Bible Reading: John 20:19-23; 14:19-24; Proverbs 14:34
Yesterday we saw that the Father sent Jesus to lay down His life for those He came to save. Secondly, the Father sent Jesus to live a life of obedience to His Father.
It is quite remarkable to think that Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered [Hebrews 5:8]. He was totally committed to seek, not His own will, but the will of His Father. He came to do His Father’s will [Hebrews 10:5-10]. That was His delight. Jesus did what He saw His Father doing and spoke what He heard His Father speaking [John 5:19,30]. Even as Jesus faced the cross His prayer was all about doing the Father’s will – “nevertheless, not My will, but yours be done” [Matthew 27:39].
In the same way that Jesus obeyed His Father, so He sends us to live a life of obedience to God. There are two kinds of obedience. The first is to obey God’s Word. We are to obey God’s written Word, the Bible. God’s Word is full of wonderful promises that we can claim for ourselves, but it is also full of commandments that we must obey. The second kind of obedience is to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and do what He tells us. The Holy Spirit will clearly lead us, and it will never be in contradiction to God’s written Word. Paul, writing to the Church in Rome said, “As many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God” [Romans 8:14].
There are three main reasons why we should obey God. Firstly, we obey because obedience is the language of love. Obedience is not simply submitting to authority, but when we love God we cannot help but obey Him.
John more than any other Gospel writer emphasized love, and yet more than any other spoke about obedience! The two go together [John 14:15,21,23-24; 15:10]. Everything must be rooted in love – our relationship to the Lord, our service for him, our obedience to Him. Secondly, obedience is the twin of faith. Faith and obedience always go together. God speaks and by faith, we obey Him! By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, but Joshua had to obey! By faith Abraham offered up Isaac, but it was also an act of obedience. Obedience is faith in action. Our faith increases as we obey God and see Him work. Thirdly, obedience is the key to enjoying God’s blessing. In the Old Testament we see the blessings that come through obedience [Deuteronomy 28:1-14], and the curses that come through disobedience [Deut. 28:15-68].
Much pain and many social problems in a nation are caused in a nation when its people do not honour God and obey Him. Jesus said, that the disobedient would not enter heaven [Matthew 7:21-23]. Just as the Father sent Jesus to live a life of obedience to Him, so Jesus also sends us.
Why is obedience so important if we are to be both blessed and to be a blessing?
What does obedience to God look like to you personally in your own life?
What are the things that sometimes make obedience to God difficult?