I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.
Today’s Scripture: Luke 6:46-49 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? 47 I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. 48 That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built.[a] 49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Please see the Daily Bread meditation for December 2nd, where I write about the image of building on rock or building on sand.
Today I want to call your attention to the question that Jesus asked his disciples in the first verse of our reading, which comes from Luke’s version of the Sermon on the Mount, called the Sermon on the Plain. It is an important and challenging question: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,” and do not do what I tell you?
The title “Lord” means the one in charge or the one who determines the actions of another. The earliest affirmation of faith in the Christian tradition was “Jesus is Lord.” To say that Jesus is Lord is to affirm that he is the one who orders my life and the one whom I follow. Jesus’ question points to a challenge for all who call Jesus Lord. It is the challenge of actually doing what Jesus told us to do. Here are just a few of Jesus’ commands:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Let your light shine by good deeds.
Do not be angry with your brother or sister.
Do not insult others by calling them fools.
Be reconciled with the one you offended.
Don’t say more than ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to prove you are truthful; just be truthful.
Love your enemies.
Pray for those who persecute you.
Be persistent in prayer – ask, seek, and knock
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Be wise as serpents, yet innocent as doves.
Love one another.
Some of the people who use a Christian vocabulary most vocally and loudly live lives that bear very little resemblance to the self-giving, loving, disciplined, and trusting life of Jesus.
Can you hear Jesus’ words echoing through the ages? “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and reflections I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster