Remembering that God has promised to never judge and destroy the earth with a great worldwide flood ever again, we must not be surprised, however, if localized flooding occurs due to storms or rivers swelling. Moreover, we must never be surprised by the metaphorical storms and floods of life either. Life is full of storms. Life is not easy. Hard times will come. Jerry Falwell Sr. used to say that you are either coming out of trouble, in the midst of trouble, or about to go into trouble. That doesn’t mean there aren’t good times, peaceful times, or times of prosperity. But, we’re in a fallen world with Satan as our primary foe, and reality is that negative things will happen.
- Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and then floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall.”
Here in chapter 7 Jesus just got done instructing people to:
1) not judge each other (in the “holier than thou” prideful fashion)
2) not give holy things to dogs and pearls to swine
3) ask God for all your needs since He is your Father Who will take care of you
4) enter the narrow gate that leads to salvation
5) judge those who claim to be Christians, evaluating what they teach to ensure they are not wolves
6) not easily accept others as Christians just because they say, “Lord, Lord” and do great works for God (because Jesus will send them away to Hell stating He never new them!).
So, He finishes up with this instruction and tells them to follow what He is teaching which is akin to being firmly built on a rock-solid foundation. When the various waves of life come, the house will still be standing firm. And ultimately, when one’s life ends, salvation will be a guaranteed reality since it was founded on Christ and not on sinking sand.
Imagine the mockery and derision the inhabitants of earth threw at Noah for building a huge boat in the middle of nowhere, for trusting that God would save him from an unheard of event such as a worldwide flood which would arrive 120 years later.
We’ve discussed II. Peter 3:3-7 recently, but remember that we who proclaim Christ and His future return are mocked, and Peter states that we will be scoffed at for claiming such things since the blind see no evidence of His existence or return.
But, keeping our eyes on Christ, we need to push forward towards Him, walking on the water of life, and ignoring the waves rising up around us. It’s not easy, but this is what faith is all about.
- Think about things going on in your life today. What are areas that are not running smoothly, that are experiencing challenges, and even where there are problems abounding? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- I. Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our cares/anxieties upon God because He cares for us. Take this time now to bring these to the Lord.As you do so, remember also Philippians 4:6-7 which tells us to not be anxious (i.e. to not worry) about anything, but to instead bring your requests to God and He will give you the peace that passes all understanding which will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Now, caring about others is a hallmark of Christianity. Who do you know that is going through difficult times right now? I have one friend with cancer. I know of some in ministry who are being attacked. And still yet there are others I know who are facing some difficult times right now. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Pray for each of these by name right now.
- What are some ways you can reach out to them and minister to them?
- Matthew 28:20 (of the Great Commission) tells us that when we make disciples, we are to be “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you”. Matthew 7 instructs us to obey what He is teaching, and Matthew 28 instructs us to teach others to obey his commands. Who are the people in your life that you are discipling? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Ensure you are investing in each of their lives by teaching them what Christ taught and the necessity of obeying Him.
- If you are a parent of minors, then your primary disciples are those kids. You are responsible before God for training them in the way that they should go. What are some ways you can integrate Christ’s commands into the training of your kids? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- When you read through the Gospels, write down the commands and instructions Jesus gives. Note which ones apply to you versus to just the Disciples, or versus to just the Jews. You will be amazed at how many commands He gave for us to follow.