A LIFE BUILT TO LAST

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TEXT:                           Luke 6:46-49

INTRODUCTION:

Here Jesus is speaking of the absolute necessity of building your life on the right kind of foundation. Because the foundation is what holds everything up, it’s what holds everything together. No matter what quality of materials you use; no matter how carefully you join the frame together; no matter how skilled your craftsmen may be – if the foundation isn’t solid and stable, your “house” will lack integrity. Over time, cracks will develop in the walls. The windows will stick. The roof will leak. And sooner or later, the storms of life will bring it crashing down, and everything you’ve worked so hard to build will be lost.

Illustration:

Last December, 2002, the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” was finally reopened to the public, after having been closed for almost a dozen years. During that time, engineers completed a 25 million dollar renovation project designed to stabilize the tower. They removed 110 tons of dirt, and reduced its famous lean by about sixteen inches. Why was this necessary? Because the tower has been tilting further and further away from vertical for hundreds of years, to the point that the top of the 185-foot tower was seventeen feet further south than the bottom, and Italian authorities were concerned that if nothing was done, it would soon collapse. What was the problem? Bad design? Poor workmanship? An inferior grade of marble? No. The problem was what was underneath. The sandy soil on which the city of Pisa was built was just not stable enough to support a monument of this size. The tower had no firm foundation.

The Tower of Pisa has been built, but it has never been built to last…

In order for you to fully comprehend a life that is built to last, we nee to understand the what Jesus said in Luke 6:46-49. Jesus had spoken powerful words and tonight we’re going to talk about how to live a life that’s built to last. A life that’s built to last is more than a successful life. It’s more than a happy life or a life that’s upwardly mobile. It’s more than staying married and having kids who turn out okay. A life that’s built to last is a life that makes a mark.

If you want to live that kind of life, you’ll be excited to know what we’re going to talk about today.  Journey with me tonight as we discover the important principles we must practice for your life and my life to last, that no matter what kind of storm may come, it will still stand strong.

1. ACKNOWLEDGES JESUS AS TRULY LORD IN HIS/HER LIFE. (46-47)

46“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? What does it mean to call Jesus “Lord”? When you trust Jesus you trust Him as “Lord” and Savior. So what does it mean to call Him Lord? The word translated “Lord” is the Greek word “KURIOS” and it means supreme authority, or the one who is in control.” So let me ask you tonight, is that who Jesus is for you? Is He the supreme authority in your life? Now I have to believe that the majority of us here today would say yes to that, but wait a minute. Do you realize what you are saying? Is Jesus the final authority in your life? Do you respond to His authority through the inner voice of the Holy Spirit? And if you do – if you call Jesus Lord, Lord, then why many times you do not do what He says? Listen to me; I’m not just talking about living a holy and moral life, but right now I’m talking to those of you who are Christians and have been Christians for a long time.

When Jesus says, “and do not do what I say” He is talking about His word. You see if you call Him Lord then you have to confess that every word that He speaks is true. Will you agree on that?  And if every word He speaks is true then why don’t you build on the foundation of His truth? You might tell me…“Well, Pastor Jhun, I do believe every word.” Then are you doing what He says? I’m trying to lay a good foundation for you here so listen to this. The church can only be built to stand if the individual stones of the foundation are solid. So as this church is being built each of you need to be grounded in the Word of God, trusting that word, and then acting upon that same word. (HINDI PWEDENG SI PASTOR DAVE LANG ANG ROOTED OR GROUNDED SA WORD, HINDI PWEDENG MGA PASTORS LANG, LEADERS, WORKERS, DAPAT LAHAT TAYO…AMEN!)

The bottom line here is simple:  following Jesus means putting His words into practice – it means doing the will of the Heavenly Father as revealed in His Son Jesus. It is not enough to offer the Lord token expressions of our allegiance to Him. Tokens like just coming to church or just having your name on the membership roaster. Being a follower of Jesus Christ means taking His words and putting them into action.

If we are not doers of the Master’s Word we are “hearers only”.

I know I seem to repeat myself so many times, but we have access to all the answers to all our cares, all our problems through God’s Word. And for many we spent time in the Word, but have never come to the point of relying on the truth of God’s Word to do its work in our life. Others have a great knowledge, they gather the truths but never really get it into their lives. They hear the Word of God but it is not exercised. They never apply into their lives.

Leading assumption in world today is that you can be Christian without being a disciple or applying God’s Word settled for marginal commitment…People who will give God only the leftovers $$ time etc. But their best efforts are going elsewhere

  • 10% of church members cannot be found?
  • 20% of church members never attend church
  • 25% admit that they never pray
  • 35% admit that they do not read their Bibles
  • 40% admit that they never contribute to the church Tithe or offering
  • 70% never assume responsibility within the church
  • 85% never invite anyone to church
  • 95 % have never won anyone to Christ
  • BUT! 100% expect to go to heaven

(The Choice, Thomas Trask, Zondervan Grand Rapids, MI, 1999)

Illustration:

In seminary classes there are people that came just to audit the class. They come to sit and listen to the lectures, but they are not applying it to a degree. They do not have to take the test.

I would like to give an emphasis that there is no “audit” in the Kingdom of God, there are only “doers.” Can I say this; there are folks in the church today that sit and listen to the sermons, come to Bible study, they come for the Blessing, but are not in turn being a blessing to others because of the Word of truth – not having a clear intention to act upon the Lord’s Word…Let me also say this, I believe it is a very dangerous place to be for someone just to be content just to hear the Word and that he/she keeps on saying that Jesus is his/her Lord…

Illustration:

I heard a poem once that said: “It’s easier to preach than to practice; It’s easier to say than to do. Most sermons are heard by the many,But taken to heart by the few.”

AS I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT I PREACH YOU, MY DEAR FRIEND ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU HEAR AND RESPONSIBLE TO INCORPORATE IT INTO YOUR LIFE.

If you and I understands the “LORDSHIP RELATIONSHIP” properly – I’ll obey what He wants…and I’ll get blessed. And… we do want to get blessed. Amen?  (Oy wag kang plastic J)

So, what is it that Jesus is trying to say here? Jesus is trying to say that if I don’t have it straight in my mind – who is Lord – then, at some point His Word is going to tell me something I don’t want to do. And I’m going to turn around and say “NO! I don’t want to do that!” Unless I’ve established He is Lord, I’ll always be evaluating His commands by whether or not it fits into my ideas (my little box) of what is acceptable. AND, if that’s my mindset I’ll miss out on His blessings. AND THAT’S NOT HOW YOU AND I CAN LIVE A LIFE THAT IS BUILT TO LAST…

2. DIGS DEEP IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS. (48)

The wise man is willing to Dig Deep, go beneath the surface to find the Rock on which to build. What that suggests is that much of what is branded as “religion” is, in reality, rubble and rubbish.  In other words, we should go beyond our religion…It needs to be carefully removed so that we can get to the heart of the matter- to rock solid foundation – To Jesus!

We can have an elaborate and ornate system of convictions that have nothing to do with Jesus In fact, if I understand this, much of religion OBSCURES Jesus- Hides Him away…Of course, we can easily convince ourselves that that only means OTHER People’s religion.

We think it has nothing whatsoever to do with us, because we have the truth.  And so, we dig, just far enough to satisfy ourselves that we have dug deeper than anyone else…And yet, Jesus is speaking to people like you and me who call Him Lord, isn’t He?!?

You see, the point that I want to drive home this morning is that we can continue to go to church, try our best to keep the commandments; we can teach and even preach………. but these things in and of themselves are all together worthless, that is, if we don’t have that RELATIONSHIP with the Lord, and going deep, enhancing, strengthening that relationship with Him

Friends, in ANY good relationship, one thing in particular must exist for that relationship to last; it’s called COMMUNICATION. If there is little or no communication, then the relationship will soon wither and then finally cease to exist.

Statistics:

In the United States the divorce rate is fast approaching the 50% mark! And here in our country, statistics from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) showed that 7,753 annulment cases were filed last year compared to 7,138 in 2006.  Before 2006, the number of annulment cases never breached the 7,000-mark.

And And why is that? —largely because of a lack of COMMUNICATION and TRUST. And you know what? Time and time again in the scriptures, our relationship with Jesus is often compared to a marriage. Statisticly speaking, I wonder how many who profess to have a strong relationship with the Lord will be received by Him into His Kingdom.

Every time that we’re having Water Baptism, I would always exhort that baptism is a public declaration that you will love the Lord and follow Him only…We can say that our baptism is like a wedding ceremony; here we proclaim our love to the Lord and promise to Him our unconditional devotion. After this follows the honeymoon, where we are excited about our new “love”. We study and pray and give the Lord our full attention. But, as time goes by, sometimes that fire begins to die down a little and suddenly we find ourselves “too busy” to study the bible much, and our prayer life is reduced to asking the blessing over our meals and a quick rendition of “now I lay me down to sleep…” before we go to bed.

Brothers and sisters, we need to understand that, just because many people “stay together” and appear to be happily married, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they still or ever did have a true and loving relationship. A ring or a marriage license can no more guarantee true love or happiness than a baptism certificate or our name on a church membership role can guarantee that our relationship with the Lord is strong. God tells us in Genesis two that a man and woman in love will become “one flesh” and in a true love relationship, a man and woman do “become one” not only in flesh but also in spirit and purpose. It’s the very same principle with our relationship with Jesus, we must become one with Him.

It’s a given that communication has to work both ways. We have to talk, and we have to listen—right? Well, in our relationship with God, our main time to TALK is through prayer. We have to ask ourselves; just how important is prayer anyway? Well, as with all questions of such a spiritual nature, we should look to our example, Jesus. As we read the accounts of His life and ministry, the bible is clear that He Himself–even though He “was God”, had a constant need and desire to go to His father and pour out His heart in prayer and supplication. Yet, sinful as we are, we seem to have little “need” or “desire” to seek communion with the Lord through this priceless privilege!

Did you know that the average Christian spends only five to seven minutes in prayer a day!? Is that good for any relationship? especially the relationship that has to be our closest? We’ve got to wonder why Christians spend so little time talking to the Lord. The most common excuse by far is; there is so little time! Yet the average adult spends 2 to 2-1/2 hours a day watching television! Where does your prayer time rank on your list of priorities?– How often do you seek out that place of seclusion and just have a good talk with the Lord?

Brothers and sisters, prayer is a sacred privilege by which we are drawn closer and closer to God. It is an avenue through which we are slowly transformed into the likeness of Christ. Now I know that a big reason a lot of people don’t spend much time in prayer is the fact that they really don’t know what to say.–how many of us sometimes have that problem? Most of us do, but believe it or not, that is really NOT a problem because mere words aren’t that big a deal to God anyway.

You know, the book of Psalms holds many beautiful prayers, and one of my favorites is in the 139th Psalm where David says; “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

You see, that sums up what prayer really is; it is opening up our inner-most being to the Lord; allowing OUR spirit to be in communion with His Spirit. There is no doubt that prayer is a powerful and crucial part of our relationship with God and that’s all the more reason why Satan would love to give you every excuse in the book not to take full advantage of this awesome privilege. Please MAKE time to spend with the Lord in prayer, He is so looking forward to hearing from you. And listen, while you are in prayer, don’t merely be “transmitting”, have your receiver on as well because many times the Lord has answered my prayers while I was still on my knees!

Hey, I could spend the whole sermon talking about prayer, but as we know, any relationship consists of “talking” AND “listening” so let’s get to the Listening part.  The Bible tells us; “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.”

This is a very powerful statement coming from Jesus, why do you suppose that the word of God is so important? Well, because it strengthens our faith (Romans 10:17), it is able to make us “wise unto salvation” (2Timothy 3:15,16), and through the word we are sanctified.

So you see, we need to feed on the Word of God daily. God has preserved this divine collection of writings to reveal Himself and His love to us. Through this book, we are convicted of our sinful state and our need of a Savior, and through this same book, God’s beautiful plan of redemption is revealed to us and offered to all who will accept it.

Tell to the person next to you, “Dig Deeper!”

3. TAKES NO SHORTCUTS

Illustration: Building a castle on the sand…

The Foolish builder thought he can build a strong house without digging a deep in laying his house’s foundation – unlike the wise builder, the foolish builder took the easy way…the shortcut.

I think that we’re also tempted to take shortcuts in our walk with God. In our quest for the quickest, easiest and most expedient way to God, we’re often tempted to follow the latest program or fad which promises a shortcut to spirituality. But if there is one thing we’ve learned in our journey as Christians, it is that, because the destination is already assured for those who are followers of Jesus Christ, God leaves us here on this earth to experience the journey. And when we try to take shortcuts on that journey, we miss out on many of the experiences that God wants us to take part in.

That’s why we need Self-Discipline.  Self-Discipline is extremely important. And the reason self-discipline is so important for us to develop is that we don’t have anybody telling us what we have to do to live the Christian life. By that I mean I don’t have anybody telling me how many hours a week I have to read my Bible…. or anybody making me attend all the worship services…. or anybody telling me how many hours a week I ought to pray…. or anybody making me invite so many neighbors to worship…. or anybody telling me how much I have to give to the Lord…. or anybody telling me I can’t watch a certain TV show or movie…. or anybody making me visit those who are sick. There’s only one thing that will keep me doing all these things, and that one thing is my own self-discipline.

Just like what I told you last Wednesday, our world teaches us to avoid pain, to take the easy way, the path of least resistance. Avoid sacrifice. Why give all that money to the church when you can spend it on a new fishing boat. Why spend the rest of your life with the same mate? Go out and find yourself someone new – after all you only live once. You deserve to be happy. What is the result? We are living in a country with children whose lives are being destroyed because of their parent’s selfishness.

And it takes a lot more character to have the self-discipline to do something on your own than it does to be told what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CROSS-LESS CHRISTIANITY. TELL TO THE PERSON NEXT TO YOU, “ANG KRISTYANO, DAPAT DISIPLINADO…(You need to discipline yourself, to follow God no matter what it takes, to pray, to study God’s Word, to dedicate a time for worship, etc.)

Illustration:

I read in the book that I was reading that years ago a TV news camera crew was on assignment in southern Florida filming the widespread destruction of Hurricane Andrew. In one scene, amid the devastation and debris stood one house on its foundation. The owner was cleaning up the yard when a reporter approached him.

“Sir, why is your house the only one still standing?” asked the reporter. “How did you manage to escape the severe damage of the hurricane?”

“I built this house myself,” the man replied. “I also built it according to the Florida state building code. When the code called for 2×6 roof trusses, I used 2×6 roof trusses. I was told that a house built according to code could withstand a hurricane. I did, and it did. I suppose no one else around here followed the code.”

CONCLUSION:

Brothers and Sisters, is your life built to last?  I want to remind you that a life built to last acknowledges that Jesus is truly Lord, he digs deep in his relationship with Jesus and takes no shortcuts…and if these principles would be practiced in our own lives, no storm can topple us down…When the sun is shining and the skies are blue, building our lives on something other than the guidelines in God’s Word can be tempting. But there’s a hurricane coming – for everyone. What are you going to do about it?

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