This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:46-49 where we learn that we are to build our lives on the rock of Jesus’ teaching if we are to withstand the various storms that we will face. Today, we’ll reflect on the simple idea of obeying Jesus.
‘“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 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 6:46-49)
Lesson: If Jesus is our Lord, we love and obey all that He says.
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Terry Virgo shared an incident when, after preaching at a conference, one of the leaders in attendance, from the stage, asked the crowd, “Have you been blessed?” To which everyone responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes.” This leader followed up with a response, “No, you’re all deceived!” Terry was understandably concerned and thought, “What have I said!” Again, this leader said, “Do you think you have been blessed? The scripture says, ‘Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’” and he added, “You haven’t done anything yet; you’ve just listened!”
Jesus wants us to be great listeners and great doers of His teachings. In His love, He wants our house to remain standing in the storms of life. If Jesus is our Lord, then we are to seek to obey Him. None of us are perfect, but I meet too many Christians who are living in ways that seem to ignore the plain teaching of scripture. It must never be the case that Christianity is a ticket for heaven without any submission to Jesus as Lord.
I hope we can see the link between this parable of the two builders and that of the previous one about two types of trees with good and bad fruit. Both are saying the same thing. Both are reinforcing the idea that our spiritual condition will be seen in our lives, particularly in our words.
A good heart—someone who truly knows Jesus—is careful to love what Jesus says and to listen to Him about prayer, worship, church, sex, marriage, singleness, money, healing, worry, etc., and, most importantly, about how He saves us through the cross. If we don’t love Jesus’ words—and we can all allow our devotion to dull—we may need to hear Jesus say to us: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” There is a great danger, and it has always been thus, that we get our bearings on how to live from the world around us—what is culturally acceptable. We can slide from radical devotion into lukewarm respectability. In Jesus’ day, this often took the form of religiosity and condemnation of those who didn’t keep to the man-made religious traditions, but we all face pressure to compromise on listening to our Lord.
In Matthew’s more extensive treatment of this teaching in The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus adds this challenge regarding doing and not doing His will:
‘“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 who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”’ (Matthew 7:21-23)
These are hard words from Jesus, but love must also be tough at times. And if this is a bit much, do ensure that you read Monday’s Devotional (#941) about the gospel so as to understand that listening to Jesus and building on the Rock of His teaching begins with understanding Him about the gospel of grace. Mike Mckinley writes about what our obedience shows:
‘The fruit of obedience (and not merely a profession of devotion to Jesus) shows that the heart below the surface is committed to Jesus.’ (McKinley, Mike. Luke 1-12 For You)
If Jesus is our Lord, we love and obey all that He says. The sin that remains in our nature will kick against this. We are all tempted to seek our own glory and comfort, and, as a result, downplay or reject aspects of Jesus’ teaching, but this is to build on sand. Always remember, Jesus is bringing this strong and stern challenge to us because He loves us and wants us to flourish and experience joy.
Let’s pray together:
"Lord Jesus, be the Lord of my life. Forgive me where I’ve given lordship to other influences. Move my heart to love You by cherishing Your words and obeying them. May I stand firm in the storms of temptation and judgment because I have built my life on Your teachings. Amen."
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 6:46-49 where Jesus is finishing off this section often called ‘The Sermon on the Plain’. As He finishes, He ends with a parable in order to illustrate the vital place of building our lives on the good foundation of His teaching.
Please read Luke 6:46-49
On Sunday we saw that we are to be those who build on the rock of Jesus’ teaching; what aspects of Jesus’ teaching come to mind for you?
Our ‘icebreaker’ in our Community Groups is often: ‘How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?’ This is designed as a simple way of encouraging one another to read and do what’s in the Bible. When, where and how do you make time to devote yourself to the Bible?
What are the various ‘storms’ that assault and test the quality of our faith?
On Sunday, Phil shared a very painful storm that he had been through; Do you have any experiences that you would like to share of how you’ve persevered through storms and what truths did you stand on?
SIV - How will the way that we deal with the storms of life be a testimony to those in our lives?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.
Does anyone want prayer out of what we have reflected on together or for anything else?