OBEDIENCE, OBEY


Jesus at the house of the Pharisean, by Jacopo...

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OBEDIENCE, OBEY
Jesus and His disciples are partaking of their last meal together.  A lively discussion breaks out after Jesus makes the following statement.
JESUS
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who love me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.
JOHN
Love is more than lovely words; it is commitment and conduct.  If we love Christ, then we must prove it by obeying what he says in his Word.
MATTHEW
Yes, remember Jesus’ father Joseph.  He obeyed God and proceeded with the marriage plans.  Although others may have disapproved of his decision, Joseph went ahead with what he knew was right.  Sometimes we avoid doing what is right because of what others might think.  Like Joseph, we must choose to obey God rather than seek the approval of others.  Jesus also told us we must be active in obedience,
JESUS
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
MATTHEW
God calls us to be active in obedience.  To be productive for God, we must obey his teachings, resist temptation, actively serve and help others, and share our faith.

A person has not shown true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey.  We will be tested.  Because we know that testing will come, we should be alert and ready for it.  Remember, your convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure.  Jesus gave us an important help,
JESUS
Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
MATTHEW
Jesus was able to resist all of the devil’s temptations because he not only knew Scripture, but he also obeyed it.  Knowing Bible verses is an important step in helping us resist the devil’s attacks, but we must also obey the Bible.  Note that Satan had memorized Scripture, but he failed to obey it.  Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us follow God’s desires rather than the devil’s.  Jesus also added,
JESUS
Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.
ANDREW
But to use God’s Word effectively we must have faith in God’s promises, because Satan also knows Scripture and is adept at twisting it to suit his purpose.  Obeying the Scriptures is more important than simply having a verse to quote, so we must read them daily and apply them to our life.  Jesus put it this way,
JESUS
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
MATTHEW
The Pharisees’ weakness was that they were content to obey the laws outwardly without allowing God to change their hearts (or attitudes).  Jesus was saying therefore, that the quality of our goodness should be greater than that of the Pharisees.  They looked pious, but they were far from the kingdom of God.  God judges our hearts as well as our deeds, for it is in the heart that our real allegiance lies.  We need to be just as concerned about our attitudes that people don’t see as about our actions that are seen by all.  Jesus added,
JESUS
But, you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness.  You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
MATTHEW
It’s possible to obey the details of the laws but still be disobedient in our general behavior.  For example, we could be very precise and faithful about giving 10 percent of our money to God, but refuse to give one minute of our time in helping others. Jesus gave us a clue where to find the strength to obey,
JESUS
My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.  Stay here and keep watch with me.
MATTHEW
Jesus’s strength to obey came from his relationship with God the Father, who is also the source of our strength.  Another clue Jesus gave us, was the key to putting God’s truth into practice,
JESUS
Consider carefully what you hear.  With the measure you use, it will be measured to you – and even more.  Whoever has will be given more, whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
PETER
The light of Jesus’ truth is revealed to us, not hidden.  But we may not be able to see or to use all of that truth right now.  Only as we put God’s teachings into practice will we understand and see more of the truth.  The truth is clear, but our ability to understand is imperfect.  As we obey, we will sharpen our vision and increase our understanding.
ANDREW
Remember Jesus’ mother Mary gave us some excellent examples of obedience. A young unmarried girl who became pregnant risked disaster.  Unless the father of the child agreed to marry her, she would probably remain unmarried for life.  If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging or prostitution in order to earn her living.  And Mary, with her story about being made pregnant by the Holy Spirit, risked being considered crazy as well.  Still Mary said, despite the possible risks,
MARY
May it be to me as you have said.
ANDREW
When Mary said that, she didn’t know about the tremendous opportunity she would have.  She only knew that God was asking her to serve him, and she willingly obeyed.  We shouldn’t wait to see the bottom line before offering our life to God.  We need to offer ourself willingly, even when the outcome seems disastrous.  Jesus showed us our duty when he said,
JESUS
Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep.  Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?  Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink, after that you may eat and drink’?  Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’
ANDREW
If we have obeyed God, we have only done our duty and we should regard it as a privilege.  Remember, obedience is not something extra we do; it is our duty. This attacks unwarranted self-esteem and spiritual pride.

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About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
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