Thursday, January 17, 2019

Obedience

Abraham is a man in which all of us can learn obedience from. There are several examples in which Abraham showed his obedience to Jehovah as we can read about in the book of Genesis. We know for certain the lesson learned about how great his faith in God was when he was commanded to offer up his only son Isaac on the altar. But earlier than that incident, we can learn about Abraham’s devotion to God as the twelfth chapter of Genesis unfolds.


Get Out Of Your Country
Jehovah spoke to Abram at the time and said: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old...” (Genesis 12:1-4). Abram is a man of 75 years of age when God called him to do four things. 1) To leave his country, which was to leave all the familiar surroundings in which he was used to. 2) To leave his family. 3) To leave his father’s house, which was to leave his nearest relatives. 4) He was commanded to go into a country unnamed in order for his obedience to be tested. We do not read anywhere that Abram questioned God, but that he departed his country just as God had instructed for him to do. I wonder, would we be so devoted to our Lord to forsake all?


Obedience Required Of Us Today
Just as Abraham obeyed God then, we are fully expected to obey Him today. Jesus plainly stated in Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” There is so much that we can learn and MUST learn from this one verse that Jesus taught. Jesus warns us that it is not enough for people to merely be religious and prayerful. It is possible for men to pray much and yet not be obedient unto God. Individuals that spend a lot of time in prayer, but do not cultivate the spirit of submission to God’s will, should not expect to be received into God’s everlasting kingdom.

Jesus points out that only he who DOES the will of the Father will be able to enter into heaven. To reject the will of the Father is simply to reject the very message that Jesus was sent here by His Father to give to us. God has a will which relates to all mankind. There are commandments in God’s will that man MUST obey. Also in God’s will, He has promised us many blessings if we will obey Him. If we ever hope to reap the rewards of the will of God, which are His blessings, then we MUST obey His commandments. We can’t have it both ways, that is to receive the blessings and eternal life, while not obeying God’s commands while we live on this earth.

The necessity of DOING the will of the Father is evident. Jesus teaches that doing God’s will is a condition upon which we may hope to enjoy the promise of the Father. Everyone is not perfect, for we have all sinned (Romans 3:23), but we can strive to become perfect in our life (Matthew 5:48). As we strive toward this perfection, we do so by having a desire to obey those things in which God has instructed of us.


What Can We Learn From Examples of Obedience?
God has always required men to obey as we have seen in our example of Abraham (Genesis 2:16). But we also have other examples of required obedience and some of these include: The nation of Israel (Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 6); and the church in which Jesus built (Romans 6:12-18; 8:12-13; Philippians 2:12-16; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14). When individuals have responded to God’s will to obey Him, then God was pleased to bless those as He has promised that He would do. Enoch was a man that “walked with God” and as a result was eternally blessed (Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5-6). Israel was blessed when they obeyed God (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Then we can read about how the church also is blessed through obedience (Matthew 25:21, 34-40; Mark 10:29-30; Hebrews 5:9; Revelation 2:10-11). We also learn that God has punished those that have decided to disobey Him. The world in the days of Noah was destroyed because of disobedience (Genesis 6:5-8). Israel (2 Chronicles 36:13-21). The church (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Peter 2:4-10). The final consequences are this: If we obey, eternal life (Revelation 2:7; 3:5,12,21; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). If we disobey, eternal damnation (Romans 2:4-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10; Revelation 20:15; 21:8; 22:15). Have you determined within your heart to obey the commandments and DO the will of the Lord?

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