The Storm-Proof House Built On The Rock
28/29 NOVEMBER 2020 | TRADITIONAL AND PRAYER & PRAISE SERVICES
Rev Edmund de Souza
Scripture Passage: Matthew 7:21-27 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | Unlike sinking sand, building on Christ the Rock and His Word ensures our security now and forever.
Jesus concluded His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) with this final parable. Having taught His disciples at length, Jesus made it a point to emphasise to those who had stayed close to hear and learn from Him, the need to actualise His teachings.
Hearing and practicing God’s truths is the LORD’s command that ensures a firm spiritual foundation for a believer to withstand shocks and overcome storms in life. How so?
1. We shall not be led astray by false teaching. Jesus warned His disciples about ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing (v15). Not every word professed as being from the LORD is true. We must guard against falling prey to false teachers who teach ungodly ideas to those willing to hear them. The only way to stay in the right path and avoid being deceived, is to know God’s Word. Wise is the man who listens to and practices biblical truths so that he is not swayed by falsehood on the Internet or even from well-meaning friends.
Many who profess to be Jesus’ followers fail to understand scripture. In desperation, instead of seeking God in His holy Word, some may seek the advice of mediums or depend on horoscope stars for guidance. Such turning away from faithful dependency on God is wicked abomination in the eyes of our Maker. So that we are not erroneously indoctrinated, there are many resources available in Wesley Methodist Church that we can access by downloading the Discipleship and Nurture catalogue and committing to study the living Word of God. As a church community, we can also participate in church-wide activities such as the Bible Reading Drive, Mid-week Bible Study, and Disciple classes which can help build a foundation for our faith.
2. We can show evidence of the genuineness of our faith in Christ. “By their fruit you will recognise them,” said Jesus. (v16-18,20) Just as grapes do not grow from thornbushes nor figs from thistles, our faith or lack of it is evidenced by the way we live. We do not become true Jesus followers by articulating words of scripture, but by obeying Jesus who is the Word.
Jesus warned His hearers that not everyone who calls out His name will get to heaven – “only those who do the will of My Father in heaven” (v21). Though imperfect, are we seeking to live righteously before God, having been saved by grace and having the Holy Spirit working in us? Unlike a mere copy whose foundation is in shifting sinking sand, a genuine believer builds faith on the solid ground of God’s Word and seeks to live it out. Genuine faith that hears and obeys Christ’s teachings will produce identifiable Fruit of the Spirit.
3. We can face the storms of life. Knowing Godly principles anchors us to stand firm when heavy rains beat down and stormy gales threaten to topple our stability. God’s Word, a strong secure foundation when practiced, empowers genuine believers to endure, persevere through hard knocks, and emerge victoriously more than conquerors. No pandemic or troubling predicaments can overwhelm us when we trust and obey the LORD as good and fair, depend on His Word and walk closely with Jesus. Apart from God’s presence, with eyes on the tidal waves of suffering, threats, stresses and strains of life, we will sink. Hiding God’s Word in our heart to stay afloat in trying times is akin to walking on water with eyes fixed on Jesus and His promises. (Matthew 14:24-31)
Come in faith is our LORD’s call. Are we reuniting with Jesus for eternity, trusting in God’s promised Word to overcome? For by His amazing grace we are strengthened and sustained, in His abiding peace we can persevere and press on. “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.” (v24-27) Wise genuine believers keep their foundation strong by studying His Word and walking in it.
(Sermon Notes by Marjorie Tan)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
1. Jesus mentioned that the wise man is one who “hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” (Matt 7:24). Why do you think it is wise to do so?
2. Having heard the message on the Storm-Proof House, how would you describe the foundation of your Christian life?
3. As you listened to the message, is there one thing you sense the Lord may be speaking to you about? Please elaborate.