Summary: This message is about how we need to be obedient to God in the present if we are going to have success in the future. It looks at why we obey and why this is often more difficult than we think.
A while back, my oldest girl Clarissa was in her play room and she had overturned a box of wooden blocks and it made to worse mess you could imagine. I walked in there and said, “Clarissa, I want you to pick up every last one of these blocks right now.” She fussed a little bit and then I walked out and started doing something else. About 10 minutes later, she comes to my desk dressed up like Cinderella holding a picture that she had just colored and she said, “Daddy, you like it?” I said, “It’s pretty, but how does that room look?” No comment. So I asked again, “Is the toy room picked up like I asked?” Her response…. “I don’t know.” Then she goes, “Don’t you like my picture?” I said, “I do darling, but do you know what I would really like? Do you know what would really make Daddy happy? If you did what I had asked you to do.”
And you know the one thing God wants from us above anything else. To do what He says. 1 Sam 15:22 says, “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice” Obedience isn’t a real hot topic. You probably didn’t see the title this week in the bulletin and say, “Barry is going to be preaching on obedience, I can’t wait to hear that!” It’s not a real popular issue to bring up, but it’s one we need to talk about, because that’s the direction toward which we are going to be moving. Eugene Peterson has written a book entitled , A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. And I think that explains our church. We’ve looked at our wonderful past This is not the time for our church to rest on its laurels, its not a time to coast. It’s a time to make certain that we deepen in our faith and our relationship with Christ. That’s what we want to talk about this topic today. How can we focus upon obeying God’s commands in the present?
For the base of our talk this morning we want to look at what was expected of the Israelites as they prepared to enter into the promised land. Remember Moses had brought them there but he would not be able to enter in with them, so he is giving them instructions on what to do and how to behave when they enter into the promised land, and you’ll see here that the one reoccurring theme is “Do what God says. Listen and obey Him.”
Throughout this chapter Moses will continue to drive this point home, in a variety of different ways. In this opening verse he overemphasizes and he restates the same word four different times to describe what it means to follow the commandments of God. Look at verse 1 of our text, “Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.” Always, not sometimes, not when you feel like it, but always. You see, selective obedience isn’t obedience at all, it is merely convenience. So Let’s start off this morning by looking at the motivation for our obedience.
Our first motivation given is to be our love for God. In the New Testament Jesus taught that this was to be the distinguishing characteristic of the Christian. He even crystallized commitment down to this phrase, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments!” John says in 2 John verse 6; “And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.”