OBEDIENCE – LOVE ‘S RESPONSE (PART II)
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” – John 14:15 (NIV)
We bring to you the concluding part of last week’s article. Last week we said God does not coerce us to obey Him although as the Sovereign, Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth and the Sustainer of all things. He has every right to do so. In fact right from the time of our creation God gave us a free will – the freedom to choose. God did not create us to be robots and zombies, mechanically following His commands. That will be fanfool respect – totally hollow and without substance -Kramanahobrasee. God wants us to choose to do the right. He has set us His standards and given us a conscience“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God has made it plain to them, for since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”- Rom 1:18-20 (NIV)The choice to obey is left to us. Please read on!
Some Benefits of Obedience
- we would be God’s treasured possession – Ex. 19:5
- things will go well with us and our children forever – Deut. 5:29; 12:28
- we will prosper and be successful – Joshua 1:8
- we will have long life- 1 Kings 3:14
- God will love us and Jesus will also love us and reveal Himself to us – John 4:21
- we will be members of God’s family – Matt. 12:50
- we will have spiritual knowledge- John 7:17
- we will be blessed in what we do – James 1:25
- we will have the right to the tree of life and go through the gates into the new and Holy City that Christ will bring at His second coming – Rev. 22:14. All we need is love!
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. If anyone love me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching – John 14:21, 23-24a.
Jesus has put the issue clearly. Love responds to a loved one with obedience. You and I know it too well. We do not want to hurt the people we love and so we go out of our way to do the things that please them however imperfectly. It is a choice we make, no one forces us.
God is saying that if we truly love Him then it would not be difficult to obey Him; in fact obedience would be the natural, joyful response of our love for Him. Our obedience would be the outward. manifestation of our love. We would freely do it and God would be so pleased with our response that He would even deepen our knowledge of His love for us. This He would do through Jesus who would reveal more and more of His Reality as God made flesh. We would feel the presence of God on a day to day basis.
The reverse is that when we disobey Him it means we do not love Him. We cannot make excuses. Nor can we blame anybody for our disobedience. All it means is that we prefer to do what pleases us and not what pleases God. It means, by a deliberate act of will, we choose not to do what God wants. This may sound hard but it is the truth. Whenever we disobey it really means that we are deliberately ignoring God’s Holy Spirit who is in us to Help, Guide, Empower and Encourage us to do what is right. For God says in Ezekiel 36:27, And I will pour my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
How Do We Obey God
We need to follow the example set by Jesus Christ and give up our rights to ourselves so we can fully submit to God (Phil. 2:1-11). God is a great and mighty God- glorious in holiness and fearful in praise! We therefore need to obey Him!
I. With Our Heart - We must love God more that any relationship, actively, achievement or possession - Luke 14:26; Deut. 11:13
ii Our Will - We must deliberately choose to commit ourselves completely to Him – Psalm 40:8; Matt. 26:39
iii Our Mind - We mustseek to know Him and His Word so that His principles and values will form the foundation of all we think and do - Rom. 12:2
iv. Our Body - We must recognize that all that God has given to us – our strengths talents and sexuality are to be used for pleasure and fulfillment according to God’s rules and not ours - Rom. 6:1-15
v. Our Finances - We have to decide that all the resources we have ultimately come from God - Deut. 8:18 and that we are to be managers of them not owners. Our resources should be used to the glory of God –Luke 8:2-3; Cor. 9:6- 15
vi. Our Future - We must decide to make service to God and man the main purpose of our life’s work – Gal. 5:22-26
We cannot do this on our own. We need the Holy Spirit. Without Jesus as our Saviour and Lord we cannot have the Holy Spirit. We have to be controlled by God’s Holy Spirit so that we can lovingly, joyfully obey God in all areas of our lives.
SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obey the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God id eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6 : 11-23)
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