start with scripture (iv)
Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But 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. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.
Sometimes Jesus’s parables are hard to understand. We have to grapple with the meaning and coax it out of the text. Other times, he makes it very clear indeed, like here. He tells us what the parable means before he says it, and explains it as he goes along. No excuses not to hear what he’s saying: If you hear Jesus’s teaching and do it, you have strong foundations and your faith won’t collapse when the storm comes; but if you hear Jesus’s teaching and don’t do it, your faith has no foundations and will fall at the first hurdle.
Simple, right? Well, it’s easy to say, but not so easy to do.
Obeying Jesus is the corollary of trusting Jesus. If you trust him, you’ll do what he says. If you don’t trust him, you won’t do what he says. Obedience is a sign of our faith. It’s hard to trust Jesus, because we’re sinners who like to be independent, relying only on ourselves. It’s hard to obey Jesus, because we’re sinners who think we know best. But hear what Jesus says in this parable: if you don’t put his words into practice, your faith will collapse. If you do put his words into practice, your faith will stay strong.
Do you call Jesus your Lord? Do you live in obedience to what he taught?