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Word on Wednesday: Matthew 7:26-27

Free printable scripture memory flashcards and handwriting practice sheets from www.flandersfamily.info

Our family loves going to the beach.

At the Beach 1

We usually go off season, which means we avoid the crowds, but it also means the water is colder than in the height of summer.

At the Beach 5

So we spend most of our time there playing in the sand instead of riding the waves.

At the Beach 2
We bury one another in sand…

At the Beach 3
… and we build lots of sand castles. We even cart along our sculpting set, so we can add detail work to our castles, like bricks and drawbridges and turrets and windows.

At the Beach 4

It’s a lot of fun, but we know from the beginning our sand castles won’t last, so we never invest an inordinate amount of time on them.

Several years ago, we built a real house. A house to live in.

Our Home

That house took a much bigger investment of time and money than the houses of sand we construct on the beach. We had to do a lot of dirt work before we ever got started with the actual building, to ensure we were working on a solid foundation. We didn’t want the house to crumble when the storms rolled in, as they inevitably do.

2003 Ground Breaking on House copy

When Jesus contrasts the wise man who built his house on the rock with the foolish man who built his house on the sand, it is interesting to note that both builders had heard the same message. The difference was not in the knowledge with which they were working, but in what they did with that knowledge.

The wise man chose to obey the words of Christ. The foolish man chose not to.

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell -— and great was its fall. (Matthew 7:26-27)

They both worked hard. They both invested time and effort and capital in the construction. But the wise man’s obedience meant he was building on a solid foundation of rock. The foolish man’s carelessness meant he was building upon shifting sand.

In actuality, the houses are metaphors for life. They beg the question, “In what am I investing my time and energy and effort? In something of eternal value, in obedience to Christ? Or am I sinking my resources into something that’s going to crumble when difficulties arise?

As Francis Chan observed in his groundbreaking book, Crazy Love, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”

This week’s verse can be found in the third set of our Scripture Memory Flashcards:

Free printable Bible memory flashcards from www.flandersfamily.info
[click on image to print]

And for extra practice on Matthew 7:26-27 (and other passages), I’ve made more handwriting printables, as well:

Free printable scripture memory flashcards and handwriting practice sheets from www.flandersfamily.info
[click on image to print]

Plus, in case you missed them, here are links to the first two sets of flashcards and practice sheets, too:

And I’ve also uploaded a progress chart to help you keep track of which verses your child has already memorized (some of the verses listed are from sets of flashcards that will be published in the future).

May God honor your efforts to hide His Word — including Matthew 7:26-27 — in your heart!

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  1. Keep the focus on the foundation of rock or sand for when the storm comes. Christ Jesus’ focus is on being doers of the Word of God or “these words of Mine”, and not hearers only. Francis Chan’s quote that you have included is not saying what Christ is saying in the Word of God. He hasn’t even mentioned the Word of God or Jesus’ words and the doing of those words, which is central to what Jesus has spoken in the verse from Matthew 7:26, 27.

    1. Chan isn’t saying the same thing Christ is saying in this verse; nevertheless, I believe what he wrote is Biblical and is at least tangentially related. Elsewhere in the gospels, Christ makes such statements as:

      – “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” (Matthew 19:20)
      – “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
      – “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Mark 10:21)

      All these statements underscore the idea that God’s measure of success is very different from man’s. His economy turns the world’s economy on its head.

      Elsewhere in Scripture we read:

      “No one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have–Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials–gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value.” (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)

      In retrospect, I realize the Chan quote may have seemed a little non sequitur, but this is the train of thought that prompted me to include it. On judgement day, I imagine many people will see things in which they invested a lot of time and energy be reduced to ashes — perhaps even things that the world would judge as great successes, but that were of no eternal value.

      That’s why I think it’s important, as we build, to be mindful of God’s economy, storing up treasures in heaven rather than on earth, and making sure we persevere and succeed in the areas He regards as important, irrespective of how the world may view them.

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