Summary: Third in the series on intentionality. This message deals with actively choosing to obey Christ.
#3 – Choosing a Life of Obedience
January 12, 2003
Third in a series on being intentional. We have talked about how God wants us to be people who live by decision rather than by default, and last week we talked about how to be intentional about making Christ the center of our lives.
We continue in that same vein, today focusing on the issue of obedience.
My intention today is to lay out why you should live a life that’s characterized by obedience, and I pray that God will let you leave here energized to live a life that pleases Him, with His help.
1. Obedience has its rewards.
A deeper relationship with God.
21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."…"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Want to know God and experience Him on a deeper level? Obey His Word!
Success in other endeavors.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua was ready to take on a huge assignment: take the land of Canaan for Israel.
God told him that his success was dependent on his obedience. It’s no different for us.
We can’t expect God to bless our business, our labors, our relationships, or anything if we are not willing to be obedient to Him.
But when we are obedient, we can expect success in those endeavors.
Rest for your soul.
MT 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
2. Disobedience has consequences.
"My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
Some examples of discipline include:
Loss of fellowship with God.
Strained relationship with God.
We see it in our earthly relationships as well.
Possible loss of salvation.
There is evidence from Scripture to show that we can reject the gift of eternal life that God has given. Not that He wants to take it away, but rather, we have given it back.
There is much debate on this within the church of Jesus Christ.
Both agree that if someone is living a life that is not in obedience to God, than they are probably not saved. Some would say they may have lost their salvation, others would say they were never saved in the first place. My point is not to debate this issue, because I have many dear brothers and sisters who disagree with me on this, yet we are able to maintain wonderful and blessed fellowship. The point is that a life of disobedience is not a Christian life.
3. Choose intentional obedience.
Understand that God makes obedience possible.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
We are sinners steeped in sin. We cannot live lives that please Him unless God Himself intervenes and acts in us.
We cannot expect regenerate behavior from non-regenerate people.
In other words, unless a person is made a new person in Christ, unless they’ve been given a spiritual birth, we cannot expect a person to act like a Christian.
Here’s some good news:
Philippians 2:13 (NLT)
For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him.
It takes total consecration on our part, entire sanctification on His part. This is important because obedience is not an action, or even a whole bunch of actions. Obedience is a lifestyle.
By the way, slow obedience and partial obedience are disobedience. You cannot choose part-time and slow obedience. It does not exist.
Apply the Bible
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.