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November 16th, 2017
Did you ever sing the song in Sunday School about the foolish man who built his house on the sand and the wise man who built his house on the rock? It’s based on Jesus' story from Matthew 7:24-27. What strikes me in that story is, even though the wise man built his house upon the rock (the firm foundation of Jesus Christ) it didn’t prevent a storm from hitting him. Storms hit all of us. But the man whose foundation was built on the rock was able to stand when the high winds kicked up.
When the next storm hits, you will have two choices. You’ll either make a decision that shows you are being conformed to the ways of the world or being transformed into the image of Jesus. There’s no middle ground. However, if you’re like me you have experienced going back and forth between saying yes to the ways of this world and yes to God’s ways. The apostle Paul knew all about that issue:
"I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong." (Romans 7:21)
"Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." (Romans 7: 24-25)
But Paul continues on to say there is no condemnation for us if we are in Christ. Like Paul, if we are in Christ, our hearts should be longing to stand firm when the storms hit. That can’t be accomplished by willing it to be so. That ability to withstand comes from saying yes to being changed by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.
“Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God.” (Romans 12:2a)
“The Gospel is not an invitation to imitate Jesus Christ. The Gospel is an invitation to be transformed by Jesus Christ.” (Pastor Alistair Begg)
You and I aren’t going to pass every test. But be encouraged, because God gives grace. God’s grace does two things: it covers our mistakes and it also empowers us to do better the next time around.
So, let’s get down to business with our Savior. If you’ve failed a recent test, ask Him to forgive you, heal you, and get some building upon the rock materials back in your hands. That way when the next powerful weather system hits, you can stand like a storm trooper instead of being a storm blooper.