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 how we need to be earnest and diligent to build on the foundation of Jesus’ teaching.
‘“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: We are called to be disciples, which is a call to earnest and diligent learning from Jesus.
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I remember when I was at school, I became bored with my German lessons. The teacher had very little control over the class, and while many brought mayhem to the class in various ways, I would go to sleep behind my German textbook! Unfortunately, one learns very little German by sleeping under a book, as my test results would reveal!
As we've read this text from Luke this week, I hope we can discern the serious approach to learning that Jesus urges on us. His words and illustrations are confrontational and earnest. He speaks of the man who 'dug down deep' and 'built well'—two phrases that stand out to me. None of us would want to hire builders who dug down not very far and built poorly, and God doesn't want us to be 'cowboy' builders either. Recently, while working on a minor job in the building with Jonathan (our intern), we considered using Super Glue for something. As we did so, I realised that using glue for something is often a way of cutting corners, and I explained to Jonathan about the term 'cowboy builder.' The question for us is: Are we 'super glue' people or 'dig down deep and build well' people?
Building on the foundation of Jesus' teaching can't be rushed or crammed in quickly. It involves cultivating daily habits that shape our character over time. May the commendation given to the Bereans also be spoken of us:
‘Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.’ (Acts 17:11)
We are called to be disciples, which is a call to earnest and diligent learning from Jesus. Let me finish this week’s devotions on our call to build on the immovable foundation of Jesus’ teaching with these words of exhortation from 1 Corinthians 6. Here, Paul will exhort us to build on Christ with ‘gold, silver and costly stones’ rather than ‘wood, hay or straw’. Working with these precious materials requires excavation, urging us to 'dig down deep' as we search God's words with great care."
‘By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.’ (1 Corinthians 6:10-15)
"Lord Jesus, may I and my church family build on your teaching with great care, so that we may be healthy and stand strong in the storms. Help me and help us to 'dig down deep' into your Word, constructing our lives with 'gold, silver, and costly stones.' 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?