Jesus was clear in his demands regarding obedience. In numerous places, the Gospels record the words of Jesus: “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Jesus used the example of a tree and its fruit, and spoke of how the fruit shows the health of the tree. It’s obvious that good trees will bear good fruit and unhealthy trees will bear bad fruit. In this context Jesus said, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)
It was immediately after that emphatic question that Jesus began the story of two men who built houses. One built his house on the sand and the other built his house on the rock. But when a flood came, the home on the rock stood firm and the house on the sand crumbled. The aim of this story was to compare the lives of those who obey the commands of Jesus and those who do not.
With numerous statements such as these, Jesus begins to sound quite demanding. But what about grace? Could it be that this demand for obedience might lead to some kind of legalism?
But when you consider the plight of the man who built his house on the sand, it is sad. Yet it was his own fault. He knew that he could have built it on the rock. But he ignored it. Telling someone about a good foundation is not legalism, it is grace at its fullest extent.
Instructing people to live in obedience to Jesus is certainly an act of grace. You would tell people about obedience because you love them. Your care for them should naturally lead to instructing them to live in obedience to Jesus.
We have seen too many lives built on sand. The storms of life are too harsh for people who build their lives on sand. There is a better way to build.
Show some grace and invite them to obedience to Jesus.
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