When the Floods Come

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you? 47 “Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice—I will show you what he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep, and laid the foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against that house, it collapsed immediately, and was utterly destroyed!” Luke 6:46-49.

Simply stated, just as a good foundation is necessary for the sure construction of a building of any kind the same holds true for every life entering this world. Recalling a very strong earthquake in the mountains of Peru in 1988 I met an architect who had studied the effects of earthquakes on the surrounding village for many years. As a result, he developed a way to construct a nearly earthquake-resistant construction beginning with the foundation. He and his wife constructed their house using his model a few months before the aforementioned disaster that ultimately destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings while leaving many dead. Their house not only withstood the shaking of the earth, but they also showed me the inside of their construction which had few cracks in the walls and none on the foundations. Most houses surrounding their house had collapsed or were severely damaged. The point is simple; good, strong foundations are fundamental to sound construction.

Jesus was born into a religious culture not existing on a solid foundation. Yes, the Jewish community was substantially constructed upon the foundation of the Law of God, the Mosaic Law. However, few people in the Jewish world were abiding by the Word of God. When the Son of God began teaching in the Temple in Jerusalem and worked miracles throughout the surrounding towns and villages there grew a resistance because the traditions within the culture resisted the message He presented.

Encountering Tradition

As we all know traditions are difficult to change and Jesus encountered such a force. “Then Pharisees and experts in the law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and said, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat. 3 He answered them, “And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘If someone tells his father or mother, “Whatever help you would have received from me is given to God,” 6 he does not need to honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God on account of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said, 8 ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, 9 and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” Matthew 15:3-9. The Jewish traditions became their cultural foundations forgetting the Mosaic Law.

Many local churches in America are entrenched in traditions which is their identity. This is not to say that the local church is exchanging traditions for the Gospel Message for that is not taking place. However, the traditions found in some small churches do oftentimes overshadow the message of the Gospel which is evangelism. Many church communities are identified with a longtime presence and everyone is known for miles around is a part of their identity. Evangelism is sometimes a family affair where everyone becomes a Believer and is baptized into that identity whether it is Baptist, Methodist or whatever brand is available. The church family then takes on a denominational name as well. Tradition is foundational which competes with the Gospel and this is what Jesus addressed in Jerusalem, Samaria and beyond. “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, and they worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” The truth of the Gospel is sometimes painful.

Is Jesus Your Lord?

If Jesus Christ is Savior of your life, He will be Lord, too. One cannot become saved unless Jesus is recognized as Lord. “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13. There is no doubt that the lordship of Christ not simply essential to being saved because the Messiah does not simply save He becomes Lord.

Because Jesus is Lord, He is the Rock of the foundation of every Believer’s existence. “For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-4.

Jesus reminds us of the utter importance of His lordship, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you? 47 “Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice—I will show you what he is like” vv 45-47. Everyone who claims the Name of Jesus will effectually demonstrate His presence in their lives. He is the Solid Rock of the life of the Believer which reinforces that life which will encounter the difficult storms of daily living. People whose lives are crumbling around them because of rushing rivers or crashing waves of difficulty most likely do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

People will reject that premise because “Sister so and so is a longtime and faithful member of our church, but she has encountered difficulties which have brought much pain. She is no longer attending church because she questions God.” The problem with such a statement discounts the ability of God to rebuff Satan’s attacks which will come. Yes, indeed, there are some horrible circumstances that may confound life, but God is sufficient in all things because He is Lord. Remember the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” And Paul reminds us of the same truth, “I have learned to be content in any circumstance. 12 I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing. 13 I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11b-13. Believers are promised that in whatever circumstance the Savior is always present.

He is the Solid Rock

When difficulties are present, and they will come, are you prepared to face them? If you are a Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ, “Yes, you are.” Look at what the Savior has to say concerning those who Believe in Him as Savior and Lord, “He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep, and laid the foundation on bedrock. When a flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built.” Christ is the Builder and Sustainer of every Christian. Period.

The tragedy of life is that many who claim to know Christ and call themselves ‘Christian’ are not and when difficulties do arise, their lives clearly demonstrate a lack of relationship because their lives collapse when the winds and waves thrust themselves against them. They are not protected because there is no relationship.

Everyone has the same opportunity at some point in life to come to Him by faith. God is present everywhere and He makes Himself known to us.

Jesus is Lord.

 

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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