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.” 28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” Matthew 7:25-29
Jesus makes the subtle statement that storms inevitably come. They come for us all at some point in time. They even come for those who follow Jesus. If you glance forward in the book of Matthew, you’ll see that Jesus leads his disciples right into a storm (Matthew 8:23-27). It seems that the storm was one of Jesus ways of shaping the faith of the disciples.
Spend some time looking at this famous painting by Rembrandt (1632). Look at the different expressions on the faces of the disciples.
As you look at this picture, what is one storm from your life that comes to mind? Which person in this picture do you associate with most? How do they reflect how you normally respond to the storms in life? How can you imagine an intimate relationship with Jesus and a life built on practicing his words helps your life stand through the storms?
By Ryan Paulson