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Today in Matthew chapter 7 we wrap up the Sermon on the Mount! Not a bad 3 chapters of teaching from Jesus, eh? :) Verse 20 was insightful for me today: "Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit that is produced." I think this verse goes back to my post yesterday about how we are still to identify or perceive the types of people we come in contact with - without judging them or condemning them. And one good to way to identify someone is by the type of fruit they produce - actions they demonstrate or lives they lead. And while it may sometimes be easier to identify other people's fruit... maybe we ought to look at our own lives too. What type of fruit is your life producing? Is it life-giving fruit for those you come in contact with? And let us not forget Jesus' warning in verse 15 today about how we are to identify false teachers. Do you believe there are false teachers in our world today? What are their fruits that you will know them by?
Verse 24 is strong: "Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock." Have you really listened to Jesus' teaching these past few days as you read through the Sermon on the Mount? And - will you now obey Jesus' teaching? Would this be wise? Would this be like building a house on solid rock? Will you stay out of the sands of sin?
Matthew 7:25 I think is an important verse for us to meditate upon in our own lives: "Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock." I never paid too much attention to this verse - I always focused on verse 24 and building a strong foundation on solid rock. But, I had lunch with a friend recently and he shared with me that this verse 25 - and verse 27 too - should be a reminder to each of us that storms will come in our lives. And I think this is so true. Sometimes we go through wonderful seasons of blessing, and we may think that storms will never come our way - but guess what, they will. If we are followers of Jesus - Jesus who endured an unimaginable storm during his passion and crucifixion - storms will come our way too. So, then, the key becomes if we know storms will come, we really should pay attention to verse 24 and build up a strong foundation of faith during the times of calm. It's kind of like the idea of saving for a rainy day - the day will come when it rains. So let us build up our faith and love in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit today! So that when the storms of life come our way, we will not collapse, but will remain faithful to the beautiful end. My friends, the storms will come. But with Jesus, we do not need to fear them or collapse under them when they come!
Bible.org's commentary on our readings in Matthew chapter 7 today titled "Mistaken Identity" is at this link.
Worship God: Jesus' teachings about storms in Matthew today reminded me immediately of the incredible song “Even If” by MercyMe. I don't know what it is about all these storm songs on KLOVE radio that are resonating with me lately - Casting Crowns song "Praise You in This Storm" being another favorite song - other than I know this: It's not a matter of "if" storms will come in our life. It's a matter of "when." Storms will come. And when they do, we have the option to try to weather the storms all on our own. Or we have the option to invite God into the storms with us. Well, I believe God's already there with us in the storms even if we don't realize it - so, I think we can simply open our hearts and praise God in the storms! He will never abandon us or leave us. Even in the midst of the worst storms this fallen world might bring, God is there with us. Will you praise God in the storms?
Do you believe there is a God who is worthy of being praised even in the midst of storms in your life? Click here to get to know God of heaven and earth who is worthy of being praised in the storms!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "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." Matthew 7:24 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will hear God's Word in your life this year. Pray that you will put God's Word into practice in your life this year. Pray that your life will be built on the rock that is Jesus. Pray that Jesus will sustain you in the storms of life, now and forevermore.
Comments from You and Questions of the Day: Based on the knowledge that storms will come into our life, what are you doing in your life to build a firm foundation of faith? Reading the Bible regularly? Going to church regularly? Being part of a small group or community group or Bible study with other Christians regularly? Praying regularly? What else? Do you think that storms will come to your life? Have you experienced storms in your life in the past where your faith has been your firm foundation and has gotten you through the storm? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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