Acting on the Words

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”

When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Matthew 7:24-8:4)

When Jesus said that we should act on his words, what words were he talking about? Jesus had just given the beatitudes, spoken about what it really meant to love others, and he had warned against worrying. Those were the words upon which a life could be built.

Jesus spoke as the prophets of old had: “thus says the Lord.” He backed up his words with miracles seen only in the lives of those prophets. Just as the prophet Elisha had cleansed Naman of leprosy, so Jesus cleansed a man of leprosy. That was the authority that made Jesus stand out from the scribes and other religious leaders.

A few years ago, our foster baby died of SIDS and we were sued for 31 million dollars for wrongful death. Three years passed before the lawsuit was thrown out. If you have built your life on the truth of the Gospel, rather than on the lies of wishful thinking, then you will stand secure against that sort of storm, knowing that whatever happens, you are not alone and God will see you through. If you can stand to lose everything, if you can give up your life for Christ and not feel cheated, if you believe God loves you even when the world crashes around your ears, then you have built your life on Jesus’ words.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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