Hearing AND Doing
Matthew 7:24-27 is one of the most helpful scriptures when discussing how necessary it is for us to hear and obey the word of God. It is only fitting that Christ would save this story for the end of His sermon on the mount – having spoken so many beneficial things, He now bids the multitude farewell by presenting them with the choice of listening or ignoring. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine…” All people hear the words of Christ, for the message was designed to be spread unto all mankind (Matthew 28:18-20). Not only that, but when we read the words of Christ, we are not simply reading the wisdom of a ancient thinker, or an influential teacher, but of God Himself. “He who hears you hears Me, and He who hears Me hears Him who sent Me” (Luke 10:16).
“…And acts upon them…” It is not enough to simply hear the message and do nothing. Hearing by itself never helped anybody! Similarly, reading a warning label on a medicine bottle is not enough to prevent an abuse of that product, for we must also heed the directions for how much and how often the medicine is to be administered. I cannot possibly pass a class if I hear the directions of the teacher but decide to follow my own educational course. I cannot please my boss if I hear him assign me a task, but then tailor the job to my own desires. We must hear and act, friends! “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was” (James 1:22-25). How ridiculous would it be to forget the details of your own face?
“…May be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” The effectual doer of the word is just like a wise man who did all the things necessary to ensure the safety and stability of his house. The question that we must ask ourselves, therefore, is on what kind of foundation have we been building? To hear the Gospel is to come in contact with the very Word of the Lord – the written scriptures that lead us to Heaven, and instruct us in every good work (2 Peter 1:3). If we take these words and use them, and truly make them a part of our souls – doing and teaching all the things found in the wonderful Gospel – we have been intelligent and wise and built our souls upon a solid foundation. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock.” No matter what life throws at us, God will pull us through if we trust His Word and read it. After all, the Gospel “is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16), so there is no other source of wisdom, no other collection of poems, no other book in the world that can possibly be as spiritually beneficial as the Bible.