Putting the Word of God Into Practice
Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock … and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Matthew 7:24, 25.
Jesus ended his teaching on the mount with an illustration that presented with startling vividness the importance of putting in practice the words He had spoken. Among the crowds that thronged about the Saviour were many who had spent their lives about the Sea of Galilee. As they sat upon the hillside, listening to the words of Christ, they could see valleys and ravines through which the mountain streams found their way to the sea. In summer these streams often wholly disappeared, leaving only a dry and dusty channel. But when the wintry storms burst upon the hills, the rivers became fierce, raging torrents, at times overspreading the valleys and bearing everything away on their resistless flood…. But high upon the hills were houses built upon the rock. In some parts of the land were dwellings built wholly of rock, and many of them had withstood the tempests of a thousand years…. And wind and flood and tempest beat upon them in vain.
Like the builders of these houses on the rock, said Jesus, is he who shall receive the words that I have spoken to you, and make them the foundation of his character and life. Centuries before, the prophet Isaiah had written, “The word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8); and Peter, long after the Sermon on the Mount was given, quoting these words of Isaiah, added, “This is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you (1 Peter 1:25). The Word of God is the only steadfast thing our world knows. It is the sure foundation. “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” said Jesus, “but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
The great principles of the law, of the very nature of God, are embodied in the words of Christ on the mount. Whoever builds upon them is building upon Christ, the Rock of Ages. In receiving the word, we receive Christ. And only those who thus receive His words are building upon Him. “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). “There is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Christ, the Word, the revelation of God—the manifestation of His character, His law, His love, His life—is the only foundation upon which we can build a character that will endure.
As you give heed to the light you have, greater light will come. You are building on God’s Word, and your character will be built after the similitude of the character of Christ. Christ, the true foundation, is a living stone; His life is imparted to all that are built upon Him. “Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5, ASV)…. That building no tempest can overthrow