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  • Grant Jones

It had its foundation on the rock

I remember a story about a missionary Bible translator who was working on one of the hundreds of languages in Papua New Guinea. The translator was based in a small village and had partnered with two local Christian men to help with the translation process. One day when they were slowly working through some Bible verses, the two local men suddenly looked at each other, had a quick discussion, and got up and left the hut.

The Bible translator was confused. What had provoked the two men to get up so quickly and leave? Where had they gone? Was something wrong? As well as concern, the missionary was a little annoyed. He had work to do and needed the local knowledge of the language to ensure that they were making the best possible translation. He would just have to wait.

Sometime later the two men returned to the hut. The translator questioned them about what was going on. They explained, “As we were translating and reading these Bible verses in our own language for the first time, it suddenly made sense. We discovered the Bible saying something we had not heard before. We realised that God wanted us to do something about it. We couldn’t wait. We had to act on it straightaway.”

The Bible has a lot to say about putting God’s word into action. One day Jesus was told that his family were coming to see him. He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21)

Both in Jesus’ parable about the wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27) and James’ comical illustration about looking in a mirror (James 1:22-25), the point is the same: hear it and do it.

Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matthew 7:24-25

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