrical system we use batteries from the dollar store. For a phone we use string and tin cans.