Monday, October 8, 2012

Beach Front Property

 by Lindsey

Several years ago, as I was preparing to teach a popular Bible story to a group of preschoolers, I decided to open my Bible and see what was actually written—probably nothing too surprising or new, after all, how many times had I taught the story of Noah’s Ark?!?!  I skimmed through the pages starting in Genesis 7and of course, I had all my facts correct.  For some reason, I had decided to back up to chapter 6 and something there really caught my eye.   “Yahweh was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”   Because the people in the world had become so evil, so corrupt, so plain old nasty it broke God’s heart.   Then I began to think, “Can that still happen today?   Can my actions make the Creator grieve?”  The thought was unsettling to me and from that moment on, I wanted to make sure I didn’t cause Him grief.  

Years later, while writing VBS songs, my lyrics reflected that same sentiment as I sang about wanting to “make You smile” and “make You really proud.”   Also, I had lyrics about how “I can’t wait to hear You say, ‘Well done, faithful one’”– something we talk about often in Godwor.   The content of the lyrics I had written years ago were completely in line with the way I think now, so why did these lyrics get under my skin and make my stomach churn? 

I spent some time thinking about it and I realized that I’d been living all those years thinking about how cool it would be to know  you have made God smile, or to  hear God say those 6 words “well done good and faithful slave”… but that’s it.   I thought about it, I wondered about it, I wished for it… and that’s where it stopped.   I was just stating my goal, with no intentions to even take time to evaluate if I was in fact making God smile or causing Him grief.   It never crossed my mind to do a little research and learn what He likes and dislikes.

How weird—and wasteful, really—to set a goal and never actually take steps to achieve it.   How weird and wasteful to say that I want to make God smile and hear those 6 words, but take absolutely no action.  
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”  - Matthew 7.24-27
I spent a large chunk of my life building a house on the sand: setting my goals, wasting great materials building a beautiful structure on a beach front property.   The difference between the two builders in Matthew 7 is the fact that one of the builders is actually applying what he learned from Jesus, the other isn’t doing anything with the lessons he learned from Jesus.   I understood that I wanted to hear the 6 words and make God smile and be a delight to Him… but I failed to apply it; to act on it.

Don’t waste your time and energy building on your beach front property: learning the Bible inside and out, but failing to apply it.  Instead, make it a goal to DO what Jesus asks of us:  Seek and save the lost.  Go, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey.   Love the Lord your God and love others.   All of those have an action implied:  seek, go, make, baptize, teach, love, DO SOMETHING!

“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  --Jesus.

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