From: Su Min
Subject: The Rock
Grace and peace to you from God our Father!Today's reading is Matt 7:24-29. Jesus is completing his sermon on the mount. His teachings may be segmented into 5 broad areas.
- Characteristics of kingdom citizens: the beatitudes: 5:3-12
- Function of the Kingdom citizens: to be salt; to be light. 5:13- 16
- Standards of law for the Kingdom citizens: the spirit of the law and the letter. Murder, adultery, divorce, oaths, retaliation & love. 5:17-48
- Attitudes of Kingdom Citizens: Alms, prayer, fasting, wealth, anxiety, judging others, ask, seek, knock, enter the narrow gate, bear good fruit 6:1- 7:22
- Concluding exhortations to Kingdom citizens :today's passage...
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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundations on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; and it fell with a great crash (Matt 7:24-27)."
With a nostalgic smile we remember the Sunday School action song "the wise man built his house upon the rock". Praise God for Sunday School teachers!
Jesus teaches us to not only hear his words but to put them into practice. To hear his words and to do his will is to build our house on a firm foundation, the Rock who is the Christ.
What are the teachings that he has expounded in the sermon on the mount?
- Recognise the poverty of your spiritual life Matt 5:3
- Mourn for this spiritual poverty Matt 5:4
- Be meek Matt 5:5
- Hunger and thirst for righteousness Matt 5:6
- Be merciful Matt 5:7
- Be pure in heart Matt 5:8
- Be peacemakers Matt 5:9
- Rejoice if you are persecuted for upholding God's values Matt 5:10
- Rejoice and be glad if you are insulted and persecuted for Christ's sake Matt 5:11
- Let others see your good deeds so that God may be praised Matt 5:16
- Practice and teach the law of the prophets Matt 5:19
- Reconcile with your brother before offering gifts to God Matt 5:24
- Do not indulge in lustful thoughts Matt 5:28
- If your right eye causes you to sin gouge it out and throw it away Matt 5:29
- Do not cause your wife to commit adultery by divorcing her Matt 5:32
- Do not swear, simply let your yes be yes, your no be no. Matt 5:37
- Do not resist an evil person Matt 5:39
- Give to the one who asks you Matt 5:40
- Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you Matt 5:44
- Do your charity in private Matt 6:4
- Pray in private Matt 6:6
- Forgive Matt 6:14
- Fast in secret Matt 6:17
- Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven Matt 6:20
- Look at holy things Matt 6:22
- Choose between God and money Matt 6:24
- Do not worry about temporal needs Matt 6:25
- Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness Matt 6:33
- Do not judge others Matt 7:1
- Use discretion when spreading the gospel Matt 7:6
- Ask, seek and knock Matt 7:7
- Do unto others what you would have them do to you Matt 7:12
- Enter though the narrow gates that leads to life Matt 7:13
- Watch for false prophets, recognise them by their fruit Matt 7:20
- Do the will of God Matt 7:21
Hear Jesus speak to you today.
Record a score of 1 to 5 for each of these 35 areas to reflect how much each one of these teachings means to you.
There are no "right" answers. God speaks to each of us individually. He comes to meet each one of us at our very point of need. Focus your thoughts on those topics for which you have scored 5.
- Not important
- Just a little important
- Moderately important
- Quite important
- Very important.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law (Matt 7:28-29).
So too, we are amazed at His authority and his teaching.
Amazed as we are, we will not build our house on sand.
We want a house that will stand up to the flood, rains, wind and storm.
Let us pray.
Abba, Father, thank you for our lesson today.
Thank you for your Holy Word that contains your law and your will for us.
Thank you for sending Jesus to save us.
Thank you for sending Jesus to teach us.
Father, help us build our house on The Rock by hearing Jesus and putting what he teaches into practice.
For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min
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