In Advance

Opposite outcomes

Some troubles are avoidable, some are not. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells of two builders (Matt. 7:24-27). Both build a house. A violent storm slams both houses. One house stands firm. The other falls. The difference? One had been founded on the rock, the other on sand.

Jesus’ point is that those who hear His words and do what He says are like the wise builder. Those who hear His words and don’t obey can expect disaster.

The wise builder had one problem to face: the storm. The foolish builder had two problems: 1) the storm, and 2) the collapse of his house. The storm was unavoidable, but the collapse of his house could have been prevented. Had he done what the wise builder did, there would have been two houses standing instead of one.

Which will we choose?

In this powerful parable Jesus issues both a warning and a promise. The warning is that if you don’t obey Him, you will lose everything. The promise is that if you obey Him, you will be safe and sound when the storm comes.

Preparation. What we do today or fail to do today can greatly affect our tomorrows. Each day we live we are building on the rock, or we are building on the sand. Time will test our efforts.

Those who have not become Christians need to take a hard look at this passage. Those who have fallen away from Christ need to do the same. Faithful Christians would do well to re-read this parable every once in a while to be reminded that it’s definitely worth the effort.

We can’t say we haven’t been warned.

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Rotten!

Dealing with a potential risk

A crotch in an oak tree near our house is rotting. Other dead wood is evident here and there.

This may be due to a severe ice storm that broke limbs all over town. Then too, some ants made their home in this same tree some time ago.

Is the tree endangering the house? Should it be trimmed way back or removed entirely?

danger-sign-tagged

A far greater danger!

Is there something in our lives that could jeopardize our eternal welfare—perhaps a sinful habit, a questionable friendship, a rotten attitude?

Is anything worth going to hell for? Jesus said, in essence, “Whatever hinders you, get rid of it now before it destroys you” (Matthew 5:27-30; see 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Hebrews 12:1-2).

How we respond reveals whether or not we really believe Him.

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