May 27 - Are You Laying A Foundation?

Opening Prayer Thoughts. 
 
Praise God.
Praise God for our 'Rock', the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God that his Son came to earth and lived an obedient life unto death itself that we might, by his grace, have our lives established upon him. Praise God that Christ is the chief cornerstone of his Bride, and that there is life, hope, and joy in him.

Acknowledge sin.
Confess and seek to mortify the sin of leaning on your own understanding. Pray that God, the Holy Spirit, will help you to really establish your daily life in Christ. Your thinking, your speaking, your
seeing, your doing.

 

Let's read Luke 6:46-49. Are you laying a foundation?
Ask God the Holy Spirit to help you in your understanding of his Word.
 
This is unerring, uncanny. If you didn't know me, you'd think I am making this up. I finished the ‘Daily Encouragement’ yesterday with what I thought was an appropriate quote from Matthew 7:21-23. Again, like on Monday, I had not read ahead. Yes, I had seen the heading in my bible – 'Build Your house on the Rock', but that was it. To walk in this morning and find that the next sentence in Luke is the same as the Matthew passage, well… Yet again, we see the Lord's providential hand in leading us in these things, and I repeat what I wrote yesterday – what an encouragement to know that the Lord's hand is intimately involved in this study with us.
 
V46. Saying 'Lord, Lord' means nothing if there is no doing.
In Matthew's gospel (Matthew 7:21-23), we have a fuller account of what Jesus says; Luke picks out one sentence. Jesus is following on from what we saw yesterday, but he is no longer using pictures. We are now into the specifics. Those who are not producing good fruit maybe are eager to call Jesus their Lord, but it's clear that they are not willing to submit to his authority. Here is the issue. To call Jesus my Lord, in fact, 'Lord, Lord', is to say that Jesus rules over all of my life. That his Word is paramount to me, and that I find delight and joy in doing what he commands. To live one's life saying that and then not do it, is what? It's worse than denying Jesus. It's worse than saying that you despise him and will not do what he says. At least that is honest. It's living a life marked by a modicum of integrity. But, to present yourself as an all-in lover of Jesus, and then be a half-hearted, do when it suits me, observer of Jesus’ commands, is reprehensible. It is no wonder that Jesus ends this teaching with the warning, "I declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'" Matthew 7:24. 
 
You could distance yourself from this by saying, well, this is speaking of teachers and ministers. Those who have 'prophesied in Jesus' name’ and 'cast out demons in his name'. That is true; the bar is set high for those who say that Christ has called them to the privilege of the gospel. Any minister found short of this bar because of evident lies must be removed from office immediately, and without sympathy, no matter what mitigating reasons may be proffered. To do so is not easy; in fact, it can be extremely difficult, as the Ottawa RP congregation knows from events in the past decade. But the hireling cannot be left to peddle the falsehood of his character among the lambs. To do so would be unjustifiable and, therefore, inexplicable.
 
However, this is not just about ministers; we all stand under the same teaching, minister or not. We cannot call Jesus our 'Lord', the one to whom we will submit our lives and then do as we please. Paying lip-service to some form of routine religion won't cut it. Christ desires, and will have, authenticity, honesty, integrity, for that is who he is, and that is what marked his life, from the cradle to the Cross. He didn't come to earth, parading himself as someone, and then live otherwise. No, he lived his life on earth being who he said he was, and in the process he endured the ridiculing, the reviling, the mockery, and the shame right to death itself, in obedience to the Father. Therefore, we simply cannot say we love Jesus and will do as he says, and then not do it. 
 
The entire thrust of my ministry has been, and will, Christ permitting, continue to be focused on a desire to see sinners saved, and to see those who profess faith be who they say they are. Please note, I didn't say, 'who I think they should be', but 'who they say they are'. Why? Because I don't want anyone to hear Jesus say to them – 'depart from me, you worker of lawlessness'. Please remember that when you think I am being too forward, too insistent in my calling of you to fulfill the vows you have made to God. It is not about 'ticking boxes', it is about encouraging and helping you to be who you say you are, by doing what you have promised to God. 
 
V47. The Solid Foundation.
Jesus paints the picture, via a parable, of what happens when to us; when we do what we say and when we don't. Matthew's account and Luke's differ in that Matthew tells us the types of sites the two men choose to build on, one on the Rock, the other on sand, Matthew 7:24-27; whereas Luke tells us how they go about laying their respective foundations. 
 
What does Luke say about the first man's approach to the foundations for his home? There is digging involved, honest hard work. And it is prolonged. This man isn't digging a few shovelfuls out; he is at it continuously for days, weeks, maybe even months. He is taking care to do the job right. It's not a hobby for him. It's not a casual enterprise which he engages in for a bit of fun or downtime. No, this is important to him. Why? Because this is his home, and his family needs it to live in. This is where he, his wife and family, will live, and it has to be right in the sense of being able to stand whatever comes its way. And so, when the floods do come, when life's issues break over his home, what happens? It doesn't move an inch. It stands where he has built it because he has spent the hours, weeks, months, years digging to get the right foundation laid. 
 
What of the second man's approach? Well, he just turned up one day and started laying the brick, and by the time he had finished, it looked good. In fact, observers probably thought as they watched the first man toil away, digging his heart out day after day, that if they were going to build a home, they'd follow the second man's approach. Why bother with all that work under the surface when all you see is what is above ground? Why waste all that energy, time and money going down to the bedrock when you can invest it in having a bigger house on your plot? It makes a lot of sense. Why take seriously the things Jesus tells you to do when you don't really have to. I mean, what difference does it make? No one sees the digging, the careful, thoughtful, intelligent obedience. All they see is you turn up at church on a Sunday, and that's it. The 'digger' turns up at church; the 'non-digger' turns up at church. They sing the same songs, listen to the same prayers, hear the same sermon, get coffee from the same dispenser, leave the same parking lot, and go home. What's the point of the 'digging' – doing what Jesus says? When the flood comes, as you can be sure it will, the point is that your home doesn't fall down around your ears. And notice, it doesn't take a huge flood to destroy the unfounded structure. Jesus says, "when the stream broke against it, immediately it fell"; and what of the consequence – "the ruin of that house was great."
 
The minister, the Christian, who hears and does what Jesus says, builds their house on the Rock, and when the tidal waves hit, their lives and the lives of those around them will stand. On the other hand, the hireling and the possessor of phantom faith who hears and will not do what Jesus says – the ruin of their lives and its impact on others will be great. And we must have no sympathy for them because they have self-deceived and sought to deceive others in the face of clear and present truth (James 1:22 -27).
 

A Psalm to Sing.
Psalm 27D. Link to the words. Link to it being sung. Sing with joy in your heart to God.


Memory Verse. 
'Hiding' the Word of God in your heart will bless you in ways you will never expect.
Ephesians 1:3,4
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
 
 
Truth for the Mind and Heart
Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 43 - What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?
Answer - The preface to the Ten Commandments is: I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you find proof texts.
 
 
Thank God.
Thank God for the privilege of hearing the words of Jesus. Pray that, by God's grace, as we hear them, we would mull over and be doers of them.
 
Take care in Christ,
Andrew 
 
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley