It All Starts with A Good Foundation

January 27, 2021

43 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thornbushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? 47 I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great.”

Luke 6:43-49

Written by Michael Kirton from the Station Hill Campus

Our family has recently begun the exciting process of building a new house. My wife and I have enjoyed sharing this experience with our children, taking them to the construction site multiple times each week. Recently, we were eager to show our children that the foundation for the entire house had been laid.

But to them, this was not the glamourous update they were hoping for. I mean, who gets that excited over concrete poured onto the ground? Yet even though laying the foundation didn’t show our children what their rooms would look like, or why we think they will love their new house so much, it did show them that a lot of work goes into building a stable support for a house, setting the stage for what is to come.

I love how these two passages are placed next to each other in Luke’s Gospel, because you really cannot have one without the other. In the first passage, Jesus speaks about identifying the heart of a person by examining the “fruit” they produce. He lets us see that our daily actions are less about what we are going through on any particular day and more about the makeup of our heart.

In the second passage, Jesus uses an illustration of two houses built on different foundations, comparing how they stood up to the floods that rose around them. The house on the proper foundation had no issue with the flood, but the house built without a foundation collapsed when the floodwaters crashed against it. Jesus is letting us know that we cannot hear His teachings and simply agree with them; rather, we must act on them to secure our foundation so we can stand against the storm.

This makes me think of my children looking at their new house, wanting to see a beautiful new house with their new rooms instead just seeing concrete on the ground. Like my children, there are times when we get focused on the things that are most visible, like the outer appearance of a house, rather than taking the time to understand the underlying reason why those things are so great. We want to go out and produce good fruit, or we try to act the way a person with good fruit would act, when we have not spent the proper time focused on our foundation.

In Jesus’ words, “His mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” This means all the work we spend on the foundational parts of our lives—responding to and acting upon the teachings of Jesus—will determine the output of our fruit. The person who is most in tune with the will of the Father will not have to consistently think about what action they should take throughout the day, because their output is consistent with what is in their heart.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How have you responded to the teachings Jesus lays out in Luke 6: loving your enemies, doing good to those who hate you, not judging or condemning?
  2. Does the fruit or output of your life confirm your answer to the first question? Or do you need to spend some more time working on your foundation, allowing the Spirit to prepare your heart to act on the words of Jesus each time an opportunity comes?

Missions Prayer
Pray for Hope for the World partner Reborn Community Church in the Garfield Park area of Chicago, and its pastor Jamie Thompson. Pray for the gospel to continue to take root in this inner-city community through the ministry of Reborn.