In last weekend's sermon, I spoke from the parable of the wise and foolish builder. I focused on the need to build a foundation of obedience in our lives. We will be truly wise if we allow the teachings of Jesus to take hold of our lives and not just our minds.
A related way of applying the lesson of this parable is to focus on "practise." For "everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." (Matthew 7:24) Indeed the Christian faith only takes on reality and become truth in us when we put it into practise. We may do so very imperfectly and may struggle to have mastery over some areas of our lives. It could even be a lifelong struggle. But being a practicing Christian, you never cease to look at His grace, which indeed is made perfect in our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9).
In practicing, we grow. We keep our hearts broken before him. We avoid living in self-deception. In our fellowship with others - and this is key as we think about our communal culture in MPCC - we seek to be real and open. We learn to bear each other's burdens and in so doing, fulfil the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2 - which is love, instead of being judgmental).
The fact is, following Jesus is a journey. I will fail repeatedly and so will you. As men and women created in His image, we also intuitively know that we are made for better things. We want to be a positive influence to others. We want to be fishers of men. We do no want to be slaves to our sins and waste our lives away. We want our lives to glorify Him.
As Christians living in a world which is changing by the day, we have to dig deep into the ancient and time-proven truth of His Word. May His Word be a lamp to our feet and a guide to our path (Psalm 119:105). May it show us where we can walk safely and avoid danger in our paths. May it reveal the truth of things so that we seek reality as they are and not be in a state of drunkenness and stupor, unaware of how wrong we can be (and thus foolish). May we not live by bread alone (basal desires and needs) but by every word of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). May we walk fully into the abundant life He has promised us (John 10:10).
May your house, like the wise man's, stand tall and strong through life.