Everyone builds their life on one foundation or another. Jesus taught that if you build your life on the wrong foundation, it’s just a matter of time before your world is filled with loss and regret.
Matthew 7:24-25 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 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 bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
Here are three takeaways from this parable of the wise and foolish builders.
Don’t Live Like a Fool
The two houses in the parable represent two types of so-called “Christians.” From the outside they look the same: they believe in God, attend church, and do “Christian” things. Both of them hear God’s word, but only one actually does what it says. According to Jesus, the person who doesn’t actually follow the God is a fool. John goes even further:
1 John 2:4 If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.
Foolish people are always in a hurry, not considering the consequences of their actions. They refuse to listen to instruction, believing instead that their own ideas are the best. Fools don’t stop and listen to what God has to say. And that leads to another devastating miscalculation….
Fools Think They Can Avoid Life’s Storms
Those who pretend to have faith, who have merely an intellectual commitment, or who enjoy Jesus in small doses are foolish builders. When the storms of life come, the lives of these foolish builders will be in ruins. But the wise person is prepared for life’s troubles. That’s why Jesus challenges us to inspect our faith now, not later.
But ultimately, Jesus is warning us about the final storm: the coming judgment. This is the context of the last three images in the Sermon on the Mount: the judgment of those who claim to follow Jesus but don’t actually do it. If the storms of life don’t beat you down, the storm of final judgment will. The Bible shows that every one of us will face God one day and give an account for our lives.
Hebrews 9:27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,
If you have trusted Jesus as your savior, you have received the forgiveness that comes through trusting in him. If not, you will be separated from God forever since your life lacks a firm foundation.
Wisdom Comes from Following God’s Word
The wise person lets the word of God fill every part of their life. They go to the Bible for counsel, decision-making, and the answers to moral questions. This may not translate to perfect obedience, but it’s a deep desire to do what God says in his word. And the sure result, in the long run, is that the message of Christ will have a transformative impact.
Colossians 3:16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives.
Fools, on the other hand, pick and choose what they want to accept from the Bible. Their faith is shallow and short-lived, and they’ll see that for themselves as soon as the storm comes to their doorstep.
Remember that God’s word will never fail you. It has the power to transform and grow you (Isaiah 55:10-11). So make a habit of reading God’s word for yourself every day. And if you choose to build your life on its foundation, you’ll experience a life with no regrets.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- Make a list of some of the “foundations” people build their lives on. Why are these foundations shaky?
- Read 1 John 2:4. What does John call the person who doesn’t truly live out his faith? What does Jesus call that person in Matthew 7:24-25?
- What are some ways we can inspect our faith now to see if it will survive the storms of life? How can we strengthen that faith?
- Share a time when you were tempted to pick and choose what you wanted to believe the Bible. What’s wrong with this strategy?
- Read Colossians 3:16. How can you personally apply this in your own life?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.