- Pastor Jon Hicks
When I was first married, I used to work for a company that repaired medical equipment. My specific job was repairing the scopes connected to surgical cameras so the doctors could see inside the body during a minimally invasive surgery. I spent hours looking through a microscope and working with tiny pieces. Before any instrument was ready to be sent back out it had to go through "QC" or "Quality Control." You could say that it was "inspection time." That meant the scope I had spent hours working on would be hooked up to a camera and monitor to see if it was working properly. If the image wasn't clear or if there was an imperfection appearing on the screen, then the scope would go back to my work bench until I could get the problem fixed.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that difficult periods in our lives serve as inspection times. The inspection is specifically of our obedience to and application of Jesus' teachings.
"Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And 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. And 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. And 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."
Jesus says that the person who obeys and applies God's truths is able to prevail and make it through the storm. The one who neglects God's truths suffers ruin. If you're reading this, then the final summary of your life has not been finished yet.
You see, as I imagine what it must be like to be in the house that is in the storm, I picture the water exposing weaknesses and bad material. A squirt here, gush there, some drips from the ceiling...parts of the house are revealed to not be as water-tight as they should. The whole house hasn't fallen yet, but it will if repairs aren't made soon.
Now imagine trying to shore up your house and make repairs with the exact same faulty material. That wold be insane, but that's what we naturally do. When things start to go wrong, and it's revealed that we have made poor choices, many of us double down on those bad choices. Why? Because they are comfortable and familiar. We know how to use those materials and change is hard. However, God is using the storm, the water, and the flood to reveal the insufficiency of our priorities, efforts, and responses. He is lovingly calling us to hear His words and obey them.
So today, let's take God's building materials and put them on the houses on our lives. Let's have eternity in view. Let's be people to live for the kingdom not made with hands. Let's act like we are citizens of heaven.