OBEDIENCE

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“Don’t ever think spiritual growth is optional or marginal in the Christian life.”

 

The past several weeks at our church, I have been teaching a series called: “Pathways to Growth.”  Obedience is a major key to growing. Obedience is a central theme throughout Scripture. From the story of creation to the end of Revelation, it’s difficult to turn a page that doesn’t deal – directly or indirectly – with God’s call for obedience. Remember, Jesus not only said, “Believe me,” he also said, “Follow me.” God places a high premium on our obedience.

In our time, however, obeying God’s commands often is ignored, dismissed, or glossed over. Why? Because obedience slaps us in the face. It confronts our sin. It challenges our lives. It runs contrary to our unwritten mantra: Who are you to tell me what to do?

 

During my message on obedience, I used the props of a gallon of paint, a roller and paint tray and a paint brush. As I began, I lifted up color swatches and reminded people that often times the color on the swatch is not the same as the color in the can once applied to our walls, our lighting and introduced to our decor.  The key to the illustration is, the pain in the can has little value if never applied. Actually the can I had spoke of Preparation and Priming as the first step and Application as the second step. Without sounding ‘cheesy’ I simply said, our hearts need to be prepared and primed for the truth of God ( the Bible) to be applied to our lives. The teaching of Jesus and the rest of the bible have little value to us if they are only known and never applied.

Jesus taught to application and not simply to knowledge.

A read of the gospels reminds us that Jesus taught to application.

 

  • John 13:17
    You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.  (The Message)
  • Matthew 7: 24
    “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.  (NIV)

Living out the truth found in the bible is based on two things: Trust and Love.

TRUST: When we trust God we want to obey Him since we realize He knows more than us and has our best interests in mind.  When Adam and Eve fell away from God in the Garden, it was not disobedience that moved them there first. It was that they did not trust God. They believed the serpent and themselves knew more. Their rationale may have been: “If God is really that good, how come we cannot have the last tree in the garden – why is He withholding from us?” It was a lack of trust that moved them to disobedience. After this rebellion and lack of trust, God waited until after He would deliver them from Egyptian bondage and have them miraculously cross the Red Sea in triumph before He would give them the Ten Commandments to obey. God put trust first. When we trust God we desire to obey God.

LOVE: When we love God we want to please Him by giving Him our allegiance. This love moves us to obedience.

  • 2 John 1:6
    Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning. (NLT)
  • John 14:15
    “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV)

 

  • John 13:17
    You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.  (The Message)

 

Could you imagine how different your life would be if you could fully trust God. No matter what. You know me, you are at work. Not that you lived in denial but you knew God was with you, and for you.

  • Romans 8:31
    What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (NIV)

What if we lived like that, all the time? Imagine waking up everyday with bullet proof trust in and love for God.

In the New Testament it is God establishing a trust relationship with all mankind through Jesus Christ. Salvation is based on faith and trust. Jesus never said, if you will be good – God will become trustworthy! He did not say if you will be good God will allow you to have access to Him. An amazing faith and trust and love will impact every facet of your life – If you trust God, it will impact your worries, your finances, the way you do business, how you work, and go to school and how you treat others and how you OBEY.

 

  • John 13:17
    You know these things, and God will bless you, if you do them.  (The Message)
  • Matthew 7: 24 & 25
    “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. (NIV)

Jesus never promised that if we obey Him we would never experience storms, He promised that we would not crash!  It takes more planning and effort and discipline to build your life on the rock. It takes more dying to self and becoming alive to the Spirit of God. But when the storms come, you will be solid. Short cuts and the easy way out cause us to build our lives on the sand and for sure we will crash.

Be accountable to not just believe and not just know, but to obey.

Trust and Obey because there is not other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Bernie

Prayer: Dear God , thank you for the bible you gave us and the teachings you provide. Thank you for those who have shown us the way by how they lived and applied your teachings, Jesus give us the courage to follow your way.  May our faith intersect with your faithfulness. Let us listen , learn and then may we apply your truth. In  Jesus Name,  Amen.

 

 

 

 

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