Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Building Life The Right Way
Matthew 7:24-25 (The Message Bible)
Jesus talking: "These words that I speak to you are not incidental additions too your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work (apply/practice them) these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit----but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock."
It's all about being in this for the long haul.
It's about a process that we move through.
It's about not quitting or giving up.
It's about the application of truth into our lives that brings change to our hearts, our nature and our character.
In other words, it is about cooperating with the Holy Spirit of God as He works in each of us.
Jesus' instruction is for real.
We may receive it from reading the Bible.
We may have it spoken to us by another individual.
We may have an intuitive knowing inside that leads us to carry out a certain behavior.
We many even have the word delivered to us by an angel.
We may hear His instruction in our hearts.
Doesn't matter how the word and instruction comes to us, what matters is that we apply it.
You know the funny part in all of this? I give up my own personal right to decide what I will or will not do. I no longer make the call when I know what it is I am to do in order to move on with my life and not hang around old places, old friends.
I am not the judge and jury of my choices.
Jesus is my directive...
Holy Spirit is my God....
God is my enabler through the grace that He gives to me.
Building a house takes time.
Especially when you think of how different this task was when Jesus spoke these words from Matthew 7. It was all manual labor. Hands on....back breaking.....sweating like a piece of bacon...kind of work. But in the end, you were provided with a place that would keep you safe from the weather.
Maybe we've become soft when it comes to following Jesus today, and this life of recovery that we say we all want.
Maybe we're not willing to expend the energy doing what we know to do that will propel us out of the old life into the stratosphere of the new life. As a friend of mine has told me over and over....."Everyone wants to be sober.....no one wants to do the work."
Now keep in mind the work my friend is talking about is the application of Twelve simple things. Taking them one at a time, like laying brick for this new house. Place a brick, put mortar on it, lay another brick. There is a pace to this work that comes when we choose to follow Jesus. There isn't any room for any shortcuts to completion. If we try to short cut the work, then the storms, floods, tornadoes and wind will reveal the flaws and weaknesses in our work. God gives us the plans (which are perfect)....God provides us with the materials we need to construct our new life/house (the materials are A #1 grade)....God gives us the strength and power to carry out this endeavor.....but we provide the sweat.
Sweatin' for Jesus.....
That's where real life is found.
Doing what He tells us to do is building something that will last while we're here on this ol' planet.
Think on this today....
God on you....
Parking lot was crowded yesterday. It was near noon and people were taking care of their business, hurrying in and out of the building. I...