The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
Photo by Nigel Pavitt. Source: art.com
Yesterday's Our Daily Bread devotion seemed quite well-timed, given its topic of rocks and sand and storms. We've seen many gravel driveways end up on the road around here in the last few days. And not just gravel. Sometimes there are rather large rocks that have been dumped by the force of the water washing downhill. A visible reminder of what the force of a storm can do.
Jesus uses storms and the inevitable erosion to make a point in Matthew 7:24-27. I've read this passage often, and many of us who have grown up within the church will know the song "The wise man built his house upon the rock.". It seemed to me, until today, that the message of this passage was all about the foundation of our faith and the wisdom of building it upon something solid and unmovable. Obviously this truth is still one of the main principles of the passage. But today I saw something more.
As I read this passage today I was rather taken with another phrase that added depth to the Truths Jesus was teaching here. The phrase was "and puts them into practise" (referring to Jesus' words). The preceding text of chapter 7 has much to say on the subjects of judging others, seeking God wholeheartedly, being vigilant about false prophets and being authentic in our faith. It is in putting Jesus' words into practise that we become wise. Because it is in practising that which He taught, that we develop a faith with the firm foundation that cannot be washed away by the storms of life that buffet us. When we listen and do not put His words into practise our faith is weak and wishy washy. It can't sustain us through anything and the first puff of difficulty in our lives will blow us over.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words
of mine and puts them into practice is like
a wise man who built his house on the rock."