Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Who Lives That Way? (Obedience)

Be careful to obey all my commands, so that all will go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and pleasing to the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 12:28 NLT)

Obedience has been key to walking together with God from the very beginning. The Israelites were given victory over their enemies in the Promised Land because they did obey God. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden because they didn't obey His command.

The chief of staff renamed them with these Babylonian names: Daniel was called Belteshazzar. Hananiah was called Shadrach. Mishael was called Meshach. Azariah was called Abednego. But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods. (Daniel 1:7-8 NLT)

Daniel understood the connection between blessings and obeying. He was in captivity now because God's chosen people did not obey. They turned away from God. They lost the promised land.

"If you love Me, obey My commandments. (John 14:15 NLT)

Now that we have the New Testament, our tendency is to focus on the Love of God.  We like to remember that His Greatest Command is to Love.  What we tend to forget, though, is that Loving God comes before Loving our Neighbor.  Not only that, Jesus said that we show our love for God by obeying his commands.

Anyone who doesn't love Me will not obey Me. And remember, My words are not My own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent Me. (John 14:24 NLT)

The opposite is also true. When we disobey, we show God that we don't love Him. It all comes down to obedience.

"I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love. When you obey My commandments, you remain in My love, just as I obey My Father's commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! (John 15:9-11 NLT)