Life on the Rock

I had the great privilege of sharing a message at the New Covenant Church of God in Roseland, LA today.

I spoke about the story of the house built upon a rockĀ (in Luke 6:47,48). Building a life (our house) on a solid foundation is the object of the story which actually begins with verse 20 – where Jesus gave the plan for building. Here is a summary of the message…

Starting in Luke 6:20, we read thatĀ Jesus preached a message of hope to some of the poorest people in Judea and the surrounding area. The content of that message is often called “the Beatitudes.” In it, Jesus told those poor, hungry & hurting people that they were BLESSED (v.20)! It hardly seems appropriate but it is true.

However, they were not blessed BECAUSE they were poor or hurting. Instead they were blessed because they possessed the Kingdom of God. In other words, they were God’s Children. And, regardless of our present circumstances, God’s children are truly blessed.

Jesus also pronounced a woe to those who were rich. Again, the problem was not that they had too many material resources. It was because they did not recognize that God is the source and owner of all the resources. Also, they took comfort/consolation from their riches – rather than seek such comfort from God.

Then, Jesus really upset the “apple cart” for the Pharisees then and now: He told everyone that they were to love their enemies (v.27). We are to do good to those who hate us; bless those who curse us; pray for those who mistreat us; and, when someone slaps our face, we are to offer the other cheek. He continued (v.29) that when someone steals from us, we are not to try to recover it.

Jesus spoke the “Golden Rule” (v.31) as justification for all of this. We should do this because that is what we would want done for us. You may be saying, “I would never steal or hurt others!” But Jesus said that when we act this way, our reward will be great – BECAUSE we are the children of the Most High God – who is kind to the ungrateful and wicked (us). Verse 36 says that we must show mercy just like God is merciful to us.

But all of that is EASY compared to verse 37 where Jesus tells us not to judge or condemn but instead we are to forgive. Strangely, verse 38 is the “Give and it will be given to you” verse. Seems out of place, huh? Well, the reason is that the over-zealous have mis-applied this verse and claim that it demands that we give (often more than we can afford). In truth, the focus in NOT on finances but on measures. If we are liberal with the measure we use, then a liberal measure will be used for us as well. Whether we are measuring “stuff” (pressed down, shaken together and running over) — or judgment — or forgiveness — the measure we use will be returned to us.

Verse 40 says that the student is not greater than his teacher. We are to live like our teacher. People are looking for answers. From Christians who CARE. Who are not judgmental. Sinners respond to Christians who display the heart of God (compare Acts 13:22 & Eze 22:30). Remember, God’s heart is to show mercy to the ungrateful and wicked (v.35).

Verse 43 tells us that good fruit comes from good trees. Some “fruit inspectors” claim this gives them the right to evaluate other people’s spiritual state. In reality, they have it reversed! What Jesus said was that unbelievers look at US and they recognize the heart of God – or hypocrisy.

Bottom line: To build our life on the solid foundation (the Rock of my salvation), we must follow Jesus’ outline in Luke 6:47… come to Jesus (saved by grace – not works), hear His words and then put them into practice. This chapter describes what Jesus said and how we are responsible to put His words into practice. After we do this, our house/life will remain steady when the enemy comes in like a flood (Isa 59:19). Be certain, the reward will be great.

To download a PDF file of the entire outline, click here: 100926 Life on the Rock

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