In our Sunday School class we've been going through the parts of the Gospels that are printed in red, which indicates the actual words of Jesus. The other day we were in the fifth chapter of Matthew which records Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, the lengthiest continuous segment of Jesus' teaching we have. It deals with a series of theological and ethical instruction, concluding with the familiar story of the wise and foolish men:
"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. 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.
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. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
Entire books have been written about the Sermon on the Mount, but here Jesus himself tells us that all that he has just said is the foundation for life, that upon which we build. There is more to living than what Jesus says here, but here is where we start. Without this foundation, the storms of life which are sure to come can take out the entire structure. If you've ever wondered how it is that some people collapse under the slightest pressure while others are able to stand strong, it is all about the foundation. Tonight I'm thankful for this foundation. It has served me well.