February 1, 2021 Our Daily Bread Devotional : Topic – A House on a Rock
Bible in a Year:
Everyone who [practices] these words of mine . . . is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Today’s Scripture : Matthew 7:24–29(NIV)
In Matthew 7:24–29 we find the closing words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount—the first of five major public addresses recorded in Matthew’s gospel. This sermon launched Christ’s public ministry, and from the very beginning it would have had profound echoes for His Jewish listeners. The sermon opens with a series of “beatitudes” that all begin with the phrase “blessed are” (5:1–11). His Jewish listeners would have easily connected that idea with the opening stanza of Psalm 1:1, which begins with the words, “Blessed is the one.” What does it mean to be “blessed”? Scholars Raymond Brown and Kenneth Bailey explain that blessed (Greek makarios; Hebrew `asIr) doesn’t mean to be “part of a wish” or to “invoke a blessing.” Rather, these words “recognize an existing state of happiness or good fortune. . . . [They] affirm a present reality or point out a state of spirituality that is already present.”
Message : As many as 34,000 homes in one US state are at risk of collapsing due to faulty foundations. Without realizing it, a concrete company pulled stone from a quarry laced with a mineral that, over time, causes concrete to crack and disintegrate. The foundations of nearly six hundred homes have already crumbled, and that number will likely skyrocket over time.
Jesus used the image of building a home atop a faulty foundation to explain the far riskier danger of building our lives on unsteady ground. He explained how some of us construct our life on sturdy rock, ensuring that we hold solid when we face fierce storms. Others of us, however, erect our lives on sand; and when the tempests rage, our lives tumble “with a great crash” (Matthew 7:27). The one distinction between building on an unshakable foundation and a crumbling one is whether or not we put Christ’s words “into practice” (v. 26). The question isn’t whether or not we hear His words, but whether we practice them as He enables us.
There’s much wisdom offered to us in this world—plus lots of advice and help—and much of it is good and beneficial. If we base our life on any foundation other than humble obedience to God’s truth, however, we invite trouble. In His strength, doing what God says is the only way to have a house, a life, built on rock.
Reflect & Pray
Whose wisdom, insights, or opinions do you listen to the most? How can you better build your life’s foundation by putting Jesus’ words into practice?
God, so much of what I experience feels unsteady and temporary, a life built on sand. I want to live a solid life. Help me to obey You.
To learn more about the life and teachings of Jesus, see ChristianUniversity.org/NT218.