Good evening! I trust you are doing well and enjoying your summer. Vickie, Zach, and I are thoroughly immersed in everything that the Lord has prepared and laid before us. Our prayer is that you are fulfilled and satisfied in all that He has set your hand to as well!
In Matthew 7, Jesus taught about the wise man who built his house upon the rock and the foolish man who built on the sand. I want to draw a couple of parallels between those two builders. Both were building something. One was considered wise and the other foolish. In regard to this story, Jesus said, “Whoever hears these sayings of mine.” In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Both of them heard the sayings.” Yes, both of them heard the “sayings,” but only the wise man did what he was supposed to do. He did what he heard.
What is the result of not doing what we hear? James said, “We deceive ourselves.” We think we’re doing something, but what we’re doing is not according to the will of God. Because when you’re doing what God wants you to do, you’re gonna be a’doin’ what God wants you to do!
Jesus said, “Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I liken him to a wise man who builds his house on the rock: the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall,” . . . WHY? . . . “Because it was founded on the rock.” Then Jesus said, “Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine,” (again, both of them heard) “and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
So we understand that to hear and to not do is to build foolishly. We can work just as hard in foolish building as in wise. In both cases the individuals heard, in both cases they built, in both cases they experienced the storm. They did not think it was strange when the storms came.
One thing that we’re old enough to know is that there are going to be storms in life. Just because we’re not going through some storm today doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to rain tomorrow. We need to be careful how we judge others who are going through the storm, because how we judge others is the way we’re going to be judged. Jesus said that both of these men built, both of them heard, and both of them experienced some of the same things in life, but it was the one who built with wisdom that withstood the stress and the strain of the storms.
Along these same lines, another principle I’ve discovered in ministry is that time is the test, and the fruit is the proof. Time is the test. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, a lot of flash in the pan sensationalism, a lot of stuff in thirty years. Time is the test, and the fruit is the proof. What is the fruit?
Christ would have us remember how essential it is to produce fruit. I remind you again from John 15, we exist to glorify God, but how do we do that? Jesus said, “Herein is your Father glorified that you produce much fruit and that your fruit remain.” We are called to endure; we are called to produce fruit that endures, and if you were to go back and read John 15:2-8, you’ll see that Jesus really focused on fruit. He made it very clear that each of us is to bear fruit.
As I said a few weeks ago, you know what the reward for producing fruit is? You get pruned! Do you know the repercussion for not producing fruit? You get cut off! So here are our choices, Church. We either get pruned or cut off. Let’s go ahead and choose to get pruned. What is the purpose of the pruning? That you might bear more fruit! And then, after you produce more fruit, he says, “Continue in Me.” In other words, you go from producing more fruit to abiding more intimately in Christ, and as a result, He brings us to a place of producing much fruit! Then we begin to glorify the Father and our fruit remains. There’s a whole step-by-step process in those few verses that is quite outstanding to me. It all begins with the fact that we have been grafted into the vine; we are simply the branches, He’s the vine; we can do nothing without Him!
We can’t build anything to glorify God without Christ in our lives. All of this worldly stuff is going to perish. There’ll come a time that it will all be gone, but our fruit will remain. In it, God the Father will be glorified. Jesus said that such is the life of a disciple; He considers us to be disciples if we’re bringing forth fruit.
This is the last blog in the series of “Building Wisely”; I hope that it has been a blessing and caused you to reflect on your foundation and the continual building of your life. The important thing to remember is that if your findings aren’t quite up to par with where you should be, it’s not too late to change! God is so gracious to give us opportunity to repair the foundation or even to go in and totally rebuild.
I pray you have a great week ahead and make sure you take the time to enjoy your life in Him!
Grace and peace,