God builds us on the hope we have in Jesus but he also uses us in his building effort.
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
I’ve done carpentry, laser cutting, designed and assembled electronics, even built flat pack furniture, but the building in this passage wasn’t so clear to me. I had heard it explained a few different ways but I wasn’t sure who’s building and what’s being built.
I’ve heard that I am the builder, the rock is Jesus’ wisdom, and if I didn’t build on the rock when hard times came, my life could be ruined. Another explanation said that I am the builder, the rock is Jesus’ commands and I had to be careful to build my life well. If I wasn’t careful I could find out I wasn’t really a Christian on judgement day.
I don’t think either of these is what Jesus is saying. Jesus cares more about whether we’re saved from our sin than whether we’re successful, and our salvation comes through faith, graciously given to us by God, not by our works.
When I read this parable I see that God is the ultimate builder, and the rock is the hope that I’ll join in Jesus’ resurrection, saved by his blood. If I don’t have that hope then I have no hope on judgement day, no matter what my life looks like.
So why would Jesus emphasise doing what he says?
One reason my actions matter because they reveal where I’ve put my hope. If I trust in Jesus, my life should be changed. But God is also building through my actions. God is building me whenever I read the Bible or pray. God is building me when others encourage me or serve me and when I encourage or serve others. And God is building me when I do the hard work of bringing my life into line with his. Because God’s saved me, he’s given me a part to play in his amazing building effort. And that’s true for anyone who follows him!
I don’t have to worry if my life will crumble. I don’t need to worry if I’m really a Christian. My life is safe and my hope is certain because God is building on what Jesus has already done.
Head: How has God been building you? What changes can you see?
Heart: We are responsible for how we live our lives and part of God’s building effort in our lives is given to us. What do you need to change? How do you need to turn to Jesus?
Hands: How can you be playing a part in God’s building efforts in church, your family, with your friends or in your workplace or place of study?
Prayer: Our father, thank you that in everything you are building us to be like Jesus. Thank you for the ways you have changed me so far. Please keep changing my heart to love you and love others around me, and help me to keep coming to Jesus, hearing his words and putting them into practice.
A song to listen to: Raised with Christ