Thought for the Day June 30th
“Why do you call me ‘’Lord, Lord and do not what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been 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. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.’’ (Luke 6: 46 - 49)
Recently there has been a great deal of building activity near my house. I have become aware of the complex planning involved in laying foundations, from exploring the nature of the soil and the depth of excavation required, to deciding on the material to be used, which usually includes concrete, the modern equivalent of the bedrock in this parable. Rock was found everywhere in the hilly landscape of the Old and New Testaments and figures frequently in the Scriptures, as do other natural features such as vineyards and sheep, often encountered in the parables of Jesus. In the Old Testament rock sustained and protected, was a place of refuge and shelter. It represented God and prefigured Jesus. It represented the heart’s desire: the psalmist prayed ‘’From the end of the earth I call to you, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I’’. (Psalm 61:2 )
Physical foundations involve hard work and effort, spiritual foundations commitment of mind and heart. If we build our house, in other words our life, on Jesus as our rock and our foundation, it will survive the floods, the problems and trials that burst upon us. In the time of Jesus freak storms were not uncommon; they caused dried up stream beds to become turbulent, destructive floods. In recent times we have increasingly experienced floods in our own country and they have occurred only too often in countries where extremes of climate and poorly built houses with unstable foundations combine, bringing catastrophic results. We, like Jesus’s contemporaries, are fully aware of the damage which can be caused by floods.
We can be protected and strengthened by the rock that is Jesus but in this parable, the promise comes with a warning: we are told that we need to come to Jesus, hear his words and act on them. otherwise we are like the one who took the easy course and built his house on the ground (sand in Matthew’s account of this parable) and could offer no resistance to the floods which ruined his house. It is a strong message. We ignore it at our peril.
So how do we come to Jesus, hear his words and act on them? We come to Jesus through prayer and building a relationship with him, we hear his words in the Bible and in fellowship with others. If we are committed to this with all our mind, heart and spirit, He will give us the power and passion to act on His words, to live out His commandments, whatever that involves in the daily round of each one of us.
Our Heavenly Father,
We thank you that you lead us to the rock who is our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you that if we abide in Him, we will be given the strength to withstand whatever storms assail us. Help us to renew each day our commitment to live in accordance with His words. Amen.