Wise and Foolish Builders: Building to withstand storm
Luke 6:46 NLT “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? 47 I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. 48 It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. 49 But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
This is the concluding part of Jesus sermon “sermon on the mount”
• Considered Jesus’ most beloved and well-known message.
• It was given shortly after Pentecost.
Luke 6:17 and stood on a level place, Mathew 5:1 Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down.
• Many think this was a sermon Jesus preached two times, repetition is important.\Thus, I am personally convinced that, although it is an almost exact repetition of Jesus’ sermon recorded in Matthew 5–7… I point this out because if indeed this was a sermon Jesus gave on more than one occasion, this tells me something. “I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of these things though you know them until you be established in them,” Peter said (see 2 Peter 1:12). Repetition is the mother of learning.
• AMP clarifies it: And Jesus came down with them and took His stand on a level spot
Background to story: Usually the last section of a sermon is to draw it all together
• To make is a practical application of message: What does this mean to me?
The illustration Jesus uses was perfect as a conclusion to His message.
• He had a working knowledge of carpentry, probably seen both kinds of houses!
In Israel there were many valleys (gullies)which were dry but during the rains, became filled Flash floods
• His hearers could identify with the story, probably seen it play out many times
It shows two categories of hearers (as there is today):
1. The Hearers and Doers versus the Hearers Only
2. Those who build on the rock versus those who build on the sand
Both of these categories have the same opportunity – both hear the same words!
• Not a difference in ability – both started out equal!
• Not a difference in the houses!
• Not a difference in the trials!
• The difference is in the foundation!
Why? And when the rains came:
NLT “When the floods sweep down against that house”
TPT ” When the storms and floods rage against that house”
Jesus said: John 16:33 NLT “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Tribulation:[ thlipsis / thlip ·sis /] From “HELPS Word Studies”: pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that “hems someone in”; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, “without options”).
• carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is “no way of escape” (“hemmed in”).
Vine: primarily means “a pressing, pressure”
Tribulation can be physical, emotional, practical things… A result of life in this world
• Disappointments: Paul had them: 2 Cor 2:1 2 NLT When I came to the city of Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord opened a door of opportunity for me. 13 But I had no peace of mind because my dear brother Titus hadn’t yet arrived with a report from you. So I said good-bye and went on to Macedonia to find him.
Coworkers that left him, seemed lonely, needed help and they were not there.
2 Tim 4:9 NLT Timothy, please come as soon as you can. 10 Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry.
• Many listened to Jesus but turned back John 6:66 NLT At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.
o Have people left you, turned their back, “unfriended” you? It happens!
Josephs own brothers sold him! But he had a foundation!
Some storms: Physical problems, aging problems
• Sudden financial problems, Rejection, promises not kept, Mistreatment
• Misunderstandings, Gossip, Temptation, Pressures, Failure
These are challenges to believers, but remember the rest: But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
He keeps us! Paul reflecting on some of his problems 2 Tim 4:16 TPT At first there was no one I could count on to faithfully stand with me—they all ran off and abandoned me—but don’t hold this against them. 17 For in spite of this, my Lord himself stood with me, empowering me to complete my ministry of preaching to all the non-Jewish nations so they all could hear the message and be delivered from the mouth of the lion! 18 And my Lord will continue to deliver me from every form of evil and give me life in his heavenly kingdom. May all the glory go to him alone for all the ages of eternity!
Who was Jesus teaching? Luke 6:17 When they came down from the mountain, the disciples stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon
• Two groups: crowds and disciples
Crowds: a great lesson about life without Jesus
Are our foundations things, friends, success, romance, money, being appreciated?
• All things of life that have their place. But these are not a sure foundation.
• Only Jesus is the true foundation!
1 Cor 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
Last year, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a major study on religious affiliation, beliefs and practices in the United States. One of the significant findings was that 70 percent of all Americans believe that many religions can lead to eternal life, including 65 percent of all self-identifying Christians. Perhaps the most surprising finding was that 56 percent of all Evangelical Christians believe that there are many paths, other than faith in Christ, to God and eternal life (See http://pewforum.org).
• Many were so shocked by these numbers that the Pew Forum went back and did further polling to make sure that by religion, respondents did not have in mind other Christian bodies or denominations. Their earlier results were essentially confirmed.
There is not other foundation! All others look good, seem nice until the rains of life sweep in!
• Only we have God as a Comforter, Friend, Guide, Lord
• Where are you building your foundation? Where is your house? Is it built on the Rock which is Christ Jesus, or is it built on sand?
Great illustration is life of John Wesley: His foundation was religious, even a missionary to Georgia! He had never been so frightened as on January 25, 1736. He was aboard a small sailing ship somewhere in the mid-Atlantic in midwinter, en route to as a missionary to the Indians, though as yet he himself had never been saved. A group of Moravian missionaries from Germany had booked passage on the same ship. The voyage was treacherous. Three storms had already battered the boat, and a fourth was brewing. Wesley scribbled in his journal, “Storm greater: afraid!” But the Moravians, showing no fear, persevered in their plans for a worship service. In the middle of their singing, a gigantic wave rose over the side of the vessel, splitting the mainsail, covering the ship, pouring water like Niagara between decks “as if the great deep had already swallowed us up.”
The English passengers screamed as the ship lurched and pitched between towering waves. Wesley clung on for dear life. But the German missionaries didn’t miss a note. Wesley, awestruck by their composure, went to the leader and asked, “Weren’t you afraid?” “I thank God, no.” “Were not your women and children afraid?” “No,” replied the man. “Our women and children are not afraid.”
John Wesley’s missionary labors in Georgia failed, and he returned to England saying, “I went to America to convert the Indians, but, oh, who shall convert me?” The Moravians, that’s who. Back in London, Wesley attended a Moravian meeting in Aldersgate Street, May 24, 1738, and listened to someone reading from Luther’s preface to Romans. He later said, “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given to me that he had taken away my sins, even mine.”
Wesley became a famous evangelist and social reformer, with the world as his parish. But he himself was won to Christ by the power of a small group whose commitment to Christ was strong enough to keep them unflappable in a storm.
Jesus has deep words for His disciples: He emphasizes 2 things: hearing and doing
Many just hear but do not apply, walk in His words
How are we building upon the foundation of Christ?
How many sermons have you heard on forgiveness yet how many have built unforgiveness, resentment into the foundation?
How about fear? Peace, patience, love, prayer…
Many commentators see this also as how it contrasts one who carefully chooses and prepares his foundation with one who builds at hap-hazard.
• Many just throw in what they like, some sheet metal, bamboo, a cool door…
Upon the foundation of Christ we lay our doctrinal foundation
Heb 6:1 NKJ Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
Many today take any wind of doctrine, build on every wind of doctrine
We become doubleminded, no root, easily moved
We do not just build with any materials on that precious foundations!
The Wise Man: One who does more than just listens
Need to hear the instructions from the Master Contactor, He Knows best!!!
• Need: The Word (1Pet 2:2-5, milk)
• Need to keep His commands: John 14:15
Result: Stability: Kept by His hand: 1 Pet 1:5 NLT “And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
• 1 Tim 1:12 strength to build: I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him,
The Foolish Man: Built on sand: Sand is in constant change
• Rock never changes. Go to Gibraltar 500 years ago and now, looks the same
• Go to the beach to see a sand castle today but what tomorrow….
It takes more work to build on the rock. It takes more time and energy. And it costs more.
It is easier and faster to build on the sand. It’s always easier to take shortcuts in building a home. It’s cheaper to use inferior materials. And for a while, no one may notice. But when a big storm comes it does not hold.
Take time in the Word. Not only listen, read but ask yourself: I am applying this in my life.
• Ask God to help you be a doer.
Is your house built safe from storms?
Every person has a house to build, a life to build.
We live in a fallen world, we cannot escape the fact.
How and where we are building our foundation determines how we stand now and eternally.