Do you remember the R&B song, “What’s Love Gotta Do With it?” Well, my song about love is “What’s Obedience Got to Do with It?” The Answer: EVERYTHING!!
Everyday, I am painfully aware of times when I am not obedient and times when I am. My conscious puts my heart in a choke hold. And only asking God for forgiveness loosens its grip. Many years ago, I heard a lovely lady named Betty say that we should teach our children to obey ‘right away, all the way, and in a happy way’. I thought about that. I think that since we are God’s children, that’s also the way we should obey Him. When we don’t, we hurt ourselves. We sabatage our own lives. The things God asks us to do are for our good, to protect us, to glorify Him, and to make us a blessing.
Remember that the Word says, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” How can we obey right away, all the way, and with a good attitude without love? And how can we say that we love Christ if we disregard His instructions, commands, and precepts? Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. That’s right. However, not only does He want us to obey Him, but to do so with a good attitude. He sees the intentions of our hearts.
I remember having to wash dishes when I was a child. If I thought that I was being treated unfairly, I’d wash them alright, but I’d take out my frustration by banging some pots and rattling some dishes until I calmed down. I’m sure that my parents would have preferred that I had cleaned up with a better attitude. It’s too bad that I didn’t understand then that my parents worked extremely hard and needed my help around the house. I should have remembered that I had a place to stay and food to put in those dishes, when some children did not. I wished I would have known that everything that we do, we do it as unto God. We are his servants. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so self-absorbed.
As an adult, I really want to be obedient. It’s one of my greatest desires. I work on my attitude. Instead of thinking, “How can I get out of doing this?”, I try to remember what Christ has done for me and that we are all a part of a much bigger picture. We don’t own ourselves. Jesus bought us with His blood. We were created for this time in history to produce much fruit. Every time I obey Christ, a little bit more fruit appears. You know, a little more love, a little more patience, and endurance.
God says in John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that would last. That’s what I’m hoping for; lasting fruit. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.”
Remember in Eph. 1:4 it says that He actually picked us out for Himself as His own, before the creation of the world. He set us apart to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, He predestined (planned in advance) for me to be adopted as his child through Jesus Christ, for His pleasure and will [in other words, because it pleased Him] – that I might be the praise of his glorious grace, His favor and mercy, which he has freely given me in Jesus. He did the same thing for you too.
Why should we obey Him? It’s in Jesus Christ that we have redemption. In other words, we are set free from sin through his blood. Because of Christ’s blood, God, the Father, forgives you and me all of our shortcomings and sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he poured out on us, with all wisdom and understanding.
Finally, we should obey because obedience demonstrates love. Jesus says if you keep His commandments then you love Him. In the 12th chapter of Genesis, God told Abram to leave his country, people, and father’s household and go to a land that God would show him. It wasn’t about Abram. There was a bigger picture. God had more in mind that Abraham could ever imagine. It’s the same thing with you and me. There is always a bigger picture. God is looking down the line a thousand generations.
In closing, I believe that God is tired of the decisions we make that lead us away from Him, and away from a life of love. Today is the day when He wants us to make a commitment to trust Him and not lean to our own understanding. He expects us to grow up and be people of honor by keeping our commitments. He wants us to make up our minds. If we don’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, are we going to turn to Him for truth? Are we going to study His Word and obey it or not? And are we going to love Him with all of our hearts and love others the way we want them to love us?
Please open one of your hands and look at your palm. Now touch your thumb and say, “I”. Touch your index finger and say, “Won’t”. Touch your middle finger and say, “Sabotage.” Touch your ring finger and say “My.” Touch your pinkie and say, “Life.” Now let’s do it again, “I won’t sabotage my life.” When you are tempted to do something you shouldn’t, what are you going to say? When we dread doing something we know we should do, we are going to do it anyway and say what? If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, instead of sitting there and putting off giving your life to Him today, what will you say? “I won’t sabotage my life.”
God says, “I place before you life and death, choose life. Since Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life, when you choose Jesus you are choosing life. Don’t throw it away. Don’t purposely do things that will destroy your future and keep you from enjoying the great plans God has chosen for you. Say with me, “I won’t Sabotage My Life!”
Great! I pray that you will enjoy the journey in the new year!
Deuteronomy 5:10 Matthew 19:17 Matthew 5:19 Philippians 2:4-7