Did you ever notice what Jesus filled up on before he went into the wilderness for forty days? For that matter, did you notice why he went into the wilderness? In Luke 4:1 we get the answers to both of these questions:
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit before he went into the wilderness and it was this same Holy Spirit who then led him into the wilderness. How interesting, don’t you think? Without the Holy Spirit, he would have succumbed to Satan’s temptations. Yet without the Holy Spirit, he would not have felt compelled to go into the wilderness in the first place.
Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
In June I began an impromptu study on some verses on the Sermon on the Mount. After that study I decided I would go to the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount and look at the whole thing from start to finish. Today, we look at the final words in that sermon, and how appropriate they are too.
This sermon of Jesus' was famous because from it we learn how to live as Jesus did. He covered everything - blessings, the Law (and how he fulfilled it), murder, adultery, marriage, oath-taking, going the extra mile for someone, loving our enemies, how to pray, praying for our enemies, fasting, money, worry, judging others, taking the narrow path and more. His ideas were, at the time, extraordinary and unique. They still are. Can you imagine any government, anywhere who, instead of going to war, would instead sit down and pray for their enemies? What a world we would live in if we all followed Jesus'. May His Kingdom come!
He finishes his sermon by emphasizing how important His words are. By living them and applying them to our lives, we are building a firm foundation, founded on the rock Himself - Jesus Christ. When the storms of life come our way, we will not fall because our faith, hope and trust is built on a firm foundation - Jesus.
But the foolish man has not built his faith on the Rock. Sadly, the church at large has lost its firm foundation. I see it time and time again, where Pastors encourage the members of their congregations to study books instead of the Bible. Resulting in members getting all their "wisdom" from man rather than from the Word of God. Books like the Circle Maker for instance. This book has deceived many well-meaning Christians into believing that God has given them a new way to pray. He has not. A careful examination of this book reveals that everything it is based on is not even found in the Bible. And yet, whole congregations are reading this book.
Be wise therefore, and build a firm foundation on Jesus Christ and the Word of God. A Bible study should be based on the Bible and nothing more. Taking you through Scripture, precept by precept. It should not be based on new ideas or "fads". This is where the church is losing its firm footing, by placing more emphasis on "book-studies" than Bible studies. When a new "fad" book appears that everyone is "raving" about - beware! And compare it against Scripture. If it is built on a firm foundation of Scripture then you will be in the Word more than you will be reading that book. It will merely be a guide to your Bible studies, nothing more. Keep standing on the Word of God and you will build for yourself a firm foundation in life.
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