I have a dilapidated old basement barn in my back yard. It looks okay from the road because of the steel on the two sides of it, but once you go in the top part, you realize the floor is weak and its starting to fall apart. If you go in the basement, you see it’s a foundation issue. The hill leading up to the top part is pushing on the weak basement wall causing the beams to shift, break, and come out of joint. Had the foundation been done better, the barn may not be quite so deteriorated.
Similarly in our own lives, we may have foundations for our morals or mindsets that were not laid well or on good ground. When the pressures of this world push our foundation, our beliefs and conduct are at risk of coming apart. In the next portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls us to reassure our foundation is secure.
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 stream rose, and the winds blew and beat the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
As previously mentioned, when in the bible God says “therefore,” it is our cue to lean in and pay attention. The words that follow are of great importance and should be heeded. Jesus saying here “therefore” is concluding his sermon and is calling the listeners to action. If you have read the Sermon on the Mount or any part of the bible previously or just now through these blog posts, you are called to make a decision. Do you obey the radical words of Christ, or do you continue down your own path using your own moral compass?
The reason it is said, “ignorance is bliss” is because the ignorant aren’t called up to a higher standard. Once you know better, God calls you to be better. This isn’t easy. It’ll cost you something. Living according to God’s standards will cost you your pride, your hate, your judgment, your selfishness, and other aspects of our lives that Jesus has called out in the Sermon on the Mount. It will be painful and humbling. The more I learn about God and his word, the less I realize I know and the more I realize how far from being like him I actually am.
But more than it costs you, living out the commands of God rewards you. In it, you find security, trust, and hope. While we don’t earn our faith, we live it out daily by building our lives on Jesus. Our faith isn’t built on the rock by merely hearing the words of God, but rather by hearing, believing, and obeying them. In those things, we find ourselves set on a foundation that can weather the storms of trials and judgment.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not pit them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house, and it fell with a great crash.
Once you know better, you have the choice to be better or stay the same. Its easier to stay the same, but it comes at it’s own cost as well.
We could choose to pick apart the bible and live only by what fits our agenda and what is most comfortable. That is our choice. God made us with free will and he will not stop us. But we will die responsible for our own sins and therefore be judged accordingly.
In Ezekiel 33, God calls Ezekiel out as a watchman for the people. He calls him to warn them of upcoming disaster. If he warns them yet the people refuse to listen, they are responsible for their own disaster. But if he does not warn them, the people will still fall into disaster, but Ezekiel will be responsible.
If you are reading this, you have been exposed to the word of God that exposes the sin in our lives. If you’ve read the Sermon on the Mount, you know the life Jesus is calling you to live. You have been shown the way in which you need to walk. You know, therefore, you are now responsible for your foundation. If you choose to build your life on anything short of the rock which is Jesus Christ, you are building on sand and you are responsible for your own disaster.
There’s so many other ideologies that appeal to our own desires. Post modernism, post truth, self salvation, even other religions can seem more satiating than the hard truths of the gospel. Yet all other beliefs but salvation through faith in the one and only Messiah is shifting sand and cannot withstand the storm of judgment.
The more you know of God and his word, the more you are obliged to live it out. This is why I used to hate the Sermon on the Mount. I didn’t want to be called to a higher standard of living than the mediocre one I was at. And, frankly, it still pricks at my pride and shows me all the areas I’m falling short and in need of grace. But it also gives me a solid, well laid foundation. By Jesus alone, my beliefs, moral code, paradigms, and entirety of life is on an unshakable, unsinkable, unmovable foundation. On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.