More from Carol’s teaching notes…
How to finish the race-by starting with the right foundation!
We all want to be able to say what Paul said in 2Timothy 4:7; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
So, how do we go about doing this? By building on the only sure foundation to see us through this life – which is Jesus Christ Himself! 1Corinthians 3:10-11 says “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” This requires focus and reevaluation of ourselves to see where we are heading. Are we staying in God’s Word? Are we taking time at home to study, or are we only relying on others to interpret and teach and explain God’s word to us? Are we taking time to listen to God in prayer and take our concerns and joys to Him? Are we yielding to what we believe He is telling us to do? Or, are we only doing what we enjoy or feel comfortable doing?
We are constantly building upon some foundation as we make our decisions and choices each day. But what foundation am I building on? Every seemingly small choice is another part of our building process. Carole Mayhall said “But more and more I am persuaded that what pleases the heart of God most are the choices we make that no one sees but God – those everyday moments when God is the only audience.” Lets go to our main text today Luke 6:46 – 49; “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 floods 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 builds 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.”
This teaching is also recorded for us in Matthew 7:24-27. The Lord has repeated this for us twice, so it must be important! Let’s take a moment and consider a few points.
1.) Vs. 46 says “…but why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?” The word “Lord” The Greek word used here is “Kurios” which means master or owner as in the possessor. God is the supreme Lord and sovereign of the Universe!! Do we act like we believe this? Do I? Or do I act (by my actions on a daily basis) like I am supreme mistress of the Universe? Psalm 123:2 speaks of the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters; “…as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God…” I am only a maid, a servant just waiting for my Lords next command and assignment to do. I do not fix my eyes on anyone else. I am fixed on Christ. It is very exciting to ask the Lord what He has for me on any given day. Who will He tell me to talk to or to pray for? Who will He send across my path that day to minister to? Will I be ready? How will I die that day to my own desires in obedience to Christ? The absolute BEST feeling on planet earth is when I obey what I believe Jesus has shown me that day to do. There is no greater joy. There is no greater strengthening for my faith.
2.) Vs 47 speaks of the combined hearing AND action; or “doing”. It is not just hearing. We can go to church, we can go to midweek bible studies, women’s studies, etc etc and if we are just hearing without action – we are destined to fail. This word for “hear” means to “hear effectually”, or “so as to perform what is spoken”. Or simply to obey.
What are we hearing? In vs.47 Jesus says “My sayings”. It is His voice, His words contained in His word. It is not hearing from another person, or hearing our own voice. It is hearing what Jesus has to say. The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals Jesus and His voice to us. John 10:2-4 says “But he who enters by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when He brings our His own sheep, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice.” So, we get to discern and hear the voice of Jesus in our lives. Then the hearing is combined with the action or the obedient doing of the thing. James 2:26 tells us that “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” This is the duo; hearing and doing.
3.) Guess what?! Rain and floods and winds will come! Not if, but when! How will we react to the storms of life? How will we react to the trials and temptations that come our way? 1Peter 1:6-7 reminds us why these things come our way. “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Rains, floods and winds are all things that God can use in our lives, to purify us, to sweep away apathy, sin and disobedience. Rain will grow the good seed implanted in our lives. Floods drown out pride and self reliance. We can manage a sprinkle in our lives, but floods drive us to Jesus in complete and utter dependence on Him. We are overwhelmed and realize our need for Him. So, who are we building on? Ourselves? Our understanding of the situation? Someone else? Some other leader? Some public personality? The only sure foundation is Jesus.
4.) In vs. 47 Jesus says “whoever comes to ME”. John 21:20 – 23 tells the story of Peter and Jesus and the disciple whom Jesus loved, John. Peter turned his eyes on John and asked Jesus about John. Peter had his eyes on another person. Jesus said “…what is that to you? You follow Me!” Again Jesus draws our eyes to Himself. We can be so distracted by so many things. He knows that and in His infinite love for us, He continually draws us to Him. He is our all sufficient one, our El Shaddai. These words in Luke are the very words of Jesus Himself. He is NOT quoting a wise man, or a book, or someone else’s teaching. These are the words of God Himself. What then will you and I do in response to them?
Warren Wiersbe says we are all building houses that can look so good from the outside. To build on the Rock means to obey what God commands in His Word. To build on the sand means to give Christ lip service but NOT obey his will. It may look as if we are building a strong house, but if it does not have a rock solid foundation it cannot last. The storm is the tests of life that comes to every professing Christian. If we are rooted and built up in Him – then our fruit will be good and our house will withstand the storms. We may have our faults and failures, but the steady witness of our lives will point to Christ and honor Him.