Matthew 7:21-27 NRSVue
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you who behave lawlessly.’
24“Everyone, then, who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
One of the rocks of the Christian life is the word of God. The word of God speaks for every occasion and for every anxiety. Let the bible be an open book for us and then God will be an open book. Familiarity with the word of God comes from hearing it at different occasions of prayer and worship, and from reading it personally for ourselves. Lines of the psalms can be like mantra or slogans or logos which are always with us. We can also take some courses in bible and the gospel which deepen our appreciation of the word of God. The scenes of the Holy Land can bring the bible really alive as picturing the places Jesus lived gives new energy to our reading of the gospels.
Think of coastal erosion, and you can picture a house gradually collapsing because it was built on sand. Foundations are weak. Soon it will disappear altogether. Jesus uses the everyday example of building on rock. The same is true for our decisions and purposes in life. If we build on the rock of finance, reputation, control, we can collapse. Love of God and love of neighbour are the rock of a life that is fully human, fully alive, fully Christ-like.
Building on rock is difficult, challenging and time-consuming. It may sometimes seem that my prayer is like that! I allow God to take the time to set the solid foundation, to do the slow work of careful measuring as together we built what I gradually realise is something solid and dependable.
Jesus says, “Listen and act." I take this time to listen and pray that God be with me during the day as I act in Jesus’ name.