Happy Monday!!! That statement may seem like a oxymoron to you, right? How can a Monday be so happy? I know that is true if we live by the “rules” of this world. Thank You, Lord that we don’t have to, that You have provided us with Your Word, Your Truth for this day. Please begin with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to come into your heart as you read today’s scripture from Matthew 7:24-29.
NIV version: 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. 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. 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. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Message version: 28-29When Jesus concluded his address, the crowd burst into applause. They had never heard teaching like this. It was apparent that he was living everything he was saying—quite a contrast to their religion teachers! This was the best teaching they had ever heard.
According to my 3 year old granddaughter, on the TV show, Max and Ruby - one of those characters is always saying, “This is the best day ever” which brings an instant smile to my face. Hence, why the two different readings, because only in the message version does it say in verse 29 - “This was the best teaching they had ever heard”. So fun and positive, right? I like fun and positive. But.....they are talking about Jesus, who is perfect in every way.
Yesterday, as God spoke through Mike in the message, I felt Him asking me, how often do you really listen to Me, Cindy? Am I the center of your life? Yes, maybe you hear Me, but then do you act/follow through or respond to what I am teaching you?
Now, again today God is talking to me about really “hearing” AND “practicing” His Words, His ways and He’s not only talking to me, He’s talking to everyone!!!
Most of my life, if I had read a passage such as this I would of gone into “fix your life Cindy, you can do it” mode. Then when I failed (which obviously, I always did) guilt and self-condemnation would of flooded my mind because even though the priest would tell me I was forgiven by the penance I had to do, I knew only the convictions of what God was saying and nothing about the Grace from Jesus. In my mind, if I worked hard enough I could achieve everything I was “supposed to”. Even though I desperately wanted God in the center of my life, He couldn’t be.
Well, woo hoo and Praise God, that all began to change about 16 years ago when God’s Word, through a 4 year group study of the Bible and God’s Grace, through a retreat, was displayed. Now, when I read this passage, I’m still convicted but at the same time have Hope and even Joy in how, through the Grace of Jesus Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit, I can truly build my house on that rock He was talking about. Now I can see my life as a wonderful journey with God and although I don’t perfectly hear Him, follow Him or keep Him in the center of my life, I can look forward with GREAT JOY to the day where I can in eternity.
I’m so excited that every day, I get to start afresh, forgetting the sins of yesterday, if I repent, receive His forgiveness, open my ears and hear how God wants me to truly follow Jesus this new day, that He has made!!!!!
So, yes, every Monday, can be a happy one. As I start this week, only with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will do my best to hear His voice through His Word, prayer, and other people AND then respond.
I would love to hear your thoughts, stories, and testimonies of what you thought about this passage, what God said to you and how you will follow Jesus this day. Let us truly be excited about His Teaching, as they were 2000+ years ago always proclaiming, “This is the Best Teaching Ever!”
God’s perfect Peace, Love, Hope, and Joy to you all,