Luke 6:46-49, “Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, HOMEOWNER IMPROVEMENTS to your standard of living. They are FOUNDATION words, words to BUILD a life on.“If you WORK the words into your life, you are like a SMART CARPENTER who DUG DEEP and laid the FOUNDATION of his HOUSE on BEDROCK. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the HOUSE, NOTHING COULD SHAKE IT; IT WAS BUILT TO LAST. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t WORK them into your life, you are like a DUMB CARPENTER who BUILT a HOUSE BUT SKIPPED THE FOUNDATION. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a HOUSE of cards. IT WAS A TOTAL LOSS.” (MSG)
Jesus begins by saying this, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do what I say?" In case you didn’t catch it, the key words here are: "…DO NOT DO..." Which reminds me of James 1:22 - "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. DO WHAT IT SAYS." In other words, just having a big blob of Bible information in your brain won't do anything but make you think you're doing fine spiritually, when you're not. You have to rub it in! It needs to go deeper; it needs to penetrate to make a significant life-changing difference. Which is why it never makes sense to attend Sunday School, Bible Study, Sunday Sermons or even Higher Christian Education with Bible College and Seminary…IF…you are not going to apply what you hear, learn and now know! It has to get off the surface so it can be EMBEDDED (which means, ‘fixed firmly and deeply; implanted; and engrafted.’) in your Spirit! Which we learn about when we go up just one verse in James 1:21, where it admonishes us about the value of an ENGRAFTED WORD!
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ENGRAFTED WORD, which is able to save your souls.” The word “Engrafted” means “to attach to, and become part of.” And that’s what should be happening when you hear the Word of God; it should penetrate so deeply THAT IT BECOMES PART OF YOU! And why do we need an “Engrafted Word” so badly? Well, to be real blunt, far too many are simply “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:5). And how do I know many are hearing a Word, but not receiving an “Engrafted Word”? Because Power Changes Things! For example, you can take an extension cord and plug it into an outlet, but if the power is off, nothing in a dark room is going to change! But if you take that same cord and plug it in with the power on, light comes in and darkness gets pushed out! That’s why the Bible says: “…what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV). Light and darkness don’t dwell together, and it’s Power that separates the two, because Power always changes things! With that said, you’ll know when you’ve received an “Engrafted Word” because things in your life will Change! Why? Because the Word has Power! “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). In other words, an “Engrafted Word” is “Powerful” enough to invoke Change! But right before that word “Powerful”, did you notice it also says the Word is “Quick”?! So before you go complaining that, “this is just the way I am; I’ve been like this my whole life; that’s just me; I’m set in my ways; that’s just my personality; I don’t let nothing and no one change me…”, before you go off on that tangent, might I remind you that the Word of God is “Quick” and “Powerful”! Therefore, if you haven’t changed yet, it’s because you have NOT received an “Engrafted Word”! You can’t receive one and stay the same!
Even if you’re walking in the darkness of sin, the Bible says: “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by your righteous order.” (Psalm 119:105-106 MSG). When you’ve received an “Engrafted Word”, you must change and change quickly! In truth, it doesn’t take a lifetime for God to change you! He spoke one Word to Peter “Come”, it was an “Engrafted Word” because Peter received and embraced it, and upon doing so, he changed location from sitting on a boat to walking on the water, and it didn’t take a decade to get it done! But an “Engrafted Word” requires work! It doesn’t stay on the surface, it goes down deep! It’s not purposed to make you feel better it’s purposed to make you better! However, that can’t happen until you go from hearing the Word to applying it. It has to become your firm foundation on which you build your entire life!
Let's travel back to Luke 6:47. "I will show you what he is like who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it because it was well built."
The Word of God is really what makes a difference in a person's life when a storm hits. And that’s how you know where someone’s Christian walk, life, faith and trust are, it’s found in how they’ve prepared for the storms, as well as how they stand in them and survive them! You see, when all you do is go to church to hear a Word, but don’t apply it, when the doctor calls with a bad diagnosis, you immediately lose heart. The Word was exciting, (in the moment), but when it came time to apply it, you didn’t. The storm hit your house, and your house fell apart like the deck of cards you built it on. But when you hear the Word go forth, and it assures you that God loves you, saves you, heals and delivers you, when the doctor calls, you merely thank him for his expertise, and then go into prayer with the Ultimate Expert in all things! You don’t let the doctor shake you because you know of a Great Physician that can heal anything! But how can you possibly get there by simply hearing the Word and letting it sit in you for the time being. But not taking it home to read more, study more, pray over it more, and find practical life application for it in your life daily.
After all, how much blood, sweat and tears go into building a house of cards? The Bible says, “…But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.” (MSG) Another translation reads, "…But the one," it says, "who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." Notice - it isn't knowing His words that make the difference. It's putting them into Practice; he who puts them into Practice and he who doesn't. Which one are you?
Brothers and sisters, this means every time you read or hear God's Word, you should be coming away with a "DO", because of what God Said! "Lord, what did I read today and what do I 'DO' differently because of what I read/heard?” Just getting into the Bible isn't what Transforms your life. It's getting the Bible into you, into some specific application in today's experience; something that changes part of you today!
It’s not just knowing a lot of verses, or having some great outlines from some great speakers. It’s not about mimicking what you see on live stream or other broadcasts. It’s not even about taking this devotional, reading it, and saying okay I get it. Nor is it about you becoming Biblically smarter. It’s not about you knowing some big words, or knowing those big words in Latin, Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. It’s not about your spiritual vocabulary growing. It’s not about you applying ‘blobs of Bible’, but never rubbing it into your soul, your personality, your relationships, your priorities, your habits and addictions, and your everyday life. It’s not about your title, position, office, gifts, or anointing. It’s not about civics, vestments, chairs, rings, elevations, initials or degrees. It’s about Building a Christian life that’s firm and stable, even in the storms of life, whether you are leader or laity! It’s about applying the Word of God so deeply in you that when the storm hits your health, finances, marriage, career, children, parents, church, you don’t float away on the sea of discouragement. No, because as the waves hit, and as vicious as the hits will be, you still know Jesus, who speaks to the sea, walks on the water, hushes the waves, calms the winds and sleeps in the storm!
This is the Word you need to get deep on the inside of you! So when the storms do arise, you know with certainty that you, your family, your house, your church, your faith are all safe, secure and stable because you know what He has said and what He’s able to Do! People of God, it's not enough to read God's Word just to know what He says, to analyze it, or even to understand what He says, though that's important. Ultimately, we have to read God's Word to let it change us in some specific way! This is why I admonish you each new day, open up to the transforming oil of God's Word and let God rub it into your life deeply! Getting into His Word is Enlightening; getting His Word into you is Transforming! This is why it is so imperative that we go beyond the surface!
“…But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.” Did you catch that? “…IT WAS A TOTAL LOSS.” What Was A Total Loss? THE WHOLE HOUSE! That’s Why This Is So Vital! It’s Not Just About You! BUT EVERYTHING ATTACHED TO YOU! Think about it, a storm that crashes a house, can’t take the house and not everything in it as well! If the storm destroys the house, it destroys all that’s in the house! You going beyond the surface into the depths of God, is important for you, your spouse, your children, your family, your church, your community…everything attached to you will either be built up or torn down…and either way it will be your hands that caused it to be established or eroded!
Please take this admonishment to heart, and view the Word of God differently than you have before. Realize its value and its necessity. Today, hear it, but also apply it, do it, share it, live it! Be the smart carpenter that built his house on the Word of God (foundation) that would last, even in the storms of life. Not the dumb one that skipped the essentials of a firm foundation, and therefore, when the storms of life hit, his Whole House of cards folded!
Today, Go Beyond the Surface and Dig Deeper into the Word of God…and not just for your own sake, but for the sake of Everyone in the House!