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Text Box: Living Rightly—Building with Foresight



Text Box: (Matthew 7:24-27 NIV)  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
(Revelation 3:17-19 NIV)  You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
(1 Corinthians 3:11-14 NIV)  For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.  If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,  his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
(James 2:20,24 NIV)  You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? {24}You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

Text Box: Here’s the conclusion of Jesus’ Sermon.  He makes a distinction between those who hear and do vs. those who hear only.  Sounds like the difference between those who try to justify themselves with an empty faith (faith only advocates) and those who show their faith by what they do (James 2:20, 24).  In this last word picture Jesus illustrates the person who chose to have Him as their foundation and the person who chose to remain stuck on their own worldly paradigm.  Both people in the parable heard Jesus’ words & worked hard to build a house.  Both probably lived a life with similar challenges and may have looked the same to any outsider.  Both were recipients of rising streams, rains and winds.  They seemed to be weathering the storm for some time, but at the end, only one was left standing.  On the surface they looked the same, but only in the end the kind of foundation they were building on was revealed by the storms the house weathered. 
What was the difference?  One acted upon the words He heard from Jesus.  He may have had a certain approach to life, a certain model that guided his motives and decision making.  But when He heard Jesus’ words, he changed his paradigm.  He followed In His Footsteps by first becoming poor in Spirit (The 1st Step: Give Everything Up! Page 1) and allowing Jesus to fill him up.  The foolish man heard everything Jesus said, and thought that the house he was building was just as good as the wise man’s house.  What the foolish man failed to realize was that his own paradigm was not sufficient.  He didn’t really trust Jesus, he just looked at Jesus words as optional advice, in case something went terribly wrong after trying every other option he had in his model of thinking.  This man didn’t think he really needed to change.  He thought he was fine.  Maybe he thought he only needed to change superficially, like going to church every Sunday, attending all the assembly meetings, increasing his contribution, etc.  Not that these things are unimportant, but these things should come as a result of internal conviction, not to try to fool others or yourself into thinking you have changed.
In both cases the storms would prove the quality of the house being built.  Storms are extremely necessary in our life.  By them you will be able to test the quality of the house you are building.  If your house seems to be falling apart at the seems, then you have been building on your ideas and ways as opposed to Jesus’ way (1 Corinthians 3:11-14).  Be honest, earnest and repent (Revelation 3:17-19), so that your house may be restored.

In His Footsteps © 1998                                                  






Text Box: Living Rightly—Building with Foresight






Read Matthew 7:24-27.  What was the difference between what the wise man did and the foolish man did?  When you hear only, what kind of foundation are you building on?  What must you do to build on a foundation of solid rock?  Who is the Rock (1 Peter 2:4-8)?  Who is it that stumbles and falls?  Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-14.  Why should you be careful how you build?  What kind of materials do you want to build with, costly ones or cheap ones?  What kind of work/attitude do you show in God’s Kingdom/Church?  What will test the quality of your work?  Do you enjoy going through fire (testing/trials James 1:2-4)?  Is it necessary to go through fire in this life to avoid the real fire in the end (Revelation 20:12-15)?  Read 2 Corinthians 5:10.  On what basis will you receive what is due to you?



Read Proverbs 9:1.  What builds a strong house? Read Ecclesiastes 10:18.  What makes a house sag and leak?  Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.  Read John 4:34-38.  What should occupy your mind?  When is the time to do God’s work?  Should we delay in doing what we know needs to be done? Read 1 Timothy 5:13.  The fruit of idleness shows itself in what ways according to this passage?  Read John 9:4.  What must we do while we are in this body?



Sometimes you may get tired while building your house.  The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  What must you depend on to not slack off in building with good materials?  Read Romans 12:11.  How can you keep your spiritual fervor?  How do you renew your zeal?  Keep serving even though you may be tired!  Read Colossians 3:23, 24.  What attitude needs to reign in you to keep building with costly and precious stones?  Who is it that you are really serving?  Read Matthew 25:31-46.  Why did the King welcome the sheep into their inheritance?  Why did the King dismiss the goats into the eternal fire?  Again, on what basis did the King make a judgement?  Are you preparing yourself for eternal life or eternal fire?  How will you know?  What kind of house are you building?



Read 2 Corinthians 5:4-11; Romans 10:17.  Is it hard to live in this tent?  What must you do while you are in the tent?  What are you judged by in the end, what you do or what you hear?  What should you live by, faith or sight?  What is everlasting, what you see or what you don’t see (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)?  What can you do to increase your faith?  How is your study of the Bible coming along?  Are you satisfied with how you study the Bible or do you need more guidance as to what to do?  Get involved in some in-depth Bible study with an older brother/sister who can teach you about faith in Christ’s message.  Read 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.  When you read the Scriptures, do you take them as God’s Words to you?  What four things does God do to you through His Word?  Do you let Him accomplish these things when you read the Bible?  Do you let Him accomplish these things when a brother or sister teaches, corrects, rebukes, or trains you in righteousness?  Read Hebrews 4:12, 13.  Does it hurt your flesh when God’s Sword cuts the sin off it?  Do you resist or welcome correction? Read Proverbs 12:15, 16; 14:16, 17; 15:2; 29:11; Ecclesiastes 10:12.  What are you, a fool or a wise person?



Read Matthew 7:21.  What attitude is required to build on a solid foundation?  Read John 15:14-17; Luke 6:46-49.  If you call yourself a friend of Jesus, how will you really show you are His friend?  What kind of fruit have you been appointed to bear?  In order to bear fruit that will last, what must you do (verse 17)?  Read 1 John 2:15-17; 2 Timothy 2:19-26.  If you love stuff in the world or from the world, do you have the love of the Father in you?  Where do the things of the world come from?  Do you boast about what you have and do in the world?  Do you crave or lust after things in the world or situation in the world?  Do you complain about what you don’t have or what you should have in the world?  If you continually live in the mindset of the world, will you pass away along with the world?  Who lives forever?  If you confess the name of the Lord, what must you turn from?  What kind of instrument do you wish to be for the Lord?  What must you flee?  What must you pursue?  If you quarrel and hold on to resentment, are you being a servant of the Lord?  Don’t use your knowledge to manipulate but to minister. 


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.  On Christ the Solid Rock I stand—all other ground is sinking sand.


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