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. Luke 6:49
I live in Colorado, a state in the western US known for the Rocky Mountains and our annual snowfall. Yet the worst natural disaster in my state had nothing to do with snow, but rain. The Big Thompson flood occurred on July 31, 1976, around the resort town of Estes Park. When the water finally receded, the death toll was 144 lives, not including livestock. In the wake of that disaster significant studies were done in the area, especially in regard to the foundation of roads and highways. The walls of the roads that withstood the storm were those filled with concrete. In other words, they had a sure and strong foundation.
In our lives the question is not if the floods will come, but when. Sometimes we have advance notice, but usually not. Jesus stresses a strong foundation for such times—one built by not just hearing His words but also by living out the gospel (Luke 6:47). That practice is almost like pouring concrete into our lives. When the floods come, and they will, we can withstand them because we’ve been “well built” (v. 48). The absence of practice leaves our lives vulnerable to collapse and destruction (v. 49). It’s the difference between being wise and foolish.
It’s good to pause occasionally and do a little foundation assessment. Jesus will help us to fortify the weak places that we might stand strong in His power when the floods come.
What weak spots need attention in your life? How might you work on them?
Jesus, I want to be not just a hearer but a doer as well. Give me the vision to see weak places in my foundation that need attention. And thank You for Your promised presence when the floods do come.
Luke 6:17–49 echoes the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), but it’s actually a separate discourse Jesus gave “on a level place” (Luke 6:17). Luke 6:46–49 mirrors Matthew 7:21–27, and—similar to that passage—it contains a dire warning: “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). The Matthew passage is even stronger: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Christ’s message is clear: If we profess to love Him, we’ll listen to and follow His commands. A quick overview of His commands is found in Luke 6:27–36: love those who hate you; be merciful; do not judge; forgive lavishly; give generously. The one who does these things is building a foundation on rock (v. 48).