LIVING IT OUT
Father, you have given me your Word to bless me and enable me to prosper. Thank you and enable me to do what it says. (Psalm 1:1-3)
Read LUKE 6:43-49
A Tree and Its Fruit
43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The Wise and Foolish Builders
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘My hope is built on nothing less / than Jesus’ blood and righteousness … On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; / all other ground is sinking sand.’1
Discovering how a person gives and receives love is important, particularly when it is different for you; it gives you the chance to express your love to them in a way that they can receive and experience. The idea of individual ‘love languages’ is helpful for any relationship and has certainly enriched my marriage and friendships. Jesus here seems to imply that his love language is obedience. He is not impressed with flowery prayers, with people who call him ‘Lord, Lord’, but with people who do what he says.2
The image Jesus uses here is of building a house. My wife and I once had the privilege of designing and building a house and we were amazed at how much went into the foundation. What was unseen, deep under the ground, was actually the most important part, though we were least interested in it because we’d never see it. Yet it was what allowed us to continue enjoying the rest of the house for the long term, even if the outside paint ended up more pink than we intended! I rarely see that house anymore but, whenever I do, I’m proud to have contributed something so enduring to that community.
It is all too easy to content ourselves with only hearing what Jesus has to say, but this is like building a house on shifting sand, with no foundation. Instead, we must hear his words and then, crucially, put them into practice. This discipline of ‘living it out’ is what produces the kind of deep and solid foundations in our lives which will hold us when the inevitable storms of life come. When life is calm the foundations do not matter much, but a crisis tests and reveals our foundations like nothing else.
What is the last thing God spoke to you about? Take a moment to reflect on your response. Are you putting his words into practice and speaking his love language?
Holy Spirit, as I study Scripture, convict me in those places where I need to change. Help my head knowledge become heart knowledge—knowledge that I put into practice, knowledge that will make a difference.
1 Edward Mote, 1834 2 Also expressed four times in John 14:15,21–24
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.