A Firm Foundation
“And why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me, and hears My words, and acts upon them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood rose, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard, and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built upon the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
What a storm each of us can expect in our lives if we call upon Jesus to be our Savior! He has promised that we will go through a storm (or many storms) in order to find out if we are actually doers of His word and not just hearers, and to be able to take down a house it must be a fearful storm indeed. I think the word of council here is that we must quickly go about checking our foundation to see if it is safely built on the Rock. We must look closely at our lives and at Jesus’ words to see if we are living by them in every area of our lives. A good concise outline can be found in the earlier verses of this chapter. In verses 20-45 Jesus gives us a close look at how we are to treat one another.
(-Giving to those who ask, without expecting anything back. -Loving our enemies. -Doing acts of kindness to those who persecute us. -Not judging or condemning. -To pardon one another. -To give freely to those in need. -To be joyful when people persecute us for our love and commitment to Jesus Christ. -To be bearing good fruit.)
How are we doing? Can any of us honestly say that at any moment day or night we would willingly do any of these things for someone, be they friend or enemy? Or do we say in our hearts, “I will give as long as I can be sure there is enough left for me to not have to go without what I need.” Or, “I can love this person as long as they never do such and such a thing to me again,” or “As long as they apologize then I will forgive.” We all want to add our own “clauses” to the deal. We do something as long as it works for us and doesn’t interfere with our own lives. Jesus does not say that these things are optional. He says, “If you hear these words of Mine and act upon them,” then you will weather the storms that He allows to test you.
Fortunately there is good news! The good news is that Jesus has made a way for us to be able to accomplish all of these things! Hallelujah! And it doesn’t involve making demands upon your heart to truly love this or that person! It doesn’t involve making yourself want to give your last dollar to a poor man! It doesn’t involve making yourself bear good fruit! There is no way we can make our heart want to do any of these things! We must go to Jesus and have Him give us a new heart, one that does love to do all these things. We must go to Jesus and ask Him for a heart that loves to do all these things and when we receive it all the things Jesus has told us to do will come naturally and easily. We must have a heart of love and compassion given to us by Him. We must have a heart transplant. Our job is to go to Jesus and ask Him for a new heart.
We ask ourselves, “Is it really so simple?” Jesus said that we must become as little children to begin to understand the ways of God. A little child automatically knows he must ask his parents for the things he wants, for he is dependent upon them for everything. Our old heart is not capable of the love and duty that Jesus says we must be doing in order to survive the storm. We can beat it to death and still it will not love with true Godly love. We must ask Jesus for a new one. Simple, and yet it truly is the only way to begin securing our foundation for the trials ahead.
The new heart that Jesus gives us does truly love our enemies. It does not even need to be told to love them, it already does. Our new heart does not need to be told to give without needing to be repaid; it loves to give this way! All these things that Jesus has required will take no effort; we will automatically start doing all these things. Don’t get me wrong, the Devil will tempt us to give up doing these things so there will still be a struggle. However we will have a natural desire and ability through Jesus to start doing all of these things and indeed, our doing them will be a sign that Jesus has given us a new heart!
So let us not yell and scream at our old heart for not doing what it never could do, but let us sit quietly at Jesus feet as little children and ask for a new heart from Him. God bless you all and may He give each of you a fresh joy without measure and may others see that joy and find the Eternal Wellspring of Life through Jesus Christ! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord for His mercies are new every morning!