LUKE 6:46-49: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great.” CSB
OBSERVANCE: What is the essence of discipleship? What is the evidence that I am a Christ follower? What is the real test of faith? Is it going to church, reading my Bible, praying before a meal, giving an offering, or singing a hymn? Jesus makes it very clear. It is not even calling Him Lord. There is only one thing that proves we are His disciples. That is obedience!
Jesus is not teaching works righteousness. It is not our obedience that earns God’s forgiveness and favor. However, it is our obedience that proves what is really in our heart. And it is not selective obedience, picking and choosing what we like in the Bible while ignoring the rest. It is absolute surrender to the will and the Word of God. It is hearing the Word of God, His “words,” and acting on them. It is producing good fruit from a heart that has been cleansed by His blood.
- “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” Luke 6:43-45 CSB
No one is perfect. A Christ follower is no exception. In fact a true Christ follower recognizes their imperfection and their need for God’s grace and His Word daily renewing their life. Yet, a Christ follower is one who has been born again of the Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ. God has given them a new heart and a new capacity to love, forgive, and obey. It is this new heart that is confirmed by new actions, actions of obedience. It is the heart that will either confirm or deny the true existence of faith.
James puts it this way.
- “But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one. Good! Even the demons believe — and they shudder. Senseless person! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?” James 2:18-20 CSB
To profess we believe in God, and to dismiss His Word in our lives, is useless. It is a false assurance in a faith that does not really exist. It is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may look the same as any other house (life) from the outside, but will it stand the storms of life? It is during the storms of life that the true foundation is tested. And during this test, it is the heart that betrays the true source of our faith by what we say and how we act.
We recently went through the purchase of a new home. One of the steps in closing on the house was an inspection. This inspection looked at the house from top to bottom, including the foundation. It is done to reveal any unknown problems that might arise after the purchase, and to confirm that the home is a good investment. I think this is something that each person should do with their lives. It is important to assess one’s heart and to test one’s foundation. Everything in life depends on it!
Yet, there is blessed assurance for the one who places their faith in Jesus Christ, and who, by the grace of God, walks in obedience to His Word!
- “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.”
To walk by faith, to draw upon the grace of God, to live a life of obedience to His Word, is the highest calling of the believer, and it offers the greatest reward. It is the promise of God’s protection and blessing against all the storms of life. And it is the promise of entering His eternal blessings at the end of this life on earth.
The blessed Holy Spirit and God’s Word are given to us to inspect the foundation of our faith and life. Daily abiding in the Word of God and prayer are the means to inspect for cracks in the foundation. And moment by moment obedience to His will is the key to living a life that is marked by His love, favor, and grace.
Lord, help me live this life today!
In Jesus Name!