At the morning service I preached from Luke 6:46-49. In this passage Jesus tells a parable about two men who each built a house. Here’s how it goes (with a little embellishment):
Two men decided to build a house for themselves on land with a charming little stream that ran through it. The first man was wise, and he determined to anchor his house on the rock lying beneath the soil. This took a lot of digging, of course. So the man got to work with shovel and wheelbarrow, and after many days of toiling in the hot sun he finally exposed enough rock to build a foundation for his house. And then he started the arduous task of constructing the house itself.
Meanwhile the other man, a foolish man, saw the wise man digging into the ground and thought to himself, “That’s way too much work! I’ll build my house right here on the top of the ground. It’ll take me half the time and will look just as good as my neighbor’s.” So the foolish man built his house, and it was a fine-looking home. And since he finished so quickly, he spent many a lazy afternoon on the front porch, sipping lemonade and with much amusement watching his neighbor wear himself out with all his digging. “The man is crazy!” he thought.
But then the rains came, and the floodwaters began to rise. And the gentle brook running through the men’s properties became a raging river. With tremendous force the waters pounded against the two houses. The wise man’s house took a beating but because it was anchored to the rock below, it stood firm and survived the flood. Not so the foolish man’s house. Because it had no foundation, the waters burst against the walls, tore the house to pieces, and washed the whole thing downstream.
Jesus said the foolish man is like those who call him “Lord, Lord,” but do not do what he says. And the wise man is one who both hears the Word of Christ and does it. The foolish man’s “faith” is all talk: he calls Jesus Lord, he says he is a Christian, but there is no fruit of genuine obedience in his life. He has no foundation, and will crumple under the difficulties of this world. The wise man’s faith is true faith; he is not a hearer of the word only, but a doer of the word as well (James 1:23). Because his faith produces obedience, he has a solid foundation to withstand the trials and storms of this life.
Do you believe in Jesus but not do what he says? If so, you have no lasting foundation. True faith in Christ will be joined with obedience in the life of the one who believes. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). By the grace of God, if you both hear the Word of Christ and obey it, you have a foundation not only to weather the storms of this life, but a foundation that will see you through to eternity.
It’s easier to call Jesus “Lord” than to submit to him as Lord. But only such faith, a faith that brings in its tow obedience to Christ, will save you. Pray for grace to build a life with a true foundation, a life lived according to God’s Word. Then you’ll have nothing to fear in the storms to come.
Soli Deo Gloria!