The Message

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.”
– Matthew 7:24 (NIV)

Hear these words. Act on these words. In doing so, I will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. It is the “acting on” that builds the foundation of faith beneath my feet. I have yet to come across a quote from Jesus that promises wisdom, peace or love from just listening.

My own experience has shown me that what Jesus offers in Matthew 7:24 is absolute truth. When I hear his message and then make that message part of the way I live my life, a solid foundation of faith is built. However, there is more to how I hear that message than just sitting in a chair and listening to someone giving a sermon or testimony. I need to take it in, pray about it, ask questions when the message confuses me, and finally, understand it before I can start carrying it out in my actions as I go about my days.

Furthermore, once I begin acting on the message, I may very well trip over old behaviors that are resistant to the change. I may find people reacting in ways that are not welcoming of this new attitude of mine. In other words, at times it may not be easy to act on the message of Jesus that I now understand. When that happens, I need to ask myself this: was it ever really easy for Jesus? Absolutely not! As scandalous as it was for him to heal the sick on the Sabbath, he did it anyway. As controversial as it was for him to eat dinner with sinners, he did it anyway. As heretical as it seemed to others when he spoke the truth about who he was, he did it anyway.

Jesus understood the message and he lived it – no matter what the consequences. In doing so, his life became the Message. As I truly and completely following that Message, I can stand firmly on a foundation of rock, trusting that in my actions, I too become the message.

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