Illustration results for Disobeying
RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT WE OVERHEAR
Matt Proctor in a recent Christian Standard said, "My wife, Katie, and I have 6 children- ages 16, 14, 11, 9, 7, and 3. We're not a family; were a small town!
As sheriff of this community, I (with my deputy, Katie) enforce certain rules, one of which we call "double trouble." The double trouble rule is this: If you hear a parent give a clear command to your sibling and then you proceed to disobey this command yourself, you will get in twice as much trouble." This is to short circuit the kid strategy of protesting, "But you told Carl not to jump off the roof. You didn't tell me!" Even when my kids are not directly addressed, they are still held responsible for what they overhear.
It's something similar with OT Law. As NT believers, the Law is not directly addressed to us, but we are still responsible for what we overhear. God left those Scriptures in there so we could overhear his heart. When we read OT Law, we are not responsible to obey the specific commands, but we are responsible for understanding the will of the God who gave those commands--the God we Christians love and follow.
For example, when a man slept with his father's wife in the Corinthians church, Paul did not demand that the law's penalty for incest be applied, but he did demand that the man be disciplined by the church until he repented. So while the letter of the law is not followed, the will of the Lawgiver himself most certainly is. One scholar argues that, without this OT law, Paul would "not have been able to define this activity as sinful."
The Law is a window into the heart of God.
LOOKING AT THE MASTER
A pastor once told his congregation about a man who had a dog, and the man was trying to train his dog to be obedient. And what he would do was to take a large piece of meat--good, red, juicy meat that dogs would normally like to eat--and he would put it in the middle of the floor near the dog, and then he would say, "No," to the dog. Well, the first few times the "No," was an irrelevant suggestion, the dog proceeded to grab the meat and got wailed on, and after a few such results when he said, "No," the dog no longer attacked the meat.
But what the man noticed was this: after a while, the dog never looked at the meat anymore. When he put the meat on the floor, the dog never for a moment took his eyes off his master. Seemingly feeling that if he did so the temptation to disobey would be too great, so he just maintained a steadfast gaze into the face of his master.
ILLUSTRATION… Retold from "The Book of Virtues" Editor: William J. Bennett
There is a story that centers on a king and the members of his court who were continually full of flattery. "You are the greatest man that ever lived...You are the most powerful king of all...Your highness, there is nothing you cannot do, nothing in this world dares disobey you."
The king was a wise man and he grew tired such foolish speeches. One day as he was walking by the seashore he decided to teach them a lesson. "So you say I am the greatest man in the world?" he asked them. “O king," they cried, "there never has been anyone as mighty as you, and there never be anyone so great, ever again!"
"And you say all things obey me?" he asked.
"Yes sire" they said. "The world bows before you, and gives you honor."
"I see," the king answered. "In that case, bring me my chair, and place it down by the water." The servants scrambled to carry the royal chair over the sands. At his direction they placed it right at the water’s edge. The King sat down and looked out at the ocean. "I notice the tide is coming in. Do you think it will stop if I give the command?"
"Give the order, O great king, and it will obey," cried his entourage.
"Sea," cried the king, "I command you to come no further! Do not dare touch my feet!"
He waited a moment, and a wave rushed up the sand and lapped at his feet. "How dare you!" he shouted. "Ocean, turn back now! I have ordered you to retreat before me, and now you must obey! Go back!" In came another wave lapping at the king’s feet. The king remained on his throne throughout the day, screaming at the waves to stop. Yet in they came anyway, until the seat of the throne was covered with water.
Finally the king turned to his servants and said, "It seems I do not have quite so much power as you would have me believe. Perhaps now you will remember there is only one King who is all-powerful, and it is He who rules the sea, and holds the ocean in the hollow of His hand. I suggest you reserve your praises for him."
In the book, No Bad Dogs, by British dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse, she says dogs understand
love better than we do. She writes, “In a dog’s mind, a master or a mistress to love, honor, and obey is
an absolute necessity. The love is dormant in the dog until brought into full bloom by an understanding
owner. Thousands of dogs appear to love their owners, they welcome them home with enthusiastic
wagging of the tail and jumping up, they follow them about their houses happily and, to the normal person
seeing the dog, the affection is true and deep. But to the experienced dog trainer this outward show is
not enough. The true test of love takes place when the dog has got the opportunity to go out on its own
as soon as the door is left open by mistake and it goes off and often doesn’t return home for hours. That
dog loves only its home comforts and the attention it gets from its family; it doesn’t truly love the master
or mistress as they fondly think. True love in dogs is apparent when a door is left open and the dog still
stays happily within earshot of...
As I was growing up with a younger brother and sister, one of our favorite games to play was baseball. We had a plastic bat and ball, and we would team up with some of the neighborhood kids and play ball in the back yard.
On one particular occasion my mom took our bat away from us because we were arguing, like all brothers and sisters tend to do. But this did not deter us from playing our favorite game. Mom took the bat, but not the ball. So we took the metal brace from the swing set (the metal bar that is used to brace two legs together on each end) and started using it as a bat.
I was at bat when I swung at a pitch and felt two distinct points of contact; one was with the ball, and the second was with my sister’s head. I didn’t realize that she had walked up behind me, and on my follow through I clobbered her on the forehead with the end of the brace.
I turned around only to discover that my sister was screaming and bleeding profusely. In fact, not much of her face was really visible because she was covered in blood. I knew I was in trouble, so while my sister bled and cried, I pleaded with her not to tell momma. I figured that washing her down with the water hose to get rid of the blood would be enough to take care of the situation. Once the bleeding stopped, I would be in the clear. But in my panic to discover a way to keep from getting a good whipping, I couldn’t see that the greater need was for my sister to receive medical attention. She had to be taken to the emergency room where she received several stitches to bind up her wound.
The point of this story is this. When my mom came out to find out what was going on, she didn’t stop to dwell on how guilty I was for disobeying her, or to find out every detail about what had happened. As soon as she saw the blood, she swept my sister up in her arms, carried her into the house to put a bandage on her head, and drove her to the hospital so that she could get the medical attention she desperately needed. As a matter of fact, the whipping I deserved never came. My mom’s actions showed that her concern for my sister’s health and well-being was more important than trying to blame somebody for the accident that had caused her injuries, or for punishing the one who was responsible.
Pastors need to learn that lesson.
So many times we have been guilty of preaching on sin just so we can point a finger of blame at someone who has stumbled under the load of temptation that Satan brings to bear upon us. God forgive us for our arrogance and our shortsightedness. Forgive us for falling short of our God-given responsibility to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18). Our obligation as pastors is not only to warn people of sin and the consequences it brings, but also to bind the wounds of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been victimized by the enemy, and to tell those who have never known the washing of regeneration that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay their sin debt, that His blood can wash away all of your sins, and that He rose from the dead to prove that He has power over death, hell and the grave.
Christians need to learn that lesson.
How many of us have been guilty of shooting our wounded? How many have kicked a brother or sister when they were down, rather than bearing their burden, and helping to restore them back into the sweetness of full fellowship with our Lord? We ought to be ashamed, for the Church is to be our refuge, our safe haven, and our place of restoration. But all too often it becomes a place of torment and ridicule because of those who have forgotten to “consider themselves, lest they also be tempted.”
Some of you this morning have been through the ringer in your battle with sin this week. You’re battered and bloodied from the near lethal blows that Satan has inflicted upon you, and you desperately need medical attention, the kind of medical attention that only Jesus Christ can give. So I stand before you today, not with a pointed finger, but with outstretched hands, pleading with you to come this morning and be washed in the pure refreshing waters of God’s abundant grace and mercy. You need to be washed, to clean your feet. You’ve already been bathed in His loving grace and mercy. But you need to come to Jesus, confessing your sins and you will experience complete and total forgiveness and cleansing. Your fellowship will be restored, and your hope will be renewed. You’ve struggled with sin long enough. Now is the time to come back into the grace and mercy of the Lord.
Others of you may just simply be lost. You’ve washed your feet many times. You’ve turned over a new leaf only to find the same old dirty sin on the other side. You’ve attended church, and maybe even been baptized and joined the church. But you’ve never trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from your sins. Friend, let me tell you, because I love you, that if you don’t come to know Jesus Christ in the full pardon of sin, your eternal destination is hell. But if you come, you must come trusting in nothing but the shed blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you all of your sins. You can’t do anything to earn His favor, and you can’t bring anything with you but a broken heart and a contrite spirit. You can’t get better to come to Him. You can only plead with Him to forgive you as you are, a worthless sinner begging for mercy and pardon. You can only come to Jesus Christ in absolute unworthiness to ask Him for His free gift of salvation.
I read a true story written by Louis Mayer
from his childhood in New Brunswick, Canada.
He had gotten into a fight at school when he was quite a small boy,
And he was feeling bitter, filled with resentment
And a desire for revenge.
His body hurt, but his mind hurt more.
And when he got home,
he was muttering threats about what he would do
To the other kid if he ever got the chance.
The older boys were helping him
build his vocabulary on that subject.
His mother didn’t seem to be paying any particular attention
And went around her work in her usual serene manner.
She was a gentle woman who loved God
And never doubted that God was guiding every part of their lives.
The next day they were out in the country on a family picnic,
And she called Louis aside:
"Louis, come here a moment. I want to show you something."
She took him to a little clearing that faced a rugged,
towering mountain on all sides.
"Now, Louis," she told him, "say what I heard you say yesterday."
Louis began to feel embarrassed and he protested:
"But I don’t remember saying anything wrong."
His mother persisted:
"I do," she replied. "You said ‘Damn you!’"
He couldn’t keep anything from his mother, and they both knew it.
"Yes, I remember now," he said.
She touched his arm gently.
"Say it now," she commanded.
Louis repeated it as quietly as he could.
His mother smiled patiently.
"Louder, son, say it louder. Whatever you say,
you must be willing to say it as loud as you can,
to shout it for all to hear."
He didn’t want to do it,
but it never occurred to him to disobey his mother.
So he faced the mountains and he shouted
at the top of his lungs:
Right back it came, like thunder. Like a voice from heaven it denounced him.
Now, said his mother. Try it another way. Say, "Bless you!" instead.
Louis took a long breath and yelled, "Bless you!"
Back it came at him, strong and clear and welcome: "Bless you!"
"Which do you prefer, son?" his mother asked.
"It’s entirely up to you.
Whatever you say to others and to the world returns to you.
Your life creates an echo.
Choose you this day, whom you will serve.
You can choose to bless,
or you can choose to curse.
Every day, every hour, You have that choice, Louis."
Years later, Louis Mayer had a bad accident
that nearly killed him.
For many weeks, the doctors didn’t know if he would live.
He lay in the hospital bed in pain and misery
And heard his mother’s voice again:
"You will have your choice as long as you live."
He pondered what he should give the echo to give back to him,
And he said to himself,
"I am not afraid to die, but I want to live."
The last word, live, echoed back to him,
strong and clear in his mind.
Live! It multiplied into life and strength and power.
As he recovered his strength, he knew he was getting back
The exact echo of what he had put in.
If he had put in hatred, meanness, and revenge,
He would get them back.
If he tried to speak love, kindness, forgiveness,
they would be returned to him like an echo.
Louis B. Mayer, "The Echo,"The Guideposts Anthology, ed. Norman Vincent Peale (Pawling, NY: Guideposts Associates, 1953) pp. 209-212.
I’ve heard author Frank Peretti compare our culture’s hunger for biblical absolutes to the need for authority on a neighborhood playground in the summertime. Posted on the fence of the playground are some rules: “No hitting. No profanity. Only age ten and under on the monkey bars. Only age eight and older on the basketball court. Ten minute limit on the tetherball court.” The rules work well because mingling through the crowd of children is Mrs. Kravitz. She has a keen eye, and if you misbehave, she will give you a pink slip. Two pink slips and you’re out of the playground for the summer.
*But take Mrs. Kravitz out of the picture. How long do you think it will take before the rules begin to be violated? “Hey, he hit me!” “She spit on me!” “Hey get those big kids off the monkey bars! Little kids are getting hurt!” “Hey, he cut the tetherball off!”
*Who will soon rule the playground? The biggest, the strongest, the most antagonistic. That’s what is happening all around us, because there is no regard for the rules. The 10 commandments are no longer obeyed, and the Bible is no longer respected as a source of authority in our culture, largely because it is not preached from our pulpits as the Word of God. Preachers don’t have the ability to “hand out pink slips,” but we do have a duty to uphold the truth of God’s Word and sound a clear warning as to what judgment God will bring if His rules are disobeyed. Since preachers haven’t faithfully done that, our culture has taken the rules off the fence. The 10 commandments have been completely removed from public life and even outlawed in public places. And there is no longer any fear of God’s authority.
*The challenge is to retain high biblical standards regardless of how far the world “slouches toward Gomorrah,” as Judge Robert Bork put it.
WHAT DOES GOD'S VOICE SOUND LIKE?
Erwin McManus, a pastor in Los Angeles, tells a great story about recognizing God's voice.
My son, Aaron, was five or six when he began asking me, "What does God's voice sound like?" I didn't know how to answer.
A few years later, Aaron went off to his first junior high camp. In the middle of the week, I went up with another pastor at Mosaic to see our kids. Aaron, I learned, had started to assault another kid but had been held back by his friends. He was unrepentant, wanted to leave camp, pulled together his stuff, and shoved it into the car.
I asked him for a last talk with me before we drove away. We sat on two large rocks in the middle of the woods. "Aaron," I asked, "is there any voice inside you telling you what you should do?"
"Yes," he nodded.
"What's the voice telling you?"
"That I should stay and work it out."
"Can you identify that voice?"
"Yes," he said immediately. "It's God." It was the moment I'd waited for.
"Aaron," I said, "do you realize what just happened? You heard God's voice. He spoke to you from within your soul. Forget everything else that's happened. God spoke to you, and you were able to recognize Him."
I will never forget Aaron's response: "Well, I'm still not doing what God said."
I explained to him that that was his choice, but this is what would happen. If he rejected the voice of God coming from deep within and chose to disobey His guidance, his heart would become hardened, and his ears would become dull. If he continued on this path, there would be a day when he would never again hear the voice of God. There would come a day when he would deny that God even speaks or has ever spoken to him.
But if he treas...
Neil Marten, a member of the British Parliament, was once giving a group of his constituents a guided tour of the Houses of Parliament. During the course of the visit, the group happened to meet Lord Hailsham, then lord chancellor, wearing all the regalia of his office. Hailsham recognized Marten among the group and cried, “Neil!” Not daring to question or disobey the “command,” the entire band of visitors promptly fell to their knees!
Today in the Word, July 30, 1993
Calvin Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States. He was born in Plymouth, Vermont, on July 4, 1872. And he served as President from 1923-1929. Both his dry wit and brevity with words became legendary. His wife, Grace, told of the time when a young woman was sitting next to Coolidge at a dinner party. The woman told Coolidge that she had bet a friend that she could get at least three words of conversation from him. Without looking at her he quietly retorted, “You lose.”
Well, one Sunday afternoon Coolidge returned home from attending church. His wife wasn’t able to accompany him that day, but she was interested in finding out what the minister said. And so she asked him, “What did the pastor talk about today?” In his characteristically brief response, Coolidge simply said, “Sin.” Well, she wanted to know more than that. So she pressed her husband to elaborate further. But being a man of few words, Coolidge just replied, “He’s against it!”
And that should be our stance as well. When it comes to sin, we should be against it. Why? Because a little sin is a big problem. When you sin, you disobey the law of God, you disregard the person and work of the Savior, and you disrupt your fellowship with Christ.