Summary: Faith is more than feeling but step of obedience
Man walked up to vending machine, put in coin and pressed button labed, ’Coffee, double cream, sugar’. No cup appeared but the nozzles went into action sending forth coffee, cream and sugar. All disappearing down the drain and the machine turned off. ’That is real automation..this thing even drinks it for you’. Christian life cannot be lived for you you have to drink it yourself.
Last Wednesday we focused on the discipline of faith, the key word was faith. One of the disciplines of the Christian life is not just faith, but obedient faith. A faith that believes but doesn’t obey isn’t faith at all; it’s just feeling. We’re not going to focus so much on faith as we are on obedience. Obedience is a discipline. The discipline of obedience teaches us to obey, .
Max Anders, ’Only the disciplined ever get really good at anything." Everything in life requires some sort of discipline.
SATURDAY EVENING POST ARTICLE ON JACK LA LANNE: ’Fit for Life’
1) At 86 has dipped, chinned, pushed, pulled & lifted more than anyone in history.
2) Rises at 5:00 - 2 hour workout - championed sound nutrition & exercise in the 40’s & 50’s and was thought a nut.
3) ’This body works for me, it’s my slave. I take care of it. Many complain and have so many excuses, they think about the good old days, the good old days are today! When I was 40 people said, ’You’re over the hill’. Thought I couldn’t swim so I put on handcuffs and swam from Alcatraz to the mainland. Every 2 or 3 years I would do something even harder: swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater towing a 2,000 lb boat. On one birthday I did 1,000 chin-up and 1,000 push ups in 1 hour and 22 minutes. I water skied behind a helicover at over 70 miles an hour. At 70 I towed 70 boats with 70 people on board handcuffed and shackled for a mile and a half. At 87 I want to swim from Catalina to L.A. underwater in around 20 hours.
We want to be men and women of power? God’s power—the power that leads us to obedience. But to be disciplined in obedience is not an easy task. There are always obstacles to our obedience. There are obstacles to every area of life. But nothing worth gaining is gained easily and no one worth obeying is going to be easily obeyed. That’s especially true of the Lord Jesus.
1) If you and I are to discipline our lives to obedience, discipline ourselves to obeying Jesus Christ as Lord, then we need to see the struggles of others—those who accomplished this task, those who were disciplined in their life. And I think the best examples we can find, are the examples in God’s Word.
All I will ever need to know I learned from NOAH:
(1) Don’t miss the boat
(2) Remember we are all in the same boat
(3) It wasn’t raining when Noah built the boat, plan ahead
(4) Stay fit: When you are 500 someone may ask you to do something big
(5) Don’t listen to critics but finish the job
(6) Speed isn’t everything: Snails and cheetahs were both on the ark
(7) Remember that the ark was built by amatures and the Titantic by professionals
(8) No matter what the storm God presence brings a Rainbow
2) We want to see the discipline of obedience as it’s evidenced by Jesus’ disciples.
Luke 5:4. "Now when He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’ But Simon answered and said to Him, ‘Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.’
And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!’ For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had just taken."
I think there are some lessons about the discipline of obedience that we can learn directly from this story.
1. The discipline of obedience means we obey even if our Lord’s commands are contrary to our own experience.
a. Jesus was the son of a carpenter; He was a land lover, if you will. He was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth. He often got to the Sea of Galilee, but not as a fisherman.