Pastor's Blog

Listening to Jesus Means Doing What He Says

Hurricane Michael claimed at least 18 people and more than 30 remain missing. Property loss exceeds ten billion dollars. Michael was the strongest hurricane to strike the Florida Panhandle. Michael is the strongest hurricane since Andrew in 1992.

After Andrew Florida’s housing codes changed. But not everywhere. The southern and Atlantic coasts required buildings to meet 175 mph winds. The Panhandle had lower thresholds: 120-150 mph winds. Michael hit the Panhandle at 155 miles per hour.

Russell King and his nephew, Dr. Lebron Lackey, built the ‘Sand Palace’, on Mexico Beach. They supervised every detail, down to the type of screws. They used elevation to remain above the storm surge. They sunk pilings 40-plus foot deep into bedrock, made from poured concrete, reinforced with steel cables and rebar. They built the ‘Sand Palace’ to withstand 250 mph winds. After Michael, the ‘Sand Palace’ survived almost unscathed. They lost a shower window. Oh well.

Jesus said to listen to Him and do what He says is like building your house on a rock foundation. A life of discipleship is a life of building. A life, and not a moment. A life.

How is this life built? By doing what Jesus says. Sometimes I neither understand nor am inclined to do what He says. Leaning on my own understanding and resting within myself present problems. I’m building a weak home unable to withstand the storms.

Upon what is this life built? What Jesus says. What Jesus says is not important because Jesus picked the lock of wisdom and virtue and now shares what He found. What Jesus says is important ... because Jesus said it. His person, character, and life makes what He says of ultimate, eternal importance. WHO JESUS IS. That, loved ones is the bedrock to withstand all storms.

What … WHO is the foundation of your life?


Posted by Tim Alexander with

Listening to Jesus Might Upset You

It was supposed to be the first of many boring meetings about a 28-year transportation plan involving six counties in the Sacramento area. No votes. No money. Just initial information. It was the kind of stuff that made transportation engineers and  demographers salivate: reams of detailed projections for population growth, housing and jobs.

30 people showed up. 12 came with an agenda. “His presentation was baloney!” And, “This is a sham!” And “The plans are utopia!” These kind of comments silenced the presenter. The meeting ended. 12 people shouted down six counties.

We’ve all seen a crowd turn on a dime. What begins as peaceful curdles into hostile. Then the minds of individuals shut down, or, rather, they congeal into a kind of group-think (mob?). Few things are more scary than an unfocused, angry crowd. You never know what they’ll do. Neither do they until they do it.

This happened to Jesus in Luke 4. It was supposed to be a typical Sabbath synagogue service. The right forms would be followed. The scroll of Scripture would be unfurled and revered. Jesus made the right moves. He was there. He was reverent. He read what was given to Him. He was thoughtful.

But His application caused the chugging train of community goodwill to derail. “When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath.” (Luke 4.28) They wanted to kill Him. How quickly the worshippers in the synagogue turned into a mob!

Listening to Jesus is not like drinking Pepto Bismol. His words were never intended to merely affirm what we already know and pat us on the head for how we’re already living. Listening to Jesus can be like watching a video of your crime in court. Or listening to Jesus can be like finding out your cancer has been cured.

It all depends. Do you trust Jesus? He does know what He’s talking about … especially when He’s talking about you.


Posted by Tim Alexander with