Sunday 6 July, 2014

Matthew 7:15-29

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you pretending to be sheep. But on the inside they are hungry wolves. 16 You can tell what they really are by what they do. “Do people pick grapes from bushes? Do they pick figs from thorns? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit. But a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t bear bad fruit. And a bad tree can’t bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down. It is thrown into the fire. 20 You can tell each tree by its fruit. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven. Only those who do what my Father in heaven wants will enter. 22 “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord! Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we drive out demons in your name? Didn’t we do many miracles in your name?’ 23 Then I will tell them clearly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who do evil!’ 24 “So then, everyone who hears my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man. He builds his house on the rock. 25 The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. But it does not fall. It is built on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man. He builds his house on sand. 27 The rain comes down. The water rises. The winds blow and beat against that house. And it falls with a loud crash.” 28 Jesus finished saying all these things. The crowds were amazed at his teaching. 29 He taught like one who had authority. He did not speak like their teachers of the law.

When pressure comes from all directions – when I’m tired, when I’m battling with my thinking, when I’m overloaded at work, when I’ve got a busy schedule, when the home to-do list looks more like a novel in length, when there’s sickness, when there’s tension in relationships, when there are decisions to be made, when prayers seem to be unanswered… Do I collapse or stand strong? What’s my foundation when the conditions get tough?

Am I positioning myself to hear God’s words? – Am I in the Word daily? Am I at church? What friends am I listening to? What music am I listening to? Am I giving God space to speak?

Am I acting on those words? – Am I taking time to figure out how to apply those words to my life? Am I reminding myself to apply those words? Am I making changes to my day, my schedule, my priorities and the way I do things in order to act on those words?

God, please help me to maintain the disciplines of positioning myself to hear your words and of applying them, no matter what pressures I am experiencing. Help me to recognise that as I diligently maintain that foundation your promise is that the pressures won’t destroy me and that when they pass I will still be standing. Amen.

Written by Beth Waugh

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