Several years ago, we published a series of articles entitled These Sayings of Mine. The table of contents for that series is posted here. For those who prefer something more succinct (or a checklist), the following contains a brief summary of the 50+ commands Jesus has given for those who desire to become houses that stand in the storms of life.

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. Matthew 7:24-25

How can you do “these sayings of Mine,” if you do not know them? Are we foolish enough to think that we are exempt from the commands of Jesus because we have not taken the time to study them? Will our house stand because we have been purposefully ignorant?

Of course, these questions are rhetorical. Christianity is not a passive, laissez-faire religion. If we love Him, we will obey His commandments, including those found in the Sermon on the Mount.

Storms have come and storms are coming. Tribulation is promised to every Christian (John 16:33). Is your house standing? Will it stand? These questions are not rhetorical. They are two of the most important questions Christians should be asking themselves.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey (J. H. Sammis; 1846-1919).

As we consider the list, let’s call on the One who is willing and able to assess the soundness and security of our house. Participating with Him in the inspection is quite simple: for each saying, answer the questions, “Am I doing what Jesus commands here? Am I living my life according to His will?”

Matthew 5:3-12 – Reconsider what is important to God, what it means to be blessed, and how His blessings are appropriated. Live from that paradigm. Become poor in spirit, meek, merciful, and pure in heart. Mourn, hunger and thirst for righteousness, and be a peacemaker. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad when you are reviled, persecuted, and slandered.

Matthew 5:13-16 – Be salt and light in the world, for the Father’s glory.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Pursue righteousness and fulfillment of the law, by walking in the Spirit (Romans 8:3-4).

Matthew 5:21-26 – Be reconciled to your brother and your adversary.

Matthew 5:27-28 – Do not lust after another woman (i.e., desire is as much a sin as action).

Matthew 5:29-30 – Remove whatever causes you to sin, even at great personal loss.

Matthew 5:31-32 – Do not divorce, except for sexual immorality. Do not marry a divorced person.

Matthew 5:33-37 – Do not make oaths by anything.

Matthew 5:38-41 – Do not resist an evil person’s attack, lawsuit, or compulsion. Provide them with more than they demand (e.g., another cheek, your cloak also, and a 2nd mile of effort and time).

Matthew 5:42 – Give to him who asks and lend to him who wants to borrow; expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35).

Matthew 5:43-47 – Love your enemies: do good to them, bless them, pray for them, and be kind to them; expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35).

Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 6:1-4 – Give secretly (note: this may include time, talent, etc.). Expect the same measure that you give to be measured back to you (see Luke 6:38).

Matthew 6:5-8 – Pray, but not to impress others. Pray in the secret place (see also, Psalm 91). Do not pray using vain repetitions, or with many words.

Matthew 6:9-13 – Pray humbly for the Father’s will, provision, forgiveness, and protection.

Matthew 6:14-15 – Forgive, or expect not to be forgiven by your Father in heaven.

Matthew 6:16-18 – Fast, and do so in secret.

Matthew 6:19 – Do not lay up treasures for yourself on earth.

Matthew 6:20-21 – Lay up treasures for yourself in heaven.

Matthew 6:22-23 – Look to God alone for understanding and guidance. Avoid and reject evil deception.

Matthew 6:24 – Hate riches and love God. Be loyal to God and despise riches.

Matthew 6:25-32 – Do not worry about provisions for life. Trust God to provide what you need.

Matthew 6:33 – Seek the kingdom (i.e., reign) of God and His righteousness first.

Matthew 6:34 – Do not worry about tomorrow. Let it worry about its things. Focus on the troubles of today.

Matthew 7:1-2 – Do not condemn another. If you do, expect the same measure of God’s condemnation back to you.

Matthew 7:3-5 – Deal with your own sin before attempting to help another with theirs. Note: This does not mitigate our helping or judging others regarding their sin.

Matthew 7:6 – Be discerning when sharing the truth or any other holy thing.

Matthew 7:7-11 – Continue to ask, seek, and knock, anticipating the Father’s loving response.

Matthew 7:12 – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Matthew 7:13-14 – Strive to enter by the narrow gate. Endure the trouble, affliction, and tribulation of the way that leads to life.

Matthew 7:15-20 – Guard the flock from false prophets; know them by their fruit.

Matthew 7:21-23 – Do the Father’s will; or expect to be rejected by Christ.

Matthew 7:24-27 – Hear and do these sayings; or expect destruction.

Matthew 7:28-29 – Teach with authority, out of submission to the will of God.

Several commands in Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Mount are the same as Matthew. Here are a few of the additional ones.

Luke 6:24-26 – Beware the world’s woes: its riches, satisfactions, entertainments, and fame.

Luke 6:39-40 – Seek to be perfectly trained; to become like Christ.

Luke 6:43-44 – Judge yourself by the fruit that you bear, particularly in your words.

Luke 6:45 – Speak from the abundant, good treasure of your heart (i.e., from faith, not reason).

Luke’s account also closes with Jesus’ encouragement for those who desire to become houses that stand in the storms of life.

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:46-49

All of creation eagerly waits, with groans and labors, for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God (Romans 8:19-23). When calamity comes, many houses will fall; and the sons and daughters of God will be revealed as their houses stand against the storm.

This happens throughout our lives as those in our spheres of influence suffer loss, affliction, and tribulation. When their houses fall, they will be looking around for rescue and refuge. Our hope and prayer are that they will find a house standing nearby. What an awesome opportunity we will have to glorify our Father in heaven.

The Inspector is standing by, ready to work in us to will and do to His good pleasure. His Son has committed to make us; and the Holy Spirit has been commissioned as our transformer. We must resist the temptation to lay aside the Inspector’s report for another day, or to bury it in a jar of less profitable to-dos. By grace, through faith, our foundations can be repaired and fortified. Let’s seize the day, today!

God bless you with grace, faith, and courage for obedience to His Son’s commands.

Humbly yours and forever His,


P.S. I think it was Tozer who said that God often asks us to disciple others into things we have not yet mastered ourselves. We are not talking about hypocrisy or “fake it ’til you make it”, but humbly calling others to walk with us through the process of being made to stand. Amen.