We are all builders, trying to build something—a life, a business, a career, a ministry.
The conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount connects all these topics and instructions into one powerful promise. To hear these words and do them, is to build one’s house on a rock—on Jesus Himself, the Rock of Ages. For those who hear these words and simply file them away with all the other things they have read, the end is not so wonderful. It is tragic. The one who hears and obeys is called wise and the one who hears and does not obey is called foolish.

There will be storms.
To follow Christ and live in relationship with Him is not to live a life without storms. Storms come to everyone. Rains descend on everyone. Winds beat against and flood waters rise on everyone. The difference is in the foundation. The house built on Jesus will stand while the one built on lesser stuff will fall and will fall with terrible destruction. What is this lesser stuff?

It is the wisdom from this fallen creation. James, the Lord’s half brother, tells about two kinds of wisdom:

  1. wisdom from below: “earthly, sensual, demonic,” and
  2. wisdom from above: “pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”

This is the catalog! This is the choice. What wisdom will you use to build your life? The limited, discredited, phony, and deceptive wisdom from below may have the appearance of solid rock but it is only sand. Build on it and your house will not stand the storm. The wisdom from above is tried, true, solid, proven, genuine, and always applicable. It not only has the appearance of Rock—it is Solid Rock! All hell came against it in the greatest storm of evil ever known at Calvary. The rains of wrath pounded Him. The winds of hate beat upon Him and an overwhelming flood of sins—yours and mine—covered Him to the point that even His father could not look upon Him. The storm took His physical life for three days and then He came roaring back and angels danced on the empty tomb. Hell had done its worst and the Rock still stood, mightier than ever, tested by time and eternity. He is your foundation! Storms don’t have a chance.

Now that you have heard these things—do them!
Start building on the Rock today! There is no time to waste. Storms are on the horizon. The forecast has gone out. Why build on sand when Rock is available? You can be “blessed” even when the circumstances of life turn against you. Your light can shine in the darkness lighting someone the way. You can turn enemies into friends with “coals” of kindness. You can be a tree that bears good fruit. You can spend time every day in the Secret Place with your loving Heavenly Father who already knows everything you need. If you seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, hungering and thirsting for life itself, you can be filled. When the storms come, you will stand.

Matthew 7:24-29
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
1 Corinthians 3:9-17
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
James 3:13-18
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Lord Jesus, You are the Solid Rock! Built upon You, my life is safe from the worst of storms. Help me to carefully hear Your words and to consistently obey them. Help me, as Paul says, to build carefully on the True Foundation so that my life’s work, like my life itself, shall stand forever. Help me to carefully attend to the wisdom from above and completely avoid the “wisdom” from below. There is no reason that I should fail at living for You when I am building on the Solid Rock! Thank You, Jesus! Amen and amen.

The Solid Rock
Words: Edward Mote; Music: William B. Bradbury

1. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace;
In ev’ry high and stormy gale my anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the ‘whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound, O may I then in Him be found,
Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

TheJesusStory devotions are also found at

2 thoughts on “March 27 “Building”

  1. This is such a good message. When we are under attack and we don’t know where it comes from — just this general feeling and acts of darkness that cloud what could otherwise be a happy and good life — we need to understand that we CAN weather them. “This too shall pass” is a terse statement that people sometimes throw out there to say, “Get over it…” without trying to be mean, but if we just remember that God is good and He has us in His bosom, we’ll be okay.


    1. OJ:
      I don’t know why it has taken me 10 days to see this. Sorry. The triumph of the Christ-follower is in being quietly unstoppable through the power of the In-dwelling Holy Spirit. We just keep on keepin’ on, as the saying goes. We don’t seek headlines or acclaim. What we want to achieve is faithfulness to the One who saved and then said “Follow Me!” Surely we have opposition but so did He! He shares with us His victory. Steve


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