October 7th, 2006
You can’t do anything to stop hurricanes running through your life. People are going to say unkind things about you. Maybe you will face financial troubles; maybe you will face natural disasters. People that you care about deeply are going to get sick and die. You’re going to get sick and die. What you can choose to do is to build your life on a solid foundation, rather than on sinking sand. If you choose to build your identity around your powerful position at work, or your fancy car, or your good looks, then you’re going to come crashing down when you get fired or your car gets stolen or you get older. But if you choose to build your life on the teachings of Jesus, becoming a servant of others, investing in things that make a difference in the world, then you can learn to laugh in the face of the darkest storm.
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 7
7:1 “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. 7:2 You will be judged by the same rules you apply in judging others, and you will be measured by the same standard which you apply in measuring others. 7:3 Why do you notice the speck in your friend’s eye, without noticing the plank of wood in your own eye? 7:4 How can you ask your friend, ‘Can I take that speck out of your eye?’ when the plank of wood is blocking your own vision? 7:5 Hypocrite! Get the plank out of your own eye first, so you can see your friend’s eye clearly enough to remove the speck.
7:6 “Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls to pigs. They might run all over them, and then turn and run all over you.
7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened for you. 7:8 Because every asker receives. The seeker finds. The knocker gets the open door. 7:9 How many of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 7:10 Or if he asks for fish, will give him a snake? 7:11 If wicked people like you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask! 7:12 Do for other people whatever you would like them to do for you. This is what the law and the prophets say.
7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate, because the gate leading to destruction is wide and the road is broad, and many people choose to go that way. 7:14 But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road is confined, and not many people find it.
7:15 “Look out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are greedy wolves. 7:16 You will know them by their fruit. Are grapes picked from thorn bushes, or figs from thistle plants? 7:17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a rotten tree produces bad fruit. 7:18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a rotten tree can’t produce good fruit. 7:19 A tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. 7:20 So you will know them by their fruit. 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; only those who obey my Father in heaven. 7:22 A lot of people will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy and cast out demons and do mighty deeds in your name?’ 7:23 I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away, your actions were unauthorised.’
7:24 “A person who hears these teachings of mine and follows them is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. 7:25 The rain came down, the rivers rose up, the winds blew and battered that house, but it didn’t fall, because it was founded on the rock. 7:26 A person who hears these teachings of mine but doesn’t follow them is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 7:27 The rain came down, the rivers rose up, the winds blew and battered that house… and it fell over, with an almighty crash.”
7:28 Jesus finished talking, and the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 7:29 because he taught them with authority, unlike their religious lawyers.
Entry Filed under: Worrying