“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.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:24-29 (NIV)
What must you do with my words, if you want to become wise? What must you do with my words, if you want your life to have a firm foundation that is able to withstand the storms of life? What must you do with my words, if you want to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to me? First, let me say that there is no “if” about any of your questions. How so? I want to become wise. I want my life to have a firm foundation that can withstand the storms of life. I want to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. That is very good. Yes, I think it is good to be clear about what my desires. We are on the same page. I want what you want. We both want the same thing. That is very good.
Now, to answer your questions. I must do two things with your word if I want to become wise, have a firm foundation for my life and live a life that is good and right and pleasing to you. First, I must hear your words. How often must you hear words? Is there a day that I don’t need to hear from you? Certainly not. I need to hear from you every day. How will you listen to my word? I will listen attentively to your word. Casually and inattentively and half-heartedly listening to your word will bring me no benefit. I will take your word deep into my heart and mind and soul. I will allow your word to dwell in me richly. I will meditate on your word day and night. That is very good. I have more to say. I’m listening. I will read and study your word. I will memorize and meditate on your word. I will pray and proclaim your word. I will take hold of your word as it takes ahold of me. What do you mean by that? I will allow your word to change my heart and transform my mind and guide my life. Yes, all of these are excellent strategies for hearing my word. What else must you do with my word for it to be powerfully effective in your life? If it isn’t clear by now, I will state it clearly here. Hearing your word only is not enough. For your word to do its complete and full and powerfully active work in my life, I must put it into practice. That is good. That is right. That is true. Hear and put my word into practice and you will be wise, have a firm foundation for your life and be able to live a life that is good and right and pleasing to me. That is what I want. That is what I will do. That will be very good. Thank you, Lord, for your word.
Lord, I will not be foolish. I will make it my daily pattern and habit to both hear and put your word into practice. I will allow your word to make me wise. I will allow your word to become the foundation of all that I think, say and do. Build my life with your word. Amen
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