Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today my toes will stride across the sand of Sunset Beach, NC. (Home of The Mailbox). My family and I are meeting my friend Zoe Elmore and her husband there for a little late-summer get-away.

I love to walk the beach, but only on the part close to the water -- on the sand that's been hard-packed by the surf. Running on the loose shifting sand gave me the worse ankle injury of my life!

Are you looking for some solid, stable ground on which to place your foot? Or your marriage, or your home, or your career?

Me too. This morning I found it. Or rather I found directions to it.  Actually, I found it and it was pointing back at itself.  Take a look:

"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.” ~ Matthew 7:24-27 

The Hebrew understanding of the word "hear" isn't just the physical act of hearing. It's not even the more intentional effort of listening. No, the Hebrew conception embodied within the word "hear" is to hear and respond.

The biblical act of hearing isn't complete until we've responded to it.

If we have "ears to hear" as the biblical idiom goes, we don't just perceive what God is saying. We don't just listen to the sermon. We don't just cognitively understand what the Bible teaches, we hear it, believe it and endeavor to live it.  We respond to the truth.

We build our house on it.

We bank on it.

We source our lives there.

And when we fail to do that, we risk a crash according to this passage.

This has me thinking, how much Bible knowledge or scripture understanding do you and I have, but do not respond to?

How quick is our responsiveness? 

Looking back, the greatest times of growth in my life as a Christian correspond with the times I've been the most responsive to God's truth.

Scripture study and Bible memorization are terrific disciplines. They're critical to growing in Christ. But they're of little good unless we allow them to transform us. We have to respond.

If you're feeling spiritually sluggish or stuck, consider: How responsive have I been to God or  scripture lately? Have I yielded to what He's asked of me?

Let's be responsive today.

I know that's easy for me to say ... I'll have my toes in the surf.


  1. My toes are splashing in the waves of the Ocean City NJ shore line! Maybe we'll talk a long walk down to see ya! :) (LONG walk!)

    I like the part of the sand that meets the ocean too. :)

    Beautiful post. May we hear and respond to His truth.

    Enjoy your vacation. Hugs to Zoe! And peak in the mailbox for me!


  2. Great post for me this morning. I have been struggling with a response to God's prompting so your words were like a shot in the arm to me.

    Envious of your time at the beach. Ther is nothing like the surf and sand on summer morning to set the backdrop of time with our heavenly father.

    Have a wonderful break!


  3. My toes are in the ocean at Bethany Beach, DE this week. And I'm reading The Mailbox!

    Thought provoking post...I will need to read it again when I'm not surrounded by my kids and grandkids =)



  4. Enjoy poking those toes in the surf this week!

    Thought provoking post, Rachel, and one I needed to read : )

    Sweet Blessings,

  5. Thanks for your wise reflections today, friend. I hope you, Zoe and your families have a blast! Our family rule, though, is "No having fun without me." I think this might apply here. :)


Chime in.