Tuesday, September 28, 2010


"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."
-Jesus of Nazareth

Afterwards, it says that '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.' How interesting, the crowds 'were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority'...I wonder...who has authority in your life?
In my previous blog I more or less illuded to the fact that there is a major difference between knowing about Jesus' teachings academically-just in the head and knowing him in your heart. David would be a good example of this-for the prophet speaks of 'a man after God's own heart.' Now, that's not to say that David didn't have any issues concerning his faith journey-as you might recall his relationship with Bathsheba and the hardships that followed him when he strayed away from God's commands.
Now, lets get back to the above scripture...Jesus himself says there's a huge difference-those who put his words into practice is like a wise man and those who hear his words, but don't put them into practice is foolish. Which brings me to another warning Jesus gave us in Matthew 23: 'The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.' Jesus warns of those who abuse their authority-those who talk a lot about righteous living, but do little to show it or live it among God's people.
When you think about it, it's rather interesting really. What Jesus was warning us about is the same thing we struggle with today-except that the power of 'authority' has been blurred and divided up amongst the things that take priority in our lives. And when you look at today's culture, not much has changed-there's still greed among us and not just when it comes to money either, there's still drugs and alcohol, there's still death and loss, and there isn't much hope in today's world. Our focus isn't on hopefulness or hope in a better tomorrow, it's in a here and now kind of hope-I hope I can get enough done today to leave early so I can do...or I hope so and so doesn't ask me...or I hope that I have enough money to pay for my bills. Fill in the blanks-what are the things you hope for each day?
Kenneth Boa shares this about hope: 'As children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, we are called to a lifestyle of growing others-centeredness and diminishing self-centeredness as Christ increases and we decrease.' And that 'while we are aware that in a sinful world such a lifestyle makes us more vulnerable to the pains of rejection, indifference, demands, misunderstanding, and betrayal, we also realize that a wise person finds more joy in serving other than pursuing posessions, power, performance, or prestige.' (Conformed to His Image)
So, do you remember what I first asked? Who has authority in your life? I asked it for a reason. I asked it so that you might begin to think about your own life-think about your day to day tasks and duties. Ask yourself this: are things crumbling around me like the foolishing builder?
Take it a little further...what aspects of your life aren't you happy with? Once you've written them down, your next task is to indentify why. Remember, this is a process and will take some time...but take time to prayerfully consider and discern God's message to you in your situation-your life right now. Is he calling you to something more or asking you to give up on something in order to focus more time and energy where it's needed?
I will leave you with this-'That which is highly esteemed by among men is detestable in the sight of God'. (Luke 16:15)

*As always, don't be shy. Leave your comments and ask any questions you might have. We'll continue next week and dig further into the 'woes'.


pitcher12k said...

I like how you showed that the 'authority' to us are the things that take priority in our lives, and even though it is divided up, it still takes a place where it does not belong. That is a good thing to realize!
And what a great quote!! Is that from a book? It sounds like a good one!
I like the idea about writing things down...I will have to do that sometime..
I wonder about the Bible verse though...I mean, some people respect kindheartedness and whatnot, but after reading the passage it makes more sense. It seems Jesus was sort of referring to the prayer said on the street corner or the offering given in full view of others (Matthew 6:1-18)
Such a great quote!! Thank you for your insight Master Jeff! *does a jedi bow*

Holly said...

I would also agree with pitcher12k about writing things down, especially for my brain, i think it's good to write down so you can go back to it as many times as you need. Again, another great blog! you really know how to reach people and help them understand where Jesus was/is coming from. Thanks again!

pitcher12k said...

Holly, you can use my name, I'm Nick Miller!! And by the way, did you two change your phone numbers?? Because I tried texting Jeff the other day and instead ended up talking to someone named Candi. O_o