Summary: We become what we behold. As we behold Jesus, our love for Him increases. With an increase in love comes an increased desire to obey. We find His promises and abundant life for us as we obey and walk closely with Jesus each day.

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Amazed: Obedience

Well, we’re going to continue on our series called Amazed, today, and today’s title is called, “Amazed at Obedience.” Didn’t get any “amens” – I mean come on now. Amazed at obedience, because it is a joy.

I want to start by telling you a little story about our family. Most of you guys know we have four kids and they range now from 24 years old to 15 years old, but say when they were – say Abby was 11, Daniel was about 2, we thought, “Hey we’re going to have a great, family kind of getaway. We’re going to go to the beach for the day, down on Galveston Island.” Now Laura and I grew up in the area. She grew up in Houston, I grew up in Beaumont, Texas, and so we had been to Galveston many times, and we were excited to relive the memories. Just kind of like what we had experienced, and we’re thinking, “This is going to be awesome, I mean, out in a beach and sand and making sand castles. I mean, this is going to be a great memory.” And so we drove down to Laura’s mom’s home in Houston, spent the night there. We get up the next morning and we are headed to the beach. We get everybody strapped in – a little whining, griping and complaining going on as we were dragging them out early, but as we were pulling out eventually the whining increases, and somebody hits another kid and we do the old threat, “If you do that again, we’re going to pull over!” And they gave us great reason to pull over in about 10 minutes, and so we got everybody and we lovingly disciplined everybody, made sure we knew the family rules were all back on the train. Soon as we get back all in the van, then somebody else says, “Daddy, I gotta go to the bathroom, I gotta go to the bathroom.” I say, “Hey you need to hold it.” “I can’t hold it – I’m going to go in my pants. I need to go now. We need to stop.” We pull over, we stop at the bathroom, then somebody else the next time we get going is hungry, and somebody else is mad at another one. I mean, it was a zoo getting down there. It should have taken about an hour and a half – it took two and a half hours. So two and a half hours – we pull up to Galveston, and at least in those days you could drive your van out on the beach, and I’d already pictured this: The minivan just right there by the ocean, wind blowing through, a little pup tent, building sand castles together. I mean, this was going to be awesome. So we get there, we open up the van, we do the deal, and all of a sudden – the wind’s blowing, and Daniel says, “I got sand in my eyes, I got sand in my eyes! I hate the beach! I hate the beach!” So I’m getting some water – “Laura, we need to get the sand out of his eyes,” and all of a sudden, Caleb who’s six is running into the surf, up to his neck. We’re not sure if he can even swim, and so I said, “You take him!” And I run to the beach, rescue him, drag him back – “Don’t you ever do that, don’t you run…” So we got that going on, and I mean, that’s about how the day went. I mean when we got out the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, of course, there was sand in the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

“There’s sand in my peanut butter jelly sandwich! I don’t want my sandwich!”

“You’ll eat your sandwich, and you’ll like it.”

This great adventure, this wonderful day is going south, and so after we had gone in and out of the water, and now the water’s salty and sticky, and we don’t like the water, and we said, “Ok, we’re going to go over to the water slide.” At that time in Galveston, it was just two slides, and we went down, it was within walking distance. We said we were going to go over to the water slides. We get to the water slides, and two of them hadn’t been on water slides before, two had been. So two think this is wonderful, the other two think we’re trying to kill them. And another kind of a zoo-ey, traumatic time there. We get to 5 o’clock, we’re wiped out, man. And we’re just thinking, we’ve got to salvage this deal, so I said, “Ok, we’re going to Wendy’s.” It’s throwdown. Burgers, fries, and Frostys for everybody. We’ve got to get a win here. And so we go to Wendy’s, we do the deal – the burgers, fries, and we get the Frostys, and so alright, we pack everybody up in the car, it’s probably 7 o’clock by now, it starts getting a little dark. One falls asleep, another falls asleep, and I’m thinking to myself, “We could have had such a great day. I mean, I saw it, Lord, I saw it! Why can’t these kids just obey and trust us? Why couldn’t they just follow the instructions? We were going to have so much stinkin’ fun, but they blew it. They didn’t obey!” And it seemed to me as I’m kind of complaining to God, in my mind, that God’s speaking back to me, “Well, that’s what it’s like living with you, s]Son.” I have such a great adventure for you. I have so many great plans. You just wrestle with me all the time. Why don’t you just go with it, why don’t you just go with me and let me lead you? My plans are only good, and never for evil.”

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