1. "The World's Greatest Talk"

Matthew 7:24–29

This Tuesday, we'll begin our study of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, taking another look at a parable of Jesus that gives us insight into how we can keep standing during the storms of life — The Wise and Foolish Builders. Today's introductory passage comes at the end of Jesus' great sermon, which is more influential than anything anybody has ever said.
We'll start our 14-session series by looking at the end of Jesus' message. Next Tuesday, we'll pick this up at the very beginning: Matthew 5:1–8.




The World's Greatest Talk

Matthew 7:24–29 [Click to open, then close, this and all other links.]
"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. 25The 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. 26But 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. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.

Pastor John Ortberg's Encouraging Opening Prayer

During this opening session of our Sermon on the Mount series, you'll hear Pastor John tell you that he doesn't merely want us to "be smarter by the end of this series." He calls your attention to Apostle James' order: Be doers of the word, not hearers only and therefore, deceive yourselves (James 1:22). Pastor John concludes with his admission, "When I just hear and know, I give myself credit for doing."

Instead, John asks us to become "doers," once we've learned each lesson. He provides us with this, a prayer for each of us during this series.

Doers: "God, make us doers of the word. God, make me a doer of your word. Help me to not just hear, not just know, but actually do what Jesus said."

"The Kingdom Is Coming"

According to Pastor John, the Sermon on the Mount can be summarized into one foretelling announcement: The Kingdom is coming.

"It has now drawn near" he says. "This is a God project; it is not in human hands. People mess it up when they think they can engineer it on their own. It’s coming.
"The coming of the kingdom has begun, Jesus says, because, 'Now I'm here — my life, my teaching, my death, my resurrection.' It's all happening through this one man. The crowds would come because He did amazing things and said amazing words. They were amazed at this claim, but they were uncommitted. They were hearers. Wow! Every once in a while somebody stands up and leaves the crowd and becomes a disciple."

A Hearty Application

Hearty brothers: We need to take a lesson from our first session: (a) The best way to avert a crisis is to take the necessary precautions ahead of time, and (2) the best way to prepare for the inevitable trials of life is to build your life on a rock-solid foundation.

Make time to hear God's commands. Find opportunities to grow in knowledge (e.g., by taking the Parables Quiz). Be diligent about doing what He tells you to do. I don't know how much time we have until a huge storm rages against our lives. The wise, hearty person would begin doing immediately.

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