Every person has a dream for the kind of “house” they want to build with their life. The parable in Matthew 7 illustrates how the success or failure of one’s house is predicated on the decision to build it on wisdom and truth. A well-built life results from the decision to establish that life on the activated Word of God, and not the appearance of truth – which is often tainted with the foolish opinions and reasoning of man. In the parable, two men have the same dream of having a well-built house. They hear the same Word of God from the same Jesus, they each face the same storms in life. Yet, they have totally different outcomes.
The house referred to in this Bible passage refers to the totality of life – every part of life in which a person wants to experience success and well-being. For example, the house can signify a dream of a fruitful life or a life well-lived. It can also refer to the legacy of an individual as it relates to their family, their faith or impact and influence. The house can also represent the house of government – the benefit to society from individual commitments people make to live according to the rule of God over their lives.
Both individuals in this passage wanted the same thing: to build their houses well. Despite their similarities, there was one difference that made one a wise man and the other a fool: the wise man decided to apply spiritual truths to life’s realities while the fool did not. The wise man built his house on the rock – a strong foundation that could stand that test of life’s storms. The foolish man expected the same outcome even though he had not made the same wise investment in building. The problem that many people face in today’s culture is that they build their lives, families, churches and civil governments on the wrong foundation.
In Matthew 7:26, we are reminded that the foundation is not only tied to information, but also to execution. We cannot merely be hearers of the Word, but we must also be doers of the Word. If you are going to build a solid foundation, it has got to be on the foundation of the activated Word of God, not just the known Word of God. Sometimes people are tempted not to make a clear choice. God says you cannot build a dumbed-down foundation. God’s Word should be activated in an unadulterated way in our lives. You cannot have just enough of God to be “safe.” When we take God’s truth and dip it in human opinion, we nullify God’s Word and negate the power we can experience in our lives as a result.
Until a storm arises, we typically don’t know the wise man from the fool. When the storm comes, the circumstances in a person’s life can reveal the makeup of the foundation upon which an individual has built. The message of the story is clear: don’t build a skyscraper on a chicken coop foundation! When the hurricanes come, a chicken coop life will not withstand the storms.
There is good news about storms to consider, though. Even unexpected storms can help you assess your foundation. If you find that your foundation needs reinforcement or even rebuilding, ask God to calm the storms and allow you to reset your foundation on His Word.
- As the world begins to reopen, and as we are encouraged to slowly reengage in everyday life, how is your world changing? Have you gone back to work? Are you getting out? What concerns do you have? How are the changes affecting you?
- After hearing this week’s sermon, which of Dr. Evans’ points resonated most with you? What is your main takeaway?
Let’s Get Personal
- What does it mean to be “doers of the word, and not merely hearers?” Which one do you consider yourself to be? Share your thoughts about your life with your group.
- In what way have you recently felt convicted about activating the Word of God in your life? Have you been obedient as God reveals Himself and His will to you? Why or why not?
- What does it look like for you to have a “well-built life?” Think about this question in terms of your impact on family and friends, faith, community, and culture. Are your current actions and activities connected to God’s will? Will your vision for a well-built life come to pass based on the way you currently construct your days or daily decisions you make?
Take the Next Step
- Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in some level of “storm” for most of us. What has this storm revealed about your foundation? Where are you encouraged or challenged to reassess or rebuild the foundation of your life?
- What practical steps can you take this week to begin to intentionally build your house on a firm foundation? What specific things can you do in the near term to activate the Word of God in your life and operate as a wise man or woman in your everyday life?
- Want to go deeper? Take a look at the following passages: Ezekiel 44:11; Joshua 24:15; Genesis 7:1; James 1:23; 1 Corinthians 5:8.
Renew Your Mind
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them,
may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”