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Sermon On The Mount - Living in the Kingdom
By Pastor Delbert Young

31. The Rock and The Storms

(video audio page)

The Rock and The Storms

Scriptures: Matthew 7:24-27, Luke 6:48, 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

We have been through the entire Sermon on the Mount. We have looked at every verse, but I don't' know if we realize how valuable our study has been. The things that we have talked about and our applying them, or not applying them, are the very things that will determine if our lives are upright and strong, tilted and off balanced, or even crash and burn. The Lord has a great plan for each of us, but we have to do our part. This is what Jesus said in his final point of the greatest sermon ever taught.

Matthew 7:24 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.

Matthew 7:25 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.

Matthew 7:26 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.

Matthew 7:27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

The promise is to EVERYONE. We will talk more about this in a moment, but the things that Jesus has taught in this sermon affect EVERYONE in one way or another. If we take his teachings and apply them to our lives, the promise is that we will have successful, powerful, and upright lives that can stand any up against anything.

WISE PEOPLE: The Lord is looking for wise people. Education is good and I have a little, but wisdom is better.

There were four people on an airplane that had engine problems and the plane was going down. The problem was there were only three parachutes. The first man said, "I am the world's greatest doctor. There are thousands of people depending on me for their lives." So, he took a parachute and jumped. The next man said, "I am the worlds wisest man. I have graduated from the worlds' greatest learning institutions. I have seven different doctorate degrees. The entire world depends on my wisdom for answers." So he took a parachute and jumped out of the plane. The third person was the Pope and the fourth was a young boy. The Pope looked at a young boy and said, "Son, I have lived a long and wonderful life. Here, you take the last parachute and do something great for others." The boy said, "That's okay. There are still two parachutes left. The world's wisest man just took my backpack and jumped out of the plane." Sometimes we are not as wise as we think. There is a difference between education and wisdom. People often jump out into life with the wrong equipment and great is the fall of that life.

EVERYONE: Being wise is necessary for making the correct choices when the storms of life come. Jesus said that the storms of life come upon EVERYONE.

Matthew 7:24 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.

Matthew 7:26 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.

Storms come upon all Believers. The Believer who applies the teachings of Jesus will stand against any storm. Storms come upon the Believers and those who are not Believers. Storms of life come upon the young and the old. Storms of life come upon the rich and the poor. No one will avoid the storms of life.

IDENTICAL STORM:Jesus said the identical thing happened to both houses. He said, The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house.

Matthew 7:25 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.

Matthew 7:27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

The identical storm came upon both houses, but one stood and one crashed. The difference was the foundation.

STORMS OF LIFE NEITHER JUSTIFY NOR CONDEMN. What I mean is that sometimes we want to make the storms of life a proof that someone is or is not living for God. You know, if someone is going through a bad time then they must not be right with God. That is simply not true. Storms know no boundaries and play no favorites. There are no storm-free zones.

JOSEPH always loved the Lord and always served the Lord, but he went through many storms. He was thrown into a dry well by his half-brothers. He was sold into slavery. He was lied about by Potiphar's wife and went to prison for something he didn't do. But the storms never caused Joseph to crash. It always made him better and stronger.

I see people who go through storms and say things like, "Why did God allow this storm to come on me and mess up my life?" No. It's not his fault. He tried to tell you the storms of life will come and that you need to hear and do his teachings. God has done everything he can to stop that from happening. We need to do our part.

Have you ever heard, "If there is a God, why did this happen?" People doubt God and make others doubt God. They stop going to church and drift away from the Lord. They crash and burn. They just don't understand that storms come upon EVERYONE.

I see people blame other people when things go badly in their lives. They say things like, "It was the way I was raised." "I had screwy parents." "The boss didn't like me." "The preacher let me down." "My wife ran off with my best friend and I sure do miss him." No. The problem was that someone's life was not built upon the rock - the sayings of Jesus and the house crashed.

I see people rebuke the devil in a storm. If we can't blame anyone else then blame the devil. It wasn't the devil's fault. We simply did not build our house on the rock. The enemy will take the storm and uses it to cause us to question God and make us doubt church. He will use it to cause people to get away from the Lord. But our crashing during a storm is not the enemy's fault. We will never crash during a storm when we have built upon the rock.

WE CANNOT HAVE A VICTORIOUS UPRIGHT LIFE BY BUILDING UPON ANY THING WE WANT. The Tower of Pisa proves that. The tower of Pisa is a bell tower for the Cathedral of the city of Pisa. The tower was to be eight-stories and 185-feet tall. There was just one "little" problem. The builders quickly discovered that the soil was much softer than they had anticipated, and the foundation was far too shallow to adequately hold the structure! And sure enough, early in the construction the whole structure had begun to tilt . . . and it continued to tilt . . . until finally the architect and the builders realized that nothing could be done to make the Leaning Tower of Pisa straight again. It took 176 years to build the Tower of Pisa and during that time many things were done to try and compensate for the "tilt." The foundation was shored up; the upper levels were even built at an angle to try to make the top of the tower look straight. Nothing worked. Today the tower leans 18 feet away from where it should be. One day, experts say, it will fall. All because it wasn't built on the right foundation.

See friends, EARLY IN THE CONSTRUCTION of a life, if the foundation is not sure, the life will begin tilting off center. Today you are helping form a foundation for your young children. Young people are today laying the foundation for the rest of their lives. People with off-centered lives do all sorts of things to try and make their lives look straight. The truth is that if we don't build on the sayings of Jesus, one day a storm will come along and it will all come crashing down.

WE CAN'T FOOL A STORM. We may fool friends. We may fool the pastor. We may fool people. We may even fool ourselves as those did who said, "Lord, Lord" in Matthew 7:21-23. But we can't fool a storm. Storms reveal our foundations.Both houses that Jesus spoke about, looked secure and upright in good weather. However, storms revealed the stability of the foundation.

I want to encourage you today to look at your foundation. Which storms cause you to tilt? Which storms seem to cause you damage? Once you recognize which storms cause you havoc, look and see what Jesus said about that area in the Sermon on the Mount and make certain that your foundation is inclusive of that saying. Apply it to your foundation.

STORMS MAKE US BETTER:See, storms are a part of the journey. Storms are not to stop us. Storms are to strengthen us and show us how strong we really are. There are some strong people at Life Gate Church.

Storms should make us better, not bitter. Storms reveal weaknesses and storms bring life. When a storm blows through a forest, the weak and dead limbs are revealed. Week trees are taken out. Shallow roots are turned up.

Storms knock off excess and weaknesses in our lives. They reveal in what we are truly rooted - sand or the rock. When you go through a storm and something breaks, instead of seeing that as a bad thing, see it as a good thing. We are able to fix it before it can cause some real damage to our lives or to the kingdom.

THE LORD WANTS US TO BE VICTORIOUS, NOT VICTIMS. He wants our lives to ascend to the top of our potential. He has a great plan for our lives. There is a great destiny for each of us. To get there, we must apply the things we have heard in the Sermon on the Mount to our lives.

Luke 6:48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

The Lord does not want us to be shallow Believers. He wants us to be deep. Being a deep Believer is not just coming to church or being able to quote the Bible. It's not being able to speak in tongues or prophesy. Being deep is a life built upon the sayings of Jesus. Let me show you some of the things consistent with being deep.

1. Living the Beatitudes

2. Being Light and Salt

3. Righteousness that exceeds that of religion - you have heard it said, BUT I SAY . . .

4. Don't kill people with anger and your tongue.

5. Keep lust out of your heart.

6. Don't look for reasons to divorce.

7. Be truthful - let yes be yes and no be no.

8. Love your enemies (no eye for eye).

9. Do acts of righteousness (left hand right hand).

10. Give money for kingdom causes.

11. Pray, "Our Father . . ." (central in sermon).

12. Forgive exactly as we want Father to forgive us.

13. Fast, but do it secretly.

14. Store up treasures in heaven (God and mammon).

15. Do not be anxious about health, possessions, future.

16. Seek first the kingdom of God.

17. Do not judge anyone.

18. Don't hang out with dogs and pigs (people who judge).

19. Be persistent - Asking, Seeking, Knocking.

20. Enter through the narrow gate.

21. Find your narrow way.

22. Make certain your preacher is a true preacher.

23. Have an authentic relationship with Jesus.

24. Allow all these things to be the rock on which your life is built.

There is no storm that will move you if your life is bolted to this rock.

At 4:42 p.m., PDT May 2, 1983, a strong earthquake measuring 8.2-on-the-Ricter-Scale struck an isolated region of the western San Joaquin Valley near Coalinga, California. It was discovered that the houses which were bolted to their foundation withstood that 8.2 quake. The houses not bolted to their foundations were destroyed or suffered severe damage.

It's when we move off the foundation that our lives shake and things fall apart. We will always have victory if we are bolted to the Rock.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

RAINBOW:There is a rainbow after the storm. There was for Noah and there is for you.

We talked about Joseph's storms. There is no record of his complaining about his storms. He never allowed the storms to stop him. He simply built his life upon God's word. He trusted the Lord and when each storm was over, Joseph was always at a higher level of life and relationship with the Lord. He was always a little closer to his dreams. After the half-brother storm, he experienced the rainbow of being the supervisor of Potiphar's household. He elevated from a shepherd boy living in a tent and tormented by his half-brothers to a man totally in charge of great wealth living a great life. But another storm came. After the storm of Potiphar's wife, Joseph experienced the rainbow of being over a nation. He became a powerful person with great authority. God blessed him beyond anything that he had asked or thought. Joseph came through every storm because he was bolted to the rock. And when we think about it, it was because of the storms that JOSEPH'S DREAMS CAME TRUE.

There is a rainbow after your storms too. No matter what you are going through today, I promise you that if you are bolted to the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, you will come out blessed and at a higher level in God than you have ever been before. Your relationship with Father, the Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit will be strengthened. You will be more powerful than ever. Your promises and your destiny - your rainbow - await you at the end of the storm. THE STORMS WILL MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.

So I encourage you today to bolt to the Rock named Jesus Christ. Build your life upon him. If you will, every storm will bring you a rainbow. You will be like Joseph and go places you never dreamed you could go. God has great plans for your life. He wants you to live the abundant life. He wants you to live in his kingdom.

 

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