Luke’s record of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Luke 12) – probably preached by the Lord in more than one more place and time – directs us helpfully, in our church’s present season.
First, we see the singular importance of prayer. Jesus prays all night – v. 12 – just before making the big decision of who would be “the Twelve” – his apostles. And just before he preaches what would be his central theme – the Sermon on the Mount. The simple point: if prayer is this important to the perfect God-Man Jesus, how much more important, vital, necessary is prayer for us, we who are tainted by sin, weakness and natural, human ignorance?
We have a decision to make on a property – the space previously occupied by Living Water Church has become available, as I’m sure you know. We are completing our due diligence, and we see many opportunities to the move. Yet what is most important is for all of us to devote ourselves to prayer. As the preacher H. B. Charles likes to say, “It happens after prayer.” “It” being choosing disciples, a church site – anything important. It happens after prayer.
Please devote yourself to prayer, on the issue of our church’s location, but also on our church’s essential character. Jesus then teaches these familiar words:
“Can a blind man lead a blind man? . . . Everyone when he is fully trained will become like his teacher . . . Take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes . . . The good person out of the treasure of his heart produces good . . .” (v. 39-45)
A building to call our own would be a gift from God, to be received with gratitude. A building is wealth, therefore given also to be stewarded in order to bear fruit – for leading people to worship God in Christ. So then, what is most necessary is not a building, but for our own hearts to be filled with God – treasure – such that we may lead others to Treasure.
Therefore now is the time to pray, not only for wisdom about the building, but also for God to revive us, to grant us repentance and cleanse us of our idols, and to fill us with His Spirit afresh. Then the fruit we will produce will bear the Father’s resemblance.