Righteous Response: Building Wisely (Luke 6:39-49)
Many of you will recall the harrowing hours of October 10, 2018 as the nation awaited word from the Florida gulf coast after Hurricane Michael made landfall at 12:15pm CDT with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. A strong category 4 hurricane, Michael was the strongest and most deadly hurricane to ever hit the Florida panhandle. In the US alone, 57 people lost their lives and property damages exceeded $25 Billion dollars. The destruction wrought on Mexico Beach and the surrounding area will long be remembered. Many along the gulf coast are still reeling from the loss in the aftermath of that horrific storm, and we should continue to lift them up in prayer and provide support in other tangible means as well.
If you are like me, I am heartbroken by the pictures of widespread devastation and loss. There was very little left standing along the shoreline, except for one beautiful home that stood proudly facing forward toward the ocean as if to say defiantly, “Is that all you’ve got.” That image of the miraculous Mexico Beach home is indelibly etched into my mind, and it may well be etched into yours too.
What is it about that home that gave it the strength to withstand the mega gale-force winds and waves of category 4 Michael? What was different about that home that allowed it to survive in the face of tremendous forces of nature that sought to destroy it like so many others. The owners and builders of that remarkable home attributed its strength to its firm foundation and solid construction. You see the home was built upon 40-foot pilings that had been buried deep into the ground.
When I saw the footage and heard the story of the miraculous home with a firm foundation, I was immediately reminded of Jesus’ words to His disciples along the mountainside in Galilee during His famous Sermon on the Mount. You may recall the story too, where Jesus told His disciples that “the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it.” And like the owners of the Mexico Beach house, Jesus attributed its strength to the foundation, which had been “dug deep” and “laid…on the rock.” That house was “well built” too as Jesus said.
In Jesus’ sermon, the house is a metaphor of course and He is speaking figuratively about the type of faith that can withstand the gale-force winds of life. Faith that is rooted and grounded in love; love of God and love of others. Love that is unconditional, distinctive, irrational and merciful. Love that compels us to action and propels us into service. Love that produces fruit of its own kind. Love that transforms, renews and regenerates. A life built upon that type of love, the love of Christ, can and will withstand any and all that comes against it.
Don’t be among the group that hypocritically pays respect to Jesus but ignores His teaching. Emulate Jesus by practicing true, righteous love that produces good fruit. And, ensure that you have built wisely by anchoring your life in the solid rock foundation that is Jesus Christ. He is the personification of true love.
Please join us along the mountainside in Galilee as Jesus concludes His sermon on the plain as recorded by Luke in 6:39-49. If you are unable to join us in person for this study, please feel free to download the Bible study materials for your personal use by following one of these links: PowerPoint Slides, PDF File
If you have been blessed by this series, please drop us a note and let us know on the Contact Us page. You can also use that page to let us know about any prayer needs you may have. For more information on this Bible study series please see Doubtless Living: The Gospel of Luke.