“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’ 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, and the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”—Matthew 7:13-27
I was thinking about the houses built on sand and on rock the other day, so I looked it up. I noticed that it started with the word therefore, which I have been told to back up and see what it is there for. I found it quite interesting how the verses fit together. One thing that really stuck out to me as I was reading and meditating on His Word is this: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.” “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.” It clearly shows that there should be action involved…James 1:22-25 comes to mind. “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.” If we take on the name of Yeshua, we are called to act like it, by keeping His commands, and walking as He walked (1 John 2:3-6).
Then I began thinking about the storm…”the rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded the house.” Is that the “storms of life”? That’s what I always thought, but I began to dig a little deeper and was led to Isaiah 28:16-17, “Therefore the Lord God said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the mason’s level. Hail will sweep away the false refuge, and water will flood your hiding place.”” And also, Ezekiel 13:10-13, “Since they have led My people astray saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, for when someone builds a wall they plaster it with whitewash, therefore, tell those who plaster it that it will fall. Torrential rain will come, and I will send hailstones plunging down, and a windstorm will be released. Now when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the coat of whitewash that you put on it?’ So this is what the Lord God says: I will release a windstorm in My wrath. Torrential rain will come in My anger, and hailstones will fall in destructive fury.” It sounds like the storm represents Yahweh’s judgment. And the person who hears and doesn’t act will not be able to stand in judgment; but the one who hears and acts on the Words of Yeshua will be able to withstand the time of judgment.
Now, about acting on the Words of Yeshua…”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”(John 1:1) “Yeshua is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18) When I look outside, I see the earth is still here…actually I found in the Word where the heaven and earth do pass away…hint…it’s not until the end…Revelation 21:1.
Here’s the point…”His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”—2 Peter 1:3-11
We have everything we need to pursue holiness. A paraphrase of something I read the other day…The cross is the beginning of our faith walk; not the place where we plant our chairs and remain until His return. Yeshua said, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) We must make Yeshua our Lord, not just our Savior. Are we allowing Him be Lord of our lives? There is action required. Which foundation are we building our houses on? Are we sand dwellers or Rock dwellers?