The right tools are necessary to accomplish any project or repair something. Knowing how to use those tools is just as important. We must learn about the tools we have available to us and be just like Jesus.
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We are starting a series of teachings based on the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus taught many things during this great portion of scripture that spans 3 chapters in Matthew’s gospel.
A few years ago, fires were sweeping the west coast of the United States. The winds were unpredictable which made fighting the fires almost impossible. One town would be spared while a neighboring town would be decimated by the shifting winds. Several years later some of these communities have been rebuilt and people have returned to their homes, schools, and churches.
There are reports of the same types of things happening with tornadoes. A building can be cut in half. One half is completely destroyed, and the other half is not damaged in the least bit. Much of the risk of damage in a natural disaster comes from the building practices used when constructing the building.
Using builders who have the right tools, knowledge, and wisdom to build your house can go a long way when disaster strikes.
Use Tools Just Like Jesus
Our life is no different. Each day we build part of our life. We are constantly building it. We are constantly expanding it. As we build our lives we need to do it in such a way that we can not only survive but thrive amidst the storms and disasters that come our way.
Storms and disasters can be anything like financial setbacks, relational problems, sickness, or emotional distress. But how do we build our lives in a way to withstand these storms of life? How do we face the disasters that are thrown at us by the enemy of our soul?
Jesus tells us in the sermon on the mount. Let us read Matthew 7:24-25
(24) “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. (25) The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
Jesus is concluding his sermon on the mount. He has been teaching the gathered crowd for a long time on many subjects. This is his conclusion after all of the subjects he taught on.
Jesus says that everyone who hears his words AND puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. That is being just like Jesus.
Jesus knew construction. He was the son of a carpenter and worked under his adoptive dad, Joseph, for many years learning carpentry. That is what makes this illustration even more powerful. Here Jesus tells us that the wise man will hear his words AND put them into practice.
He compares someone who does that to a man who builds his house on a rock. That is a strong foundation. Floods, wind, rain, and fire are not going to do much to a rock. A house built on a rock can withstand a lot.
Build Your Life Just Like Jesus
A life that is built on hearing the words of Jesus AND putting them into practice is a life that can face the difficult times of life. To build our lives so they can face the storms of life, the rising floodwaters of chaos and uncertainty, and the shifting ground of society, we must have the wisdom, teaching, and protection of Jesus.
It is not good enough to just hear or read Jesus’ words. It is also not good enough to just go with what someone else says or is doing, even though they are reading and hearing Jesus’ words. We each must listen to Jesus and read His word and put His teachings into practice, just like Jesus.
This is all necessary to survive all the calamities that Satan is going to throw at us.
Imagine having all the right tools to build something, but you do not read the instructions on how to use them. Imagine building a house and having all the right tools and materials, but you ignore the plans. You just start cutting wood and nailing it together. That is not a house I want to live in.
I assure you that the devil will try anything to destroy your life and invalidate your testimony. He wants the storms of life to destroy you.
James 1:2-5 says:
(2) Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, (3) because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (4) Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (5) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
We all will face difficult times that will test our faith. Those difficult times teach us perseverance and endurance. When we persevere, we will produce character and grow into the mature Christ-like person we are called to be. We will lack nothing because we will be complete in Christ.
Ask God for Wisdom Just Like Jesus
When Solomon became king God asked him what he wanted. Let us read 1 Kings 3:4-14.
1 Kings 3:4-14
(4) The king went to Gibeon to offer sacrifices, for that was the most important high place, and Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. (5) At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” (6) Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. (7) “Now, LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. (8) Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. (9) So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (10) The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. (11) So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, (12) I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. (13) Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for—both wealth and honor—so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. (14) And if you walk in obedience to me and keep my decrees and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”
Seek the Lord for wisdom, he will give you what you need to stay the course and get through difficult times. God is faithful to give you exactly what you need to fulfill the mission he has called you to.
We must study the Bible and put what we learn into practice in our daily lives so we can stand firmly in the Lord, for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Psalm 119:11 says:
(11) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Have you hidden God’s word in your heart? Is it a part of you? That is how we become like Jesus. To know the character of Christ is to know his word and spend time in prayer. Do you study the words in red and live your life just like Jesus? Jesus’ teachings are powerful and practical.
Jesus teaches in such an encouraging and loving way, but you must spend time reading his words to know that.
We want to encourage you today to spend some time studying the Bible and then applying what you study to your life. As you read each passage of scripture, pray, and ask Jesus how it applies to you and your life right now.
We would love to hear some of what you learn. Share what you learn from your time in scripture and prayer in the comments below.
In the coming weeks, we will look at some specific things Jesus taught in the sermon on the mount, and we will talk about applying these to our everyday lives. This way we all can be just like Jesus.