“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.”
– Psalm 128:1 (NIV)
How you feel about the word obedience is important.
We often grow up with a negative view of obedience from our childhood, especially if we have had a hurtful experience. You may not see obedience to God as the gift that it is, because it has become twisted and redefined by sinful man like so many things that God created to be good and a blessing to you.
At the recent Gogo retreat we talked about the meaning and blessing of obedience to God. Here are a few of the thoughts we shared together…
*Jesus’ Obedience Matters to You!
Jesus did something only His obedience to God could do for you. He became your Savior! On the other side of His obedience is you -- and His love for you! “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” — 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
*Your Obedience Matters to Jesus!
Here is the front and back of the connected wooden hearts, carved in Malawi, that each of us received at the retreat.
The small heart represents YOU! Jesus finds you —you give your heart to Him — He picks you up — He forgives you and He gives you a clean heart. Then Jesus connects your heart to God the Father’s heart — the large heart.
Christianity is not a religion -- it is a love relationship! You would think when we talk about obedience, it would be about a list of “do’s” and “don’ts”. But Jesus made it a grace-filled love relationship with Himself that accomplishes far more than any list ever could.
Jesus said, these are the great commandments… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:30-31
The great obedience of our lives is to love God and love others!
Here is an amazing thing that we struggle to understand — Jesus is on the other side of your obedience when you care for the needs of others. When Jesus comes in His glory, He will recognize the things done for the poor and needy as having been done for Him. ”Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” — Matt. 25:40 (NIV)
The cross on the back of the large heart reminds you when you are caring for those in need, that on the other side of your obedience to God — is Jesus.
This kind of obedience really matters to Jesus! He is with the poor and weary and broken hearted, and when you join Him there, you show your love for Him.
You are the small heart are on the other side of Jesus’ obedience to God His father.
JESUS, represented by the cross is on the other side of your obedience to God.
One important last thought...
* Your Obedience Matters to Someone Else!
God has uniquely prepared you to make a difference in someone’s life! It may be a large or small assignment.
Your unique experiences and your talents and gifts from God are like arrows God has placed in your quiver. Part of being obedient to God is knowing when you are supposed to take out one of your arrows and accomplish God’s will. You don’t want to get to heaven with a quiver full of un-shot arrows!
God doesn’t ask us to fix everything… but He does call us to step out of comfortable places into dark, hurting places to help fix something!
I am excited to see WHAT is on the other side of our obedience as we serve together in Malawi!
But more importantly, WHO is on the other side of our obedience!