“I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.”
When our house was built some 60 years ago the surplus roof tiles left were stacked in the backyard. There they have remained ever since – not very pleasing to the eye and great for accumulating dirt and dust. Totally useless they became part of the unseen scenery until one day a leak in the roof revealed a line of broken tiles. At that moment our stack became useful and we were able to replace the broken ones with tiles that were of an identical pattern and suitably weathered in colour. They were made to be used and finally some of them achieved their purpose.
Jesus is saying something similar in this passage. The words which He spoke – and which He still speaks to us today – were meant to be used. They were not intended to be inscribed in a book and left on a shelf to gather dust. They were not meant for Spiritless reading either. They were spoken to be used. And such were their importance in His eyes that He compared them with the foundations of a building – the building of our lives and characters – meant to be of such value that they would even enable us to withstand the physical and spiritual storms of life.
He was quite specific that His commands were meant to be obeyed.
- “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21)
- “Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.” (John 14:23-24)
- “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Reading, studying and discussing Scripture and listening to sermons and teaching should be a regular part of our lives – but not merely for the sake of accumulating knowledge. What we discover is meant to be used – to become a part of our everyday lives and living. It is to be that on which we build our lives both individually and as God’s people together.
James underlined this in his letter by saying,
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
Read the Gospels. Note Jesus directions and teaching. Look to make them a part of your life.
Lord Jesus, please help me to read and understand Your words and to build them into my life. Amen.