“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. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”
– Matthew 7:24-27 (Jesus speaking; our 26th segment of the Sermon on the Mount)
These are the final words Jesus speaks in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew makes a concluding statement so we’ll have one more post in this series tomorrow.)
What are the final words Jesus speaks in the most extensive discourse from Him we have on the subject of the kingdom of God? “Act on what I’m teaching!” In other words, “Don’t just hear it; do it!”
This is reminiscent of something the prophet Ezekiel had written long before:
“But as for you, son of man, your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, ‘Come now and hear what the message is which comes forth from the Lord.’ They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain. Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. So when it comes to pass–as surely it will–then they will know that a prophet has been in their midst.”
– Ezekiel 33:30-33
It’s a sad, sad thing to hear God’s teaching and not act on it. Acting mistakenly is better than not acting at all. This is because you can always learn from a mistake, but you cannot learn from an attempt you never made.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, whenever I learn something from You, help me remember to promptly put it into practice…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)