Summary: Don't just be religious. Make your life a spiritual quest.
Bob’s house was well built, by which I mean that his life was well-grounded. That’s what the Bible means – at least, most times – when it talks about building houses. We saw in Proverbs where it says, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established.” Jesus fills out that claim and gives it a fuller sense when he says, “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house” – here again, you see: the metaphor of a house – “that one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock.” A house built on the rock is not washed away, nor is a life built on him whom we call the Rock: our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Bob’s house – his life – was built on that Rock.
I / A RESPONSIVE LIFE
Bob’s was what I would call a responsive life. I had originally intended to say that his was a responsible life. And it was. If Bob was anything, he was responsible. He was completely reliable. You could count on him.
But he was also completely reliant. His life was lived out in response to a summons of sorts. If your were to pick up a Bible and read to him Ephesians 4:1, for example – “I…beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called” – he would know what you were talking about. There was a calling on his life, and he spent each and every day God gave him answering that call.
It drew him into what can be described as nothing short of an active life. He served his country. He served his community. He served his church. And he served his friends.
He built a business from scratch. He borrowed the money to get it started, and then he developed it. He maximized its potential. He grew it. This is a great calling on a man’s life if he is gifted for it. It creates jobs. It builds the economy. It produces more than oil. It produces growth and confidence and hope – not just for entrepreneurs like Bob but for all of us.
Frederick Beuchner, a Presbyterian minister, once wrote: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” In other words, God has so wired us – he has put us together in such a way – that when we are doing what we love most and our doing it meets a real need that others have – that’s when we’re responding to God’s call upon our lives.
Some of you will know the name of Eric Liddell. Liddell was a Scots athlete who ran for Great Britain in the 1924 Paris Olympics. He set a record for the 440-meter dash that lasted twelve years. Someone once asked Liddel why he ran. And he said, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure.” I have know doubt that the way Bob engaged life gave him a sense of God’s pleasure. He lived a life responsive to God’s claim upon him.
II / A BLESSED DEATH