Posts Tagged ‘Obedience


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.

Choosing Spiritual Amnesia

Have you ever looked in a mirror in order to check your hair or the fit of your clothing, walked away and forgotten how you looked? James says that when we hear the Word of God and fail to do what it says, it’s as though we forget what we look like. This is what he wrote:

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. – James 1:23-24 (NIV)

The Word of God was not meant to just be heard or read. It was meant to be lived out each day. When the Word says to do something, we are expected to do it. When the Bible says to not do something, we are expected to not do it. Otherwise, we are guilty of choosing spiritual amnesia. We cannot claim ignorance. We’ve heard the Word. We’ve got the Bible in our homes, our churches, our hotel rooms and on our phones. It is up to us to obey it.

Do What It Says

Many people claim to love the Bible, which is the Word of God. They’ll pledge their loyalty to a certain translation or they’ll sing songs about it. They may read it faithfully or listen to it regularly. The real question for us all is, “Are we living it out each day?” James says:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – James 1:22 (NIV)

When we hear or read God’s Word without any discernible life change, we deceive ourselves. We can say that we love God’s Word, but if it isn’t changing the way that we live, we’re deceiving ourselves. God’s Word is meant to be more than read. It is meant to be lived. We can fight over words like infallible and inerrant, but unless we actually do what it says, we are in trouble. Don’t worship the Scriptures, live them out. Save your worship for the Author by obeying His Word.

Fathers And Children

Good Thursday morning to you! The Apostle Paul addressed the relationship between parents and children in Colossians 3. He said:

​Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. – Colossians 3:20 (NIV)

This hearkens back to the 5th commandment in Exodus 20 when God told His people to honor their parents. He promised that it would go well with them in the future if they did. Next, Paul turns his attention to fathers. He writes:

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. – Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

T​his relationship between fathers and children is so vitally important. ​Dads have the power to embitter and discourage or to inspire their children to great heights. Fathers, don’t be overbearing and harsh with your children. Love them like your Heavenly Father loves you. Be patient with them and show them the grace God has shown you. May our Heavenly Father help you to be more like Him today.

Lord, Lord

Good Friday morning to you! Jesus makes it clear that there will be people who think that they are going to Heaven who will sadly discover that they have no heavenly reward. He said:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 7:21 (NIV)
Faith is more than just believing that a man named Jesus existed. Faith is about trusting Him for forgiveness and obeying Him in gratitude. Faith is about the transformation the Holy Spirit brings about in your life after you surrender to Jesus. He calls us to come and die each day. Die to ourselves and our sin. Die to being selfish and self-centered. Die to pride, lust, anger, resentment and bitterness caused when we don’t forgive. We must give ourselves to Jesus wholeheartedly in love and devotion. As the old hymn says, “There’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”

Trusting and Obeying

1 John 3:19-24 (NIV)
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
When I was a youngster, I remember that one of my father’s favorite hymns was “Trust and Obey.”  This is what John is telling followers of Jesus to do in verses 23-24 of chapter 3.  Trust Jesus for salvation by believing in Him and obey God’s command by loving people.  God’s Spirit dwells in the heart of the born-again believer.  When one accepts God’s offer of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus expressed by believing, repentance, confession and baptism, God’s Spirit fills you (Acts 2:38).  God’s very Spirit lives in you and begins to transform you.  We have nothing to fear and can stand before God in full confidence knowing that He lives in us.  The indwelling Holy Spirit convicts us of righteousness and truth.  The Holy Spirit helps us in our moments of weakness when it comes to fear, sin and doubt.  The Holy Spirit of God helps us to obey the commands of Christ.
What are the commands of Christ?  Love God and love people.  Why do we need the Spirit’s help?  Because love does not come naturally to us.  We look at the world around us and we see violence and hatred everywhere.  Where is the love?  Why don’t people love one another?  It is because they do not have the love of God within them?  Knowing the unconditional love of God motivates us to love others.  We can stand before God in the full assurance of His unfailing love.  We don’t have to be terrified of God.  He is for us and not against us.  His love frees us up to trust Him and obey Him.  We do not obey out of obligation or fear, but rather out of love.  We want to please Him because we are in a loving relationship with Him.  This is our motivation for obedience.  
PRAYER: Father, help me to trust You and obey Your commands today.  I want opportunities to love You and love people more.  Show me those who need Your love today that I might be like Jesus to them.  Thank You for Your unfailing love.  Amen.

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