Today’s Scrip-Bit   4 September 2022 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.       Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his home upon a rock. 

It’s time friends, to gather at the Master’s place to celebrate another Sunday of abundant life with praise, thanksgiving and worship! And do these Sundays ever come around quickly. (smile) But we do enjoy the awesome fellowship and togetherness they engender, as we meet and greet and encourage each other in the Lord God Almighty. There’s nothing like a group of sincere believers singing, praising and worshipping our Creator! It’s so filled with LOVE, joy and peace that unbelievers can’t believe their eyes when they see us worship. 

So, without further ado, let’s begin the celebrations with this wonderful song of praise and thanksgiving written way back around 1837, by the English pastor Edward Mote, (1797-1874) titled ‘My Hope is built on Nothing Less.’ It must be a wonderful song to have stood the test of time. (smile) Oh yes, it is! Therefore, let’s raise our voices in sacrificial praise, with heartfelt sincerity, in a harmonious, scintillating up-beat tempo, because it’s a joyful song. 

‘My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. (Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.) When darkness veils his lovely face I rest on His unchanging grace In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil. (Refrain) His oath, his covenant, his blood Supports me in the ‘whelming flood When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay. (Refrain) 

Not earth, nor hell, my soul can move; I rest upon unchanging LOVE. I trust his righteous character, his counsel, promise, and his pow’r. [Refrain] When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh, may I then in him be found, dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain: On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand… Oh thank You Lord…You solid rock…’ 

That was most excellent my faithful brethren! It left heaven with no doubt that we truly believe in and appreciate our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, using Him as the foundation stone, ‘the corner stone that the builder refused’ upon which to build our lives. I don’t think we can pay Him a greater compliment than that, especially after He gave up His life so that we could be saved from eternal damnation. And it’s obvious that Pastor Mote had the awesome words of Jesus re the two foundations that one can build upon in this world, at the forefront of his mind when he wrote the song. 

Please read with me, what Jesus taught His followers. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who built his home upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.’ (Matt. 7:24-25) 

Yes friends, that house was founded upon THE rock called Jesus, so no wind, rain or flood could destroy it, because Jesus is also the Master of the wind, rain and flood. Note how He calmed the storm out on the Sea of Galilee, when the disciples were so afraid that the boat would capsize because of the stormy sea and they would drown, while Jesus was napping unconcernedly in the stern of the boat. 

In answer to their frightful pleas of ‘Master, carest thou not that we perish?’ Jesus got up, no doubt somewhat annoyed that His peaceful nap was disturbed by a bunch of wimps, who hadn’t really learned anything about Him, despite the time they spent with Him. The Good Book says: ‘And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this (who can this be), that even the wind and the sea obey him?’ (Mark 4:38-41) 

Now, if they had been paying serious attention to Jesus’ words and deeds they would have realized that He created the winds and the seas, so they would naturally obey Him! In any case, I like these two explanations that the scholars offer re verses 40 and 41. As per 40, where Jesus asks the disciples why they were so afraid and had no faith, they say: ‘Jesus constantly questions in order to spur people to deeper trust. See 2:8, 19, 25, 26: 3:4, 23, 33; 4:13, 21, 30.’ Please look up those references, they are rather interesting and enlightening. 

And as per verse 41, where the disciples were deathly afraid, the scholars say: ‘The fear must have been a mixture of reverential awe and real fright – it would be chillingly eerie to witness the instantaneous dissipation of a violent storm.’ And is that ever the truth. I believe that even today, even with all that we know about Jesus powers, if we saw Him talk to a storm and it quietens right away, we too would be somewhat scared. So we can’t be too harsh and condemning on the young disciples. 

But let’s get back to our major topic, Jesus’ discourse on the two foundations. He continues by saying: ‘And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt. 7:26-27) Please note friends, that the house didn’t just fall, but great was its fall. That means more important negative stuff happened when the house fell. 

And the scholars offer this interesting explanation on Jesus’ words. They say: ‘In drawing his concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counsellor, Jesus reminded His listeners that hearing His message alone will not change his life. he must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrine of men as opposed to “these sayings” of Jesus.’ 

So it’s obvious friends, that although we may labour long and hard to build our spiritual lives, if we build them on human opinions and the doctrines of men, instead of the strong foundation rock-like sayings of Jesus, our lives will eventually take a big tumble, all because of our unwise actions in building on insecure and shifting sands, as dictated by the prince of darkness and this world. 

And we’ll close today with these fitting words of Bruh David from Psalm 18, sub-titled – Thanksgiving for Deliverance- when the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies, including Saul. Bruh David opens the psalm with this joyful proclamation: ‘I will LOVE thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength (rock), in whom I will trust; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower (stronghold). I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.’ (Ps. 18:1-3) 

Oh friends, if it’s one thing you cannot say about Bruh David, is that he had little faith. (smile) So please let’s get ourselves together and build our faith, so that we can proudly declare like Bruh David did, and live the way Christ desires of us. Much LOVE!

…only two options…build on Satan’s shifting sand…or on the solid rock of Jesus…it’s your choice… 

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