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Storm resistance

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 “on Christ the solid rock I stand”.

C.     The test of permanence or obedience (vv. 24–29).

The two builders represent two men in this life. They both use the same material and the same plans, and the world cannot tell the difference in their two houses. But when the storm comes—the time of testing—the house not founded on the rock crumbles and falls. The true Christian is founded on the Rock, Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 3:11). Righteousness is not based on a church, a creed, or a “good life” but on Jesus Christ who died for the believer. A child of God is proven by lasting through the storms that test him or her. A true Christian is proven by obeying Christ. One is not merely a hearer of the Word, but is also a doer (James 1:22–25).

Go through your Bible and note how false believers always fall away in the time of testing. The mixed multitude in Israel wanted to go back to Egypt when things became difficult in their journey. Many of the so-called Christians in Rome deserted Paul at his time of need (2 Tim. 4:9–18). Yet, note how the true believers stand regardless of the test. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Peter, Paul, and many others proved the reality of their faith by standing through the storm. They were built on the Rock!

[1]

“Storm Resistance”

Matt 7:21-29

(Read article about “PATH” technology of 2 “storm resistance” houses in Florida)  {Leave slide 1 on screen}

Read passage.  Foundation is the most important of any structure.  A bridge, many great bridges in different cities wouldn’t be possible if they didn’t engineer and build a good foundation.  Our “sea wall” wouldn’t be safe without the good foundation.  Our buildings and our homes wouldn’t last for years without good foundation.  (Like Richmond, a city below sea level!)  Foundation somehow needed to be added to it’s “sandy” and mushy land!  Beach front properties needs reinforcement foundations to stand and last!

Let’s look at this parable and try to understand Jesus’ message and what it means to us practically, living as Christians.

1.        The rain came down.  (Show slide 2 ) It came down on both houses built with the same materials and same design.  If you’ve gone camping in the rain…it’s not fun.  Especially if you’re soaked already!  Even in the city, being soaked is uncomfortable.  You’re drenched and miserable…worst if you have to ride the bus!  You’re cold, and shivering.  But..it’s not the end of the world!  You know soon, you’ll have a hot shower, dry clothes and perhaps warm up next to a fire place.  That’s how it is with our faith, our belief.  We hear God’s Word.  We like it, we agree with it, it sounds good.  But then life’s rain come pouring down.  Life’s entertainment becomes overwhelming.  Movies, magazines, news and even schools start to drench and challenge our faith.  Should I watch that movie?   Read those materials?  Follow those crowds?  Should I drink, smoke, or participate in “wild” social activities?  Which foundation you have will determine your decisions.

2.       The streams rose.  (Slide 4)  Now it’s a flood!  You’re not just drenched, you’ve lost your possessions, your house is flooded along with everything inside!  (computers, electronic games, players etc.)  You feel helpless.  Like what we see on the news in recent years.  The loss, the desperation, the hopelessness.  Your house is still standing but you’ve lost everything else!  Life’s flood of sickness, sorrow, poverty, and disappointments rush over you.  How do you deal with personal failures and challenges?  You’re mocked about being a Christian, tragedies happen to you and those you care about despite your belief in God.  You thought you were on your way to success in school and studies, and career, but it’s all falling apart and not going the way you thought.  Or…things are going great!  In fact, so well that you wonder, why do I need to put so much effort and time to my faith and God? 

3.       The wind blew and beat against that house! (slide 5)  Just when you think it can’t get any worse…your house collapses and is destroyed!  Literally a pile of splitters and rubble.  (Remember that commercial “motrin pain”?)  Life’s wind blows and beat against your faith.  “What else can happen?!”  the anguish cry.  You lose someone you love to terminal illness.  Perhaps it’s you that have the disease.  Unexpected accidents (or worse…preventable accidents that cause a life or lose your quality of life.)  Now it’s pretty hard to listen to all those bible teachings, those godly principles and interesting parables.  Now being “doers of the Word” is challenged very much.  You may not even want to hear it! 

CONCLUSION:

Jesus started with talking about 2 kinds roads, 2 kinds of gates, 2 trees and fruits and now 2 foundations and builders.  We are always given a choice.  We have only 2 courses of actions to take.  In the beginning, both listens to and believes in God’s Word.  But when the rain, flood and windy storms come, the wise not only listened but live it in life…no matter the destruction and tragedies around.  The foolish however will eventually even stop listening all together to God’s teachings.  We’ve all heard and even believe many times God’s story, and teachings.  We all are building our houses of faith.  But ask yourself…are you a wise builder or a foolish one?  Are you building on the solid Rock of Jesus or the sandy mushy mud of good intentions, good works, and pharisaic self righteousness?  The great thing about this parable is…Jesus shows us how to know which builder we are, and what kind of foundation we’re building on!  Are you doing and living, changing your life according to God’s Word and values or are you just hearing in one ear and make now changes to the way you make your life decisions and actions?  If you know what you should do as a Christian but you don’t do it….if you know what is right in God’s eye but you don’t do it…if you know life’s trial is getting tougher and harsher but you don’t keep trusting, don’t keep praying, and you don’t keep relying on God…if you build your life on good intentions, good humanistic reasoning, and the world’s relative truths…the sand beneath you is washing away and your house of “faith”, your tent for your soul will be gone and the very last event will be to face the grand Master builder, the Maker Himself!

Communion:  At the supper, they were all building their faith.  One even leaned towards Jesus.  All listened and heard, and respected what they were taught.  But not all believed.  Not all did what Jesus told them and taught them.  One even planned to betray Him!  Peter failed miserably and denied Jesus 3 times, but through this storm, he had built wisely, and the solid foundation of Jesus Christ.  Judas failed miserably also, but through this storm, he built foolishly on the sandy shores of doubt,  self reliance.  The wine and the bread, our remembrance together is the picture of Jesus as our solid foundation.  Not even death could destroy this foundation!  And we do this to remember.  We do this to honor what He has done for us.  We do this because we believe He is the bread of life and He has poured out His blood to save us from our sins.  So take a moment to listen to the Holy Spirit.  Confess what is not right in your heart with God and others.  Do something about it and ask God for the strength.  Reflect on the work of the cross and it’s meaning for your faith.  You don’t have to be perfect, but just like Peter, give your storms of failures and worries to Him and keep trusting, keep praying and keep believing.


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[1]Wiersbe, W. W. (1997, c1992). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament (36). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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