green lid with metal scraper
Advent, Bible, Gospel

HGTV Renovation and Advent?

Thursday 3 December 

Memorial of St. Francis Xavier 

Good Tidings Advent Devotional

Mt. 7:21, 24-27 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” 

I love watching HGTV. I love seeing neglected houses, in sad states of disrepair, transformed  into something new and beautiful. But do you ever notice how quick the transformation is? The  renovation and that shiny, new farmhouse sink look good, but are they really good?  

In Matthew 7:21, we’re told that doing good work in the Lord’s name is not enough for us  enter the kingdom of heaven. We must do the will of the Father. Doing good work but without  doing God’s will is like covering up old knob-and-tube wiring with pretty walls and not fixing  what’s truly lacking. The result of good looking work is fleeting. In a few years, a new contractor  will have to step in to fix the real issue.  

By analogy, disciples seek to do the will of God — not just what looks good on the surface.  But how do you know what God’s will is? If you are like me, you might worry about not getting it  right. I’m not a contractor, and a million HGTV binge sessions won’t make me one.  

The story of the two foundations points us to the first step in discipleship and understanding  God’s will. First, Jesus asks us to listen, and after listening, he asks us to act. (See Mt 7:24). When  we do this, Jesus promises that we will withstand the beatings life will throw at us.  

Jesus doesn’t say that my house is good as long as it looks pretty on the outside and is built in  a nice neighborhood where the weather is perfect year-round. He says, “The rain fell, floods came,  winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock”  (Mt: 7:25). 

Trust in the solid promise that when you listen in prayer and act of God’s promptings, God  will lead you to create something strong and beautiful that stands the test of any storm. You will surely shine brighter than a new farmhouse sink. Plus, the best, cutest, host-with-the-most  carpenter will be living in that house with you ready to repair as needed.  

What is your foundation?

Cassandra Smith 

You can download a copy of this free Good Tidings Advent 2020 Devotional HERE

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