That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...
Philippians 2:15-16a

Friday, January 27, 2012

Being a Wise Man

Do you know that Sunday School song, The Wise Built His House Upon a Rock?  It's a familiar one.  In fact, we sang it just this past Sunday.  The children love it, because it has lots of actions, and they get to make a big noise at the end of the foolish man verse :).

This song is based on a parable Jesus told in Luke 6.  I read it this morning in my devotions.  Now, I've known this parable since I was a little kid.  I've sung the song hundreds of times!  I've had Sunday school lessons on the wise and the foolish man, always stressing how we should be the wise man.  I've heard sermons preached on this parable.  I never GOT it until today!  Can you imagine that?

So, here's what I got.  I'm going to write out the verses from Luke 6, so you can read them for yourself.

And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Whosever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
But he that heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
Luke 6:46-49

Did you get it?  Haha... probably not, because you don't even know what I got. So, here it is.  Verse 46 is the key.  Many people call Jesus Lord with their mouth, but their lives show that He's not their Lord at all!  Lord means Master.  It means the person who is in charge.  To call Jesus Lord is to say that you are submitting your life to His control.  To let Him have charge is to do what He says.  You can't say He's your Lord then go off living your own way.  In the verses previous to this Jesus just talked about how it's out of our heart that our actions flow.  How true that is!  What we think, we are.

Now compare the wise man to the foolish man.  What was the difference when the storm came?  The wise man had a foundation, so his house could stand.  The foolish man didn't have any foundation.  Here's where I was messed up before.  I've always been taught that the foundation is Christ.  This is true and confirmed by other Scripture, but that's NOT the foundation Jesus is talking about here.  To say that Christ is the foundation in this passage is reading into the text.  Look at what the wise and the foolish man had in common.  They both HEARD the Word.  They both knew Christ.  They both came to Him.  The difference is that the wise man ACTED upon what He heard.  The foolish man didn't.  The foundation that gave the wise man a solid house, was DOING what Jesus said.  

It's my personal belief that both the wise man and the foolish man in this parable are saved individuals.  They both came to Christ, and they both heard His sayings. They both read the Scriptures  The wise man acted on those sayings, and that strengthened his faith.  That strength enabled him to face the trials (storms) that came his way and remain firm in his faith.  The foolish man on the other hand, read the Scriptures, but never put them into practice in his life.  As a result, his faith wasn't strengthened.  When the trials came, he fell.  It doesn't say what he fell into, but we've all seen Christians fall during trials.  We've even experienced those falls ourselves.  Sometimes people give in to temptation.  Some may leave the church.  Others may completely turn their backs on God for a time.  Their faith is weak, because it's never been strengthened by them obeying God's Word. 

So, here's the question.  How is our faith?  I said "our" because I say this to myself as much as to anyone reading this.  Are we hearing Christ's sayings.  That IS the first step.  ...Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).  Once we've heard what God says, are we doing it?  Hearing gives us faith, but doing strengthens our faith.  The trials ARE going to come, and we need to prepare our faith now to stand the test by being a doer of the Word (James 1:27).

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