Another milestone today as we reach the end of chapter six and as there are twenty-four chapters in Luke’s Gospel, we’ve read roughly 25% already! The passage is of course available here.
If you’ve ever been to watch a football or rugby match, you’ve probably witnessed what happens when the crowd loses confidence in a player. It’s a sort of vicious circle where the player makes a mistake, he gets berated by the crowd, the player loses confidence and inevitably makes another mistake, the crowd berates him even more, he loses more confidence and so it goes on. I’ve never understood it, because it hurts the team the crowd wants to win. Sitting in the stand it’s so much easier than actually playing. I have to confess, I have looked at some of the harshest critics and wondered how they would do if they were suddenly called on to the pitch. I suspect they wouldn’t do that well because it is so much easier judging from the stands.
If you have been reading the bible for a long time, you will probably be familiar with the picture Jesus gives of the man with the plank in his own eye instructing someone else how to remove the speck from his eye. I imagine the crowd, hearing this for the first time, would have found it hilarious. Here comes ‘Mr Plank in his Eye’ to give some instructions on speck removal. Maybe we like to point out the faults of others so that we can draw attention away from our own issues. When we stop judging others, we become people who forgive, we receive God’s forgiveness, and people who give and receive generously from the Lord.
Good trees produce good fruit and bad trees produce bad fruit. The things we produce in life depend on our hearts. If our hearts are set on the Lord, it’s bound to have an impact on the way we live. If on the other hand, our hearts are set on pleasing ourselves, our lives will produce selfishness. We cannot produce good things without dealing with the problem of our hearts and for that, we need the Lord.
The difference between the wise and the foolish builders was not their respective skills as builders. It was their choice of foundation. The foolish builder may have invested a great deal in his house, it may have been lavishly equipped, but without a solid foundation it was doomed to fail. The foundation Jesus referred to was not, hearing his words; it was putting them into practice. There are many who know the Gospel. They know all have sinned, they know the wages of sin is death, they know that Christ died for the ungodly and they even know all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved but they have never acted on what they know. Their lives are built on sand.
Lord we thank you didn’t expect us to improve ourselves so that we could approach you. You received us just as we were and we thank you too, that you loved us too much to leave us like that. Help us to build our lives on a solid foundation and produce the fruit that you desire