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In last week’s episode we began taking a look into the two life-builders of Matthew 7. We were introduced to Wally the Wise Man and Martin the Moron. Together we are discovering that you and I share a number of similarities to these two guys, and I asked you the question: Are you a Wise Man or are you a Moron?
Welcome to The Point of Purity Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Etner, Author, National Speaker, and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry. This is episode #59, and in this episode, we continue to discover the importance of building your spiritual life on the right foundation. How’s your life-building project going? Room for improvement? Stay tuned and we’ll discover from Scripture how to “Stand on Solid Soil!”
Here’s a fact: Life isn’t always sunshine and butterflies. Agreed? It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in your spiritual walk, the storms of life WILL come. They will slam into you. You’ll get rained upon. You’ll get flooded. You’ll feel the winds of stress pressing in on you. In fact, many times you’ll get hit by rain and flooding and winds all at the same time!
How well will your structure (your life) hold up under the storm that’s coming? What high-quality materials are you building into your life right now that will enable it to stand when the next storm comes?
We don’t know when the next storm is going to hit, how hard it will hit, how long it will last, or what part of our life it’s going to attack. Here’s what we do know: it’s coming. So, we need to prepare for the inevitable.
If you were with us for last week’s episode, then you know that we share at least two things in common with the two builders of Matthew 7. First, we are engaged in a life-building project. We are daily making choices in life that have an impact both directly and indirectly on our family – our legacy. Second, just like the builders of Matthew 7, we face storms intent on taking down our legacy.
A third connection we share with Wally and Martin – the two builders of Matthew 7 – is this: Both of these guys attended the same church, sat under the same preacher, and heard the same message from the Word.
Please understand that in this story Jesus isn’t saying that Wally had a love for hearing the Truth, while Martin felt utter contempt for it. No, Jesus said that both these guys “heard the Word of God.” Let me repeat that – they both heard God’s Word! Sometimes we forget that part of the story. Both of these guys knew the value of what God had to say. Both of them sought it out. Both of these men listened to what the Lord had to say.
Lest you think, “Well, they may have heard the word of God, but only Wally was actually listening to it,” let me clarify something here for you. The verb “to hear,” as Jesus uses it in this story indicates that the one doing the hearing is considering carefully ever word. In other words, both Wally and Martin gave their full attention to what was being said, and they were thinking about how God’s Truth applied to them.
Let me risk a moment of repetition here: don’t lose sight of the fact that both of these life-builders heard God’s Word. Both of them sat on the edge of the pew during the Sunday message. Both of them took notes and gave careful attention to what God had to say about how to live life, and they gave serious thought to how it applied to them. They HEARD God’s word.
So, this wasn’t just a wise-man thing to do. Even Martin sat there listening intently to the message. Even Martin was thinking about the things he was hearing. No, Martin wasn’t a moron – at least not yet.
Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that you too hear God’s Word? You’ve been hearing it as you listen to these weekly episodes. You hear it every Sunday in church, or when you have your devotions or sit in a small group Bible study. Every time you hear God’s word you are given a choice. Every time you hear God’s word you make a choice. What are you going to do with what you just heard? Think about this carefully my friend, because this is a third thing you and I share in common with Wally and Martin.
OK – as thought-provoking as all of this is, it’s not the similarities between these two life-builders (and you and I as well) that are important here. Up to this point, there is very little difference between the two men. However, Jesus makes it clear that there IS just one single difference we need to focus our attention upon. That sole variation is what determines whether you are a wise man or a moron. You see, the fundamental difference between Wally and Martin was the foundation they chose to build their lives upon. Wally chose obedience to God’s Word. Martin did not.
The foolish man of Matthew 7 heard God’s Word, just like the wise man, just like you and me. What made Martin a moron was that he willfully chose to ignore what God had said. He heard God’s truth, just as you are. He understood God’s will, God’s plan, and God’s promises, just as you do. He understood what God wanted him to do to align his life-choices with God’s will, just as you do. Yet Martin didn’t follow through with obedience. Maybe, just maybe, Martin intended to apply God’s principles to his life later on; I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: James warns us to “not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) Otherwise, you’re a moron.
Martin made the choice to go about his life on his own. For whatever reason, he decided he only needed God on Sundays and holidays. So, I have a question for you: What choices are you making right now? Think about this – you’ve already been spending time at the construction site. You are already fully engaged in your life-building project. The question, then, is not whether you are GOING TO BE a wise builder; rather, the real question is WHICH BUILDER ARE YOU RIGHT NOW?
I cannot repeat this enough. You ARE building your life right now. Is it a godly life? This very moment as you are listening to this episode, would God consider you a wise man or a moron? If you are not in God’s Word daily, and if you are not applying God’s truth to your life ... moment-by-moment living in total obedience to what God is teaching you – then I submit that you already are a moron. I know, I know that’s strong language, but if you truly want to be godly in your everyday living, it begins now. Not tomorrow, not after you’re done going through this study, but now!
Let me reiterate the fact that God says a wise man will give his full and immediate attention to what God is saying in His Word. The wise man is always considering carefully what he is reading, and he is seeking to understand how it applies to him. But that alone doesn’t make us wise. Something else is required. According to Jesus, here in our text of Matthew 7:24-27, it is nothing short of complete obedience! You have to put what God says into practice in your life.
To be a wise man (or woman) you must not only hear what God is saying from His Word, but also seek to understand how it applies to you. But it doesn’t stop there. As the Holy Spirit guides you, you must choose to make the necessary adjustments to your daily behavior so you can consistently live out God’s truth and principles. When you do this, God says you are a wise builder. This is when your godly life with be built and established upon a rock-solid foundation.
What made Wally wise was hearing God’s Word, then choosing to immediately put it into practice in his daily living. Wally didn’t wait to obey God until he felt like it. He didn’t hold off until it fit into his schedule or plan. He didn’t pick and choose which passages of Scripture he really liked and do only those. No, he acted upon what God said to him at that very moment, every moment of his life.
I do find it interesting that Wally didn’t simply set his house on that rock, he dug deep into it! Obedience demands action; it requires effort; it calls for discipline – and sometimes that includes some spiritual sweat equity. You see, Wally couldn’t rent a 385 CAT Excavator to dig into the rock. He didn’t have access to a pneumatic jackhammer with alloy steel forgings and a four-bolt backhead design. In fact, he couldn’t even find a simple stick of dynamite. All he had was a chisel, a hammer, and sheer brute force.
Here’s my point: it takes work to build into the Rock. It requires time and energy, and it costs more. Let’s face it, it’s always easier to take shortcuts in building a home. You save money when you use inferior materials. And for a while, no one may notice the shoddy work. But somewhere along the line, there is a price to be paid.
It also takes less time and energy to maintain a superficial faith. To be honest, who will be able to tell the difference? It’s definitely easier to just show up for church for an hour a week, let the worship leader and the pastor fill you with warm fuzzies, smile and shake hands as you go on your merry did-my-spiritual-duty-for-the-week way. It’s less demanding on your day to just open the daily devotional booklet, read the few verses there, read the couple of paragraphs sharing the writers thoughts, read the closing poem at the end, close it up, and go on with your day feeling content with your “God time.”
My question for you is this: Are you doing the Word? Are you, moment-by-moment, day-by-day choosing to do what God says? If you construct your life according to Christ’s building codes, and if you dig deep into solid rock, you will not be disappointed.
If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about our ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com.
One of those resources I would like to highlight for you here is my book entitled “Extreme Mind Makeover: How to transform sinful thoughts and habits into patterns of life pleasing to God.” This book takes you on a journey through the Bible to examine what God has to say about how your thoughts, words, and actions influence and impact your heart.
Jesus said, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:33) Your thoughts bear fruit: your behavior. When you train your mind to think godly thoughts, the fruit of your life – the things you do day in and day out – will be godly. On the flip side, when you allow your mind to think sinful, fleshly, ungodly thoughts, the fruit of your life (your daily attitudes and actions) will be ungodly. So, how do I change the way I think? How do I change the things I do? How do I successfully and effectively guard my heart? This book, “Extreme Mind Makeover” takes you into God’s Word to help you answer those questions.
So go to our website, ThePurityCoach.com, and check out our resources page, or go directly to Amazon.com and purchase your copy of “Extreme Mind Makeover” today.
And if you have not yet subscribed to this podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!
So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.