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Once there was an elderly carpenter was ready to retire. One day he told his boss of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family.
Of course he would miss the steady paycheck, but it was time to slow down and take life a little easier. They had very little to retire on, but they would somehow manage.
The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was just not behind the effort. He resorted to sloppy workmanship and used low-grade materials.
When the carpenter finished his work, the boss came to inspect the house. After the inspection, he handed the front-door key to the carpenter and said:
"this house is my gift to you."
The carpenter was shocked! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.
Wouldn't you? Or perhaps not.
In case no one has ever told you, you are busy building a house right now. You were busy the day before, the week before, and the year before that.
Not a real house of course, rather you are constructing the 'home' of your life. Here's the way that Jesus explains it:
"These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit--but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock. "But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don't work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards." (Matthew 7:24-27)
Back in 'the day' (Jesus' day that is), people had but a few choices when it came to the location of their 'dream' hut. One could be smart and go with a base of rock, or one could be foolish and go with Mr. Sandman Carpentry.
The funny thing was that whichever place the house was built didn't really matter that much...that is until a storm came. At that point the true strength of the structure showed up. The one built on the foundation of rock could stand up to whatever nature brought on. The home in the sandbox would go down like a house of cards.
The point Jesus is trying to make is that you basically only have two choices as well: build your life on the Rock of Christ, or put it together on the shifting sand of anything else besides Him.
I know some of you out there might be thinking:
"Well, I've got it covered, I know the Bible inside and out."
Sorry, but if that's your theory- you've got sand in your eyes.
What Jesus is saying is that you must go way beyond just knowing His words...you must also put them into practice.
You know- like treating others the way you'd like to be treated, loving your enemies, turning the other cheek, making disciples of all nations- just to name a few.
When you practice His teachings, you build a solid house with quality materials that will hold up to the storms of life. If you only know His words and don't practice them, you are building a house on sand with just a view of the Rock.
This week, I would challenge you to check your work. Can you count on one hand how many times you have applied Jesus' teachings in recent history? If so, I would trash my blueprints for life and start over by reading the Gospels. This will take some time- but you will sure be glad you did the next time life throws you a storm!
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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