“As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49
Jesus lays out for his disciples the strategy for living a life that is able to endure and withstand regardless of what it is faced with. In the events of this past week for us here in Nova Scotia, and the challenges of the past few months with the present pandemic, we can certainly understand the need to be able to endure and find a firm place for our footing while persevering through this.
When Jesus is addressing his followers, he knew they would face many unknowns in their lives and he was giving them the tools they would need to be able to face those unknowns with a resilience that is hard to come by. He begins by describing the life of one who hears his Word and then puts it into practice. In this, he is wanting them to understand how his Word is the keeping and sustaining power in their lives, but to just hear this Word is not enough, one must practice this Word.
Why practice? You learn to do something better by practicing it. The better you can do it, the more you can draw on what you know by experience and not just in theory when it is needed.
In his address to his followers, Jesus is giving them divine power to overcome in all things. He says, let me tell you what the life is like that hears and practices the Word. They are like a man who dug deep, found the rock and built his life upon that rock. The pressures will beat against that house or that man, but that life will not buckle under the pressure, it will endure.
So, how do we do this? The actual act of hearing his Word and then practicing it will bring about three key elements in a persons life. Jesus says, this man digs deep. He does not scratch the surface and settle for the easy road but is willing to put in the sweat. He is willing to invest himself into going deeper. So, when he hears the Word, he intentionally does what he can to put that Word into practice in his life. He is not ok with just “doing the religious thing.” He is a personal investor into building for his own future. So, he digs deep into Christ. He removes any obstacles that prevent his life from being deeply rooted and firmly planted in Christ.
This man continues to dig until he discovers the rock. He is not looking for any rock. Not surface rocks that can easily be moved by heavy rains or unknown pressures. He is looking for a solid rock, one that he can build his home or his life upon. There is so much life in discovering the rock. After the hard work of digging, there is such a rich reward when the rock is hit. Like a moment of celebration.
Earlier this year, my mother’s well was having some difficulties. I remember the delight when after a day of digging to get a new system in place the men were finally able to put in place what they had been digging for. It was like they struck gold. All the effort, the exhaustion, but oh the joy and the feeling of satisfaction. The hard work of digging led to something great for my mother. It gave her water.
Jesus is the rock we are discovering as we dig deeper into his Word and build our lives upon Truth. So, when Jesus is speaking to his followers, he is wanting them to see how vital it is to practicing his Word, even when weary, even when tired of digging because it is in that place where the rock is truly discovered.
The amazing thing about the Rock, and the life built upon it, is that when the storm comes that life is not shaken by the storm but rather is able to endure and be rock solid through the storm. Jesus’ call to his disciples in this passage is to build a life that would last and endure not one that would be rattled and shaken by brokenness of a fallen and sinful world around them.
He goes on to address the life that would crumble, and it is simply this. The life that hears the Word but does not practice it will have nothing to hold them when the storms rage around them. They will be carried away by the pressure of the storm because they did not dig a life deeply into Christ, they did not discover the Rock in a personal and tangible way, and because of that they are shaken and their life gives way to the crushing of the storm.
When all is said and done, the strategy that is being given to Christ’s followers and to us today is simply this, hearing is not enough, we must do what God’s Word says. In doing so, we will build a life that is deep in Christ, that has discovered He is the Rock that does not move, and that we cannot be shaken by any storm. Why would we ever settle for anything less when such life is available to us.
Pick up your shovel, it is time to dig….there is a Rock waiting to be discovered!
Karen Fuller says:April 24, 2020 at 8:39 pm
THE ROCK, my perfectly powerful permanent place of protection and provision……Christ Jesus!
Deuteronomy 32:4…..he is the rock, his work is perfect….
Job 19:24…..engraved on the rock forever…..
Psalms 40:2…….He set my feet on a rock……61:2…. A rock that is higher than I…..81:16…..with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied thee.
Isaiah 17:10…..mindful of the rock of your strength…..32:2….like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land……
Romans 9:33/1Peter 2:8……a rock of offence
j.Holmes says:April 25, 2020 at 11:19 pm
Built to last…
Let’s do a little digging…we have (1) the Rock (Jesus, the Cornerstone), (2) the foundation (the apostles and prophets who spoke of Jesus), and (3) the House (living stones, which we are, the church) . Notice that the entire structure is a spiritual building. I want to draw your attention to a deceptive flaw that I perceive is occurring within our building (as a living stone in the building) that could crumble the house in the coming storms. Yes, we need to be careful as to how we build (see that it is not wood, hay, or stubble … 1Cor.3:12) on the foundation, founded on the solid Rock. Rather, I want to draw your attention to the mortar in your building.
In 1 John 3:13-16 we read that we are not to marvel “if the world hates you. We know we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
While you were yet a sinner, did not Christ die for you?
I remind you…that the whole house is knit together with love. ( Eph. 4:15,16 and Col.2:2, 19). I remind you that …God is love. We are reminded in Col.3:18,19: “…let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.”
What we ought to be concerned about is this…that in these latter times we are warned of departing from our” first love”. (Rev.2:4) Moreover, that love of many will grow cold.(Matt.24:12) in the increasing presence of lawlessness. Furthermore people will “turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables” (Tim.4:4).
To be blunt, there are those who claim to be Christians today that walk in this deception. As many know there is a fierce spiritual battle taking place…deception vs. truth. The news is full of it. For instance…I have seen and heard one video clip which was twisted and taken out of context for another news clip. Christians propagating such erroneous stuff is wrong. When shown otherwise, they refuse truth…in preference for deception (to believe in fables) and I would say the rejection of Jesus, the Truth. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…. I see Christians hating…hating wthout cause,,,hating as the world hates, siding with the world…a stone without mortar.
This would weaken or collapse any building.
We are to love our enemies. We are to pray for those that rule over us. We are to love with God’s love. Be careful as to how you write or what you say. Do you imitate the Deceiver or Christ Jesus?
What kind of rock are you built upon?
Sue Holmes says:April 26, 2020 at 12:37 am
My take-away from this …
– “As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.”
The first thing that stood out here is that the person described is a person of faith.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) Therefore the Word + hearing = faith
And this person is not just a hearer, but a doer.
“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” (James 2:20) Therefore the Word + hearing = faith + works
I hear Jesus, the divine teacher, putting out the challenge, “Are you (Sue) a person of faith.?” And to be honest, there are times when I echo His question back at myself, “Do I have faith for the task?” “Does my life demonstrate faith?” “Would anyone see or glorify God by the faith demonstrated in my ‘day-to-day’?”
– This makes the instruction to dig deep of upmost importance. But how deep?
A bit of online research tells me that solid bedrock makes the best foundation. But the issue with bedrock is that there is no firm direction for finding it. One person digging might find bedrock just a few feet down while another may have to excavate down a few hundred feet … or more.
This reaffirms to me that each person’s relationship with Christ is indeed personal & individual. Each stage of our relationship is personal & individual. There is no formula for the Christian life except to stay close to Christ and keep digging. The challenges we each go through & how we handle them are unique to each of us. What might require a bit of digging for you, or you, or you may take much more for myself. And the situation can be reversed.
We are going through events unprecedented in our lifetime … social/physical distancing, isolation, lockdowns, mass shootings just hours down the road from here. And on a personal level the loss of my brother at a time when we cannot meet to comfort family plus a niece & a nephew being tested for covid. (Both results were negative.) Personally, this is a time for digging deep.
But the great thing is that we are digging deep with Christ. “For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” (! Corthinians 3:9). We are yoked to the master builder. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me … For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29, 30)
– One thing that I have often missed when reading this passage is the first few words … “As for everyone who comes to me”. We HAVE to come to Him. He doesn’t force us into house building or digging. He waits for us to come. That is the prerequisite. “Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly] and longs to be gracious to you,” (Isaiah 30:18)
– “He begins by describing the life of one who hears his Word and then puts it into practice” … … …“hearing is not enough, we must do what God’s Word says.” A big part of my ability to go deep with God is obedience (submission). “”Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man” (Matthew 7:24) Obedience = Wisdom or Wisdom = Obedience. It seems that the two go hand-in-hand.