Matthew 7:24 – Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Jehovah God gave to Israel through Moses and the prophets, the material to build a sound foundation. Solid, because the words that formed the Law and the words the Prophets spoke perfectly of Christ who was created in the image of God and of man. Jesus is that man and He is the foundation of the new creation. The Holy Spirit is God’s instrument in the earth to bring forth God’s will through His new creation man born of God’s Spirit. First Christ, then all those who believe on Him.
A solid foundation begins by “hearing” the words of Jesus. Hearing is not simply hearing with one’s ears, but applying what has been heard. The key is in “acting” on Christ’s words. Jesus is the foundation, but the believer does the building with the help of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says the one who acts on His words is “wise.” We begin with a solid foundation then build wisely through obedience to the words of our Lord.
The Scriptures, in many places, guarantee that what we are building will be tested. The testing will be by rain, floods, and winds that will slam against our building. Each of these natural conditions is representative of events that bring destruction. Jesus uses these as examples for spiritual conditions that will arise against the building. If the building was not built wisely, it will not stand.
The truth which Jesus is teaching applies not only to individuals, but to nations as well. It is important that we examine our hearts and examine what we have built in our lives. Is it built upon the Lord Jesus Christ and His words? Are we dependent on the Holy Spirit to empower us in the building process? When we read the Scriptures it is important to ask the question, “How am I applying this truth in my life?”
Father, I ask for understanding concerning the building of my life in Christ. I ask for the Holy Spirit to show me any part that is not up to Your divine code. I pray that I might be a wise builder that brings glory to You as the tests come and as others observe what has been built.
Matthew 7:21 – Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
For some, this is a difficult passage to understand. Many activities are done in the name of the Lord. Few are direct initiations of His will. Over the years, I have known many that accepted the Bible’s testimony of Jesus as Lord, but their lifestyle did not demonstrate that they had received Him as Lord. Saying that Jesus is Lord and doing things in His name, even supernatural activities, does not qualify one for the kingdom of heaven. Only doing the Father’s will, rooted in Jesus Christ through the work of the cross qualifies.
The Father sent Jesus to be the one and only sacrifice for sin. The first issue of the kingdom of God is rooted in repentance regarding our views and actions. Changing my mind and exchanging it for His perfect view. I am undone, He is fully complete. I am wrong and He is right. I have nothing left to defend. When I stand before Him, I have nothing to say, only listen and obey.
As Jesus teaches on the Mount, He has all of Israel in mind. They had chosen a broad way, as the Law of God had been distorted by their religious leaders. Jesus came as the fulfillment of the Law. He also had appeared as the “stumbling block that the builders rejected” (Psalm 118:22). The Father had made Him the “head of the corner.”
The practice of lawlessness is rooted in pride, false religion, self-effort, and anything else that does not come from the moral law of God. God’s law was established in the garden when He said “do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:17). The narrow way had been set. Only what God permits! There is no other way to life, but through Jesus, the Christ. This makes the world crazy. Jesus is the offense. Anything but this, please.
Let the cross of Jesus be your filter. Measure everything up against the old rugged cross. The Holy Spirit is committed to honor the cross. Satan and his kingdom are committed to making it an offense. “Lord, Lord” only resonates with the cross. Anything else is a deception.
Father, I choose to cling to the old rugged cross. I choose Jesus, the narrow way to life. The One who is the complete fulfillment of Your heart’s desire. Holy Spirit, lead me daily through the narrow gate.
Matthew 7:24 – Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
True grace is an absolute revelation of the total work of Christ through the cross. By faith, I receive His work on my behalf. By allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest Christ’s life through me it reveals that I am a wise person. The Holy Spirit only builds upon the words of Jesus. In His messages, Jesus warns us against the flesh and the devil. Both the flesh and the devil want to hinder the life of the true conqueror, Jesus, from being manifested through believers. Believers are members of His body, joined together and representing Jesus’ will in offering to an unregenerate world, “reconciliation” through the death/resurrection process accomplished by the Holy Spirit.
What wonderful grace we have been given. My efforts are worthless; my rest is in His finished work. Yet, my awesome responsibility is to allow the Holy Spirit complete control of my spirit, soul, and body for the glory of God. A responsibility is to share with others this marvelous grace with the hope that they too will receive the love of the Father, and be transformed by His power becoming part of filling the earth and heaven with the “one new man,” even Christ. One day we will see the King, but the question today should be; is the King being seen in me?
In our passage for today, Jesus is addressing the Jewish covenant people. Their lives had been shaky for centuries as they built contrary to Moses instructions. Now Jesus had appeared to give them a new foundation “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He came to fulfill the law and thus provide a better foundation than that of Moses. Jesus came to build His house, built upon His words. The building process is both hearing His words and acting on His words. This cannot be done in our own efforts, but only through the power of the Holy Spirit which the Lord sent after the cross and His resurrection.
Father, I ask You to help me evaluate how I am building. I pray for You to work in my heart to only build on the foundation Christ has given: His words and acting on those words daily.
Psalm 4:3 – Know the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself
The Palmist asked three questions in verse 2: “O sons of men, how long will My honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?” These are questions that could be asked of people today. Those who represent the God of righteousness are seen as a reproach by a secular culture that has rejected the principles of right for worthless and deceptive norms.
We live in a time of “virtual reality shows,” that in truth, are unreality at its highest. Culture is filled with a love for fantasy and a disdain for truth. The greater issue is how individuals lie to themselves. It is difficult to face the truth, but only truth can bring freedom and destroy deceptive thinking. True repentance comes when one faces the truth or reality of where their life is really at.
The great lie is that we don’t need God. In the garden, it was the lie the serpent used to deceive Eve. It remains an effective lie for multitudes. The goal of Secular Humanism has been to totally remove God from culture. The “I’m okay, you’re okay” is not okay philosophy. Secularism is rooted in a lie. The American society has become a bigger loser because she has believed the lies of the secularists. Of course, this manifests in the lives of millions of individuals.
It is difficult to face reality at times. It is hard to hear truth when spoken about areas of one’s own life that are bound by a lie. Paul, when trying to help the Galatians asked them this question; “So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?”(Galatians 4:16). Later, Paul spoke this word to the Galatians, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked; for whatever man sows, that he shall also reap” (Galatians 6:7). As a good friend of mine once said, “Pay day can be delayed, but not forever denied.”
At present, nations, churches, and families face a crisis of not requiring much accountability. Bailouts, subsidies, and entitlements are a way of life. The truth is this, it cannot be sustained. Reality will set in and great loss will follow.
The Lord has set apart the godly for Himself. There is a cry going out from the godly. It is a cry for repentance, the changing of the mind, a cry for reality, the turning from fantasy. It begins with each individual taking stock of their affairs. To be set apart by the Lord requires a yielding to the Spirit of God. It is the Holy Spirit alone that produces righteousness. Ask for His power to think clearly, face reality, and be established in godliness.
Father, I ask to be empowered, to throw away what is worthless and embrace what You deem valuable. Use me to help others to be set apart for Your glory by dealing and facing reality.
John 5:27 – He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.
The Father planned from the beginning of creation for His creation man to rule with Him. Jesus is called the Son of Man because He came in human form through the virgin birth. When he was anointed with the Holy Spirit as He came up out of the water from His baptism, the Father gave Him authority to execute judgment. He operated in His authority in a number of ways.
The people were astonished at His teachings because He taught differently than the religious leaders. He taught with authority (Matthew 7:29). The people also observed that His teachings were followed by supernatural evidence. “They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him’” (Mark 1:27). He always seemed to have the correct answer for His accusers. At the end of His ministry before enduring the cross, He judged the evil religious leaders as He stood in the Temple, which was the place of the Government of God (Matthew 23:13-39).
It was a “man” that did all these things. He is God, but in human form. In His ascension He is seated at the right hand of God. The right side is the place of judgment. He reigns as God’s man, David’s greater son upon the eternal throne of heaven. What a mighty God we serve!
It is important for believers to think upon these things. Jesus’ disciples were reminded everyday as they walked with Him and watched the work of the Holy Spirit minister through Jesus’ life. They too experienced His authority to judge. They watched Him cast out demons and heal the sick. Then, they experienced His power to judge the kingdom of darkness as they were sent out to heal the sick and given of His authority over demons (Luke 9 and 10).
Today, the Son of God continues to pour out His Holy Spirit upon those who have received His kingdom authority in their lives. The same Holy Spirit is working through believers to administer God’s judgments in the earth. Judgment on the kingdom of darkness, judgment on false teaching, misuse of authority, and judgment in the nations, as the Lord arranges things for His own eternal purposes.
Father, I thank You for judging my sin on the cross through Your Son. Thank You for giving me power to rule over sin and darkness. I thank You for the authority to execute the spoken word of God in order to see Your kingdom purposes established.