Now that we’re all moved in, I hope to get back to my usual programming. Have no fear – there’s plenty of photography in the pipeline just waiting for me to sit down long enough to process it.by beakennedy
Because he says it like it is.
It is doubtful whether we can be Christian in anything unless we are Christian in everything. To obey Christ in one or two or ten instances and then in fear of consequences to back away and refuse to obey in another is to cloud our life with the suspicion that we are only fair-weather followers and not true believers at all. To obey when it costs us nothing and refuse when the results are costly is to convict ourselves of moral trifling and gross insincerity….
Obviously, he’s not talking about the person who out of ignorance of the scriptures doesn’t obey Christ, but the one who knows and refuses when the cost of obedience is more than they are willing to pay.
Obedience in the Christian life is interesting, especially in this culture. We’ve had it so ingrained into our fiber that “No one’s going to tell me what to do!” that even when it is God Almighty himself doing the telling we question his right to guide our lives. Forget that he might know better than us what is actually good for us! I know I’ve spent the majority of my life operating from that perspective. It really is a wonder and a work of God’s grace that I would be obedient to anyone ~~ even him! I’m so thankful that every time I begin to balk, he reminds me of where I was before he came along. It’s like he’s saying, “Okay, you can have it your way if you want, but this was the result last time. Are you sure you want to go there again?” Sometimes I need that reminder.
Obedience is also interesting because often I’m not the only one who pays the price for my obedience. My husband will be without his wife for two weeks because of my obedience. My daughter will not have a parent at her graduation from paramedic school because of my obedience. I’m grateful to both of them, but it is costly at times to obey the Lord. All I can say there, though, is that he is worthy of anything he might ask of me. He gave his all for me. How could I give any less? That would be the height of ingratitude, wouldn’t it?
Obedience is interesting too because sometimes I don’t see what God is doing in my life until AFTER I obey. In other words, it’s a faith thing, and obedience is really the proving ground of faith – so much so that in the scriptures belief and obedience are nearly identical. This fascinates me for lots of reasons. Like where exactly is the dividing line between belief and unbelief. There seems to be lots of scriptural indication that the dividing line is obedience. I can say that I believe God until I’m blue in the face, but until that belief comes out of my life in obedience, I’m really just fooling myself.
But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.
For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer,
he is like unto a man
beholding his natural face in a glass:
For he beholdeth himself,
and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth
what manner of man he was.
But whoso looketh
into the perfect law of liberty,
and continueth therein,
he being not a forgetful hearer,
but a doer of the work,
this man shall be blessed in his deed.
If any man among you seem to be religious,
and bridleth not his tongue,
but deceiveth his own heart,
this man’s religion is vain.
Pure religion and undefiled
before God and the Father is this,
To visit the fatherless
and widows in their affliction,
and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
I’ve got a couple. First is Psalm 40:2-3 because that’s the story of what God through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection has done for me.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
My second is 1 John 3:2.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Here’s the story I submitted for the One Year Life Verse Devotional, which will be published next year. Check back to see if I’ll have my 15 minutes of fame.
During my last two years of high school, I attended church with one of my high school teachers, Mr. G., and his family. Mr. G. would listen to my teenage troubles, and say “Don’t worry. You’ll get there.” After graduation, I joined the Navy and lost contact with Mr. G. for many years. During that time, I became an atheist and spent the next 18 years totally apart from God. But no matter how bad things seemed, I would always hear Mr. G. saying, “Don’t worry. You’ll get there.” Sometimes that was the only hope I had.
Finally, in 1997, just when things couldn’t have been better, God stepped back into my life, and in January 1999, I placed my faith in Jesus Christ. Sometime later I began to understand how unlike Christ I was. It was then that I found 1 John 3:2 and realized that, even though I wasn’t as much like Jesus right now as I wanted to be, there is coming a day when I will be. Then I remembered how Mr. G. would always say, “Don’t worry. You’ll get there.” I didn’t know where “there” was then, but now I don’t worry about how slow my progress seems or how often I fail. God has promised that with one look I’ll finally be there.