Posts Tagged ‘Obedience


But I’m A Good Person

Paul said that the mind that is controlled by the flesh does not and cannot submit to God’s law. Then he says this:

Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8:8 (NIV)

There is a correlation between obeying God and pleasing God. If you do not obey God, you cannot please God. Someone may protest and say, “But I’m a good person.” You might be someone who doesn’t cheat on your spouse or on your taxes. You may not steal anything or you haven’t killed anyone. Good for you! You’re living a moral life. But have you lied to anyone? Have you ever disobeyed God’s law in any way? Then, according to God, you’re a sinner and without surrendering your life to Jesus, you’re in the realm of the flesh. You are still controlled by the flesh and you cannot please God. You just can’t. But there is good news! We’ll get to that next.

The Stumbling Stone

Peter, in talking about the Cornerstone of our faith, Jesus Christ, says that those of us who believe in Jesus find Him to be precious. Those who do not believe in Him find themselves stumbling over Him. Peter writes:

Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
8 and,
“A stone that causes people to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. – 1 Peter 2:7-8 (NIV)

Those who love Jesus find hope, joy, peace and love in Him. We love to worship and obey Him. Those who reject Jesus end up tripping over Him on their way to destruction. One of the important things we can do as followers of Jesus is to show the world who He really is. We do this by striving to look more like Him in the way that we love, serve and forgive others in His name. When people see Jesus in us, they’ll want to follow Him too.

Surrendering To Live

Do you want to live forever? You’ve got to seek after and do the will of God. The Apostle John said:

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. – 1 John 2:17 (NIV)

The things of this world that John talked about – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – will all pass away. Every material thing in this world that you could possibly want will not last. These things are only temporary. Doing the will of God – loving Him and loving people and sharing the good news about Jesus with the world – is an eternal matter. It’s about more than saying, “I believe” at some point in your life. It’s about surrendering your life to Jesus in every way. We’ll never be very good at it, but that doesn’t mean we should throw in the towel. Every day is a new opportunity to take up your cross and follow Jesus in total surrender.

Complete Love

How do you know that you really love God? I mean really love God. It is when we obey His Word.

But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. – 1 John 2:5-6 (NIV)

To know and love God is to obey Him. As John says, this is how we know that we are abiding in Him. Our obedience to His word will increase and our sinfulness will decrease. Will we ever be sinless? Hardly. But our lives will be characterized less by sin and more by obedience to God’s Word. We will look more like Jesus in the way that we love, serve and forgive others. That’s what Jesus did and what we need to be doing, too. Not as a way of earning God’s favor, but as a grateful response to the favor and grace He’s already given to us.

Do You Know Jesus?

We can claim to know Jesus, but where is the evidence? Where is the proof of our relationship with Him? It is in our obedience. The Apostle John wrote:

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. – 1 John 2:3-4 (NIV)

To know and love Jesus is to obey Him. What commands of His should we obey? All of them! We may tend to think that that is REALLY hard. In reality, Jesus boiled down all of God’s commands to two: love God and love people. If we really love God, we will not sin against Him by putting anything else in His place. That means that we have to put God first in our lives. If we really love people, it means that we won’t sin against them. We won’t lie to people or cheat on them or steal from them. If we claim to know Jesus, but we don’t do what He commands, then John says that we don’t really know Him. Jesus is Lord and Master and He means what He says. Do you know Jesus? If you do, then obey Him by loving God and loving people today.

Obeying The Lord’s Will

Good Monday morning to you! Knowing God’s will and doing God’s will are two different things. In James 4, he writes about how we shouldn’t make plans without consulting the Lord and His will for our lives. Making plans is arrogant and boastful, he says. James writes:

As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. – James 4:16-17 (NIV)

If you know what the Lord’s will is and you refuse to do it, you are guilty of sin. If you know that God wants you to tell your neighbor about Jesus and you won’t do it, you’re sinning. If you know that God wants you to serve Him at your church and you refuse to do it, you are sinning. If you know that God wants you to be generous and instead you are stingy, you are sinning. If you know that God is calling you to sacrifice for Him in some way and you refuse, you’re sinning. What is God calling you to do for Him that you’re struggling with right now? Quit refusing to do what He wants you to do and go out there and just do it. Otherwise, you’re sinning against Him.

Obedience & Blessings

Do you look around at your life and wonder, “Why doesn’t God bless me?” We sometimes wonder if God is withholding His blessings as a way of punishing us. Maybe we are bringing it on ourselves. James says:
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. – James 1:25 (NIV)
I have two thoughts regarding blessings and obedience. First, if you’re not obeying, God’s not blessing. It doesn’t mean you can hold your obedience over His head and demand blessings. That’s pride and that’s not how it works. What it does mean is that God knows what is best and when we obey Him, good things tend to happen more than bad things. Disobedience makes bad things happen.
Second, maybe we need to re-calibrate our idea of blessings. How many of us are REALLY blessed, but we just fail to realize how we have been truly blessed. God is good and He gives us many good gifts. He gives us spiritual, relational, emotional and physical blessings abundantly.  Let’s not take His blessings for granted and instead, let’s be grateful for what we have been given.

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