Storm Warnings

24Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. —Matthew 7:24-27

The heavy winds and rain we were driving through did not deter my wife and I from enjoying one of our best conversations in weeks. Then we heard it. It was the familiar warning tone that pierced the music playing on the radio that got my attention. Just as I leaned in to hear the storm warning, Andrea reached for the volume control, silenced the competition, and continued her sentence.

Although I value my wife’s words, I immediately turned the volume up louder than her. “I need to hear if we are in danger, “ I said explaining why I looked at her the way I was. She responded, “Oh, I thought it was a test of the Emergency Broadcasting System.” Unfortunately, her familiarity with the tone actually resulted in her ignoring the warning. We were safe for the remainder of the trip, but I couldn’t help thinking this is exactly what people do with God’s warning about how they live their lives.

Many people put themselves in grave danger because they ignore the storm warning Jesus gave at the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is clear that storms are coming for everyone. Your roof will be pounded with rain. Your floor will be flooded with rivers. The walls will be pressed with wind. Storms will come in the form of relational conflict, sickness, and suffering. Storms are an inevitable part of life. How we respond to the warning if what differentiates us.

The parable in Matthew 7 gives fair warning about what’s coming. Both men Jesus identified actually heard His words, but only the wise man did anything about them. The other just kept on doing what he was doing. The result was total destruction. “And great was the fall of it” (Matt. 7:27).  It could have been avoided had the warning been heard and heeded.

The only difference between the life that stands and the life that falls is whether the words of Jesus are obeyed. It’s that simple. Obedience is the only wise response to the foundational teachings of Jesus. His words are not just to be appreciated, studied, memorized, and preached. They are to be obeyed.

The number of people who sit in church each week, read the bible, and even teach it who don’t actually obey is staggering. Familiarity with the words of Jesus can actually enable people to be deceived into thinking they are obeying them.

Have you heard what Jesus taught about loving your neighbor, forgiving your enemy, investing your treasure in eternal things, seeking God in prayer, or repenting of self-righteousness? We can’t stop there and just listen. We must do something in obedience. The wisest thing anybody can do is obey. Otherwise the fall will be great. The stakes couldn’t be higher.

Don’t silence the storm warning. Obey! —Trent Griffith

Journal:

·         What are the storm warnings in my life? How do I usually respond when “the alarm sounds?”

·         Have there been times in my life when my familiarity with the Word or church attendance led me to believe I was obeying more than I actually was?

Prayer – Almighty Father, there are so may times when I turn the volume down on You and go my own way. I honestly don’t know why I do that because it never goes well. Help me to trust You enough to obey Your Word. Forgive my unbelief and pride to think I can manage on my own. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God
Always True: 5 Great and Precious Promises of God 

5 CD Series Set - $35.00

What if you believed—truly believed with all confidence that God is with you? How would today go for you if you knew without a doubt that God is in control? What would be different in your life if you were sure God is watching and good? What would you risk if you were certain God is victorious? 

Just how would believing God’s promises change your life?  

Ask the greatest Christian you’ll ever meet if they hold on to God’s promises and they’ll all say yes. Believing that God will do what He promises leads to a great life. The greatest Christian you’ll every meet knows, treasures, and is resting in the promises of God. They cling to these assurances that God gives His people so they can walk by faith while they wait for Him to work.

So what exactly does God promise?  In this topical study of what will always be true, Pastor James MacDonald will explore five great and precious promises that God keeps. Enter into this study with anticipation and faith that the God who makes these promises is faithful and true... always true.