In Jesus’ Words: The Two Foundations (Matthew 7:24-29)

tornado tree(tree uprooted from a tornado that passed by our house)

The foundation of a home is rarely noticed unless there is a problem.  But it makes all the difference.  At the end of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he gives one final statement.  He doesn’t beg or threaten, he simply gives people a choice and the truth.

~ Matthew 7:24-29  The Two Foundations ~

“Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.  The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”

When Jesus had finished this sermon, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, because He was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.

When my young husband and I walked into our brand-new home for the first time back in 1992, we stopped at the entrance-way and prayed.  It was the first thing we did in our new home.  We didn’t have a clue about what life would bring us over the years, but all I knew was that I wanted God’s protection in our home.  Through all our mistakes, joys and sadness, God provided just that.  He protected our home.  Not only in the physical way, from the time we watched a tornado pass by the side of our house, but also in the spiritual way, where we have watched our son grow into a fine young man and be protected from the destructive elements that take hold of so many of our youth.  We weren’t perfect, and we’ve had job layoffs and heartache along the way, but I believe God paid attention to that simple request of ours so many years ago, and has kept us from great collapse.

Protect your home.  Make it the one place in the world where your family can be loved, accepted, and have a place they can always return to.  A place where evil is shut out.  A place of refuge for your family.  Make it a place of warmth, where good food is served and there is laughter and photographs and child’s drawings on the walls, and not just a place where you collect the latest and most expensive stuff.  And these days, the perimeter of our home is more than just the walls and yard; we must protect what comes in through our television and internet too.  If you ask God, in all sincerity, He will make a promise to  you, to be the God of your home and to protect you and your family.

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In Jesus’ Words: Adultery and Divorce (Matthew 5:27-32)

Jesus-sermon-on-the-mountI wonder how many people got up and walked away from the crowd when Jesus started talking about adultery and divorce during his Sermon on the Mount.  It’s fine to talk about Blessings and Salt and Light, but now Jesus comes to this part of his sermon.  Some people may have even mumbled, “Who does this guy think he is to tell me how to run my life!”  Oh wait….

If Jesus is who he said he was – the Son of God and the one who would die for our sins to keep us from going to hell – then what he says truly matters.  This is the direct voice of God.  We have all wished for God to speak to us at times, and Jesus does just that.

The subject of adultery, sexual sins, and divorce can bring up a lot of pain and hurt with many people.  Yet Jesus did not avoid the subject or the truth.  He was warning the crowds about those things that can keep us away from seeking God and repentance, and therefore might lead to eternal separation in hell.  Nothing on this earth is worth that gamble.  Jesus also knew that even 2000 years later, this subject would be more important than ever, as we have seen the breakdown of the family and marriage, pornography addiction, and sexual abuse crimes increase in astonishing numbers like we have never seen before.  Here is what Jesus said on the subject:

~ Matthew 5:27-32 – Adultery in the Heart and Divorce ~

“You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery.  But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell!”

“It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce.  But I tell you, everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

Marriage, like life, is never free from problems nor should we expect it to be.  I have been married 24 years and have lived in our home 22 years.  I’ve been told by others that I do not like change… but I like to think of it more as a comfort and safe haven instead.  I’ve known people who move to a new house every few years so they always have the most modern things and latest kitchen.  It feels shiny and new and exciting, but the problem is everything eventually becomes old.  Though my house may show a little wear and tear after 22 years of life, I like knowing there is always one place in this world where my family and I can return to at the end of the day, and know that we are loved and accepted and always welcome.  It is a safe boundary where Jesus is present and evil is not welcome within our doors.  The inevitable of growing old will happen to us too, no matter how many shiny new things I may buy, and I take comfort in knowing I will grow old with the one person who knows me best, puts up with the good and the bad, and is not just around during the good times.

I realize we don’t all have this choice in life, but if the decision is yours to make, I sincerely hope you will choose long life over temporary things.  Yet no matter what your situation may be, know that Jesus can be your home and safe haven.  He will never leave you or harm you, never stop loving you, and He is preparing a far better home for us than we can ever imagine here on earth.

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