You can’t stand on quicksand

[BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: My new book of devotionals is out NOW! It’s called “Turbulence: Devotionals to Steady You Through The Storms of Life.” More info is at the bottom of today’s devotional.]

Yesterday I said that wisdom is hearing Jesus’ words and putting them into practice. It was based on Matthew 7:24 where Jesus says that “everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Sounds good, right? Definitely. But it also sounds STABILIZING. Here’s why.

In verse 25 he continues by saying, “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.”

Let’s be clear. He’s not talking about houses and rain. He’s talking about people and the challenges they face in life. He doesn’t say that challenges won’t come. He’s saying that when they do in fact come, we will not fall because our lives are built on hearing Jesus’ words and putting them into practice.


This teaches us something about the heart of our Champion and Hero. He cares about us—a lot! Because he knows that life is challenging, he provides a clear way for us to persevere victoriously.

I remember watching a rerun of Gilligan’s Island. Remember that one? “A three hour tour, a three hour tour…” Anyway, in this particular episode, the Skipper fell into some quicksand. The more he flailed around, the deeper he sunk. (Eventually he got out because he grabbed on to a vine.)

It reminded me that you can’t stand on quicksand.

If you build your life on anything else—another teacher, money, fame, the “success” of your family or career, or even your own personal cleverness or strength—you will sink.

“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.”

By Matthew Ruttan

NEW BOOK: I’m happy to announce my new book Turbulence! It’s out NOW and is available through Amazon (paperback or Kindle), Apple Books, and Kobo. (More booksellers to come.) Assembled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it includes 150 devotionals to steady you through the storms of life. Click here for the web page with background, purchase info, and endorsements.

FORWARD: If you want to read the full forward to the new book, including the idea behind “turbulence,” how it is based on this devotional, and my list of thank yous, click here.

THIS SUNDAY at Westminster (where I lead worship and preach) I will share a homily on Psalm 85 as I answer this question: How does our eternal citizenship impact our Canadian citizenship? We go live at 10:01am (EST) on Sunday at

–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on June 29.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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