Summary: The bottom line to following God is living in obedience.
“The Bottom Line”
March 18, 2007
How would you describe what it means to follow Jesus?
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
Solomon concluded that what God wants from us more than anything else is pure devotion.
God’s desire for us is a life of worship and obedience.
“True knowledge of God is born out of obedience.”
Obedience is not based in rules but in relationship.
“Obedience is not a stodgy plodding in the ruts of religion, it is a hopeful race toward God’s promises.”
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
The Bible on Obedience:
Obedience is better than sacrifice.
"What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 (NLT)
Obedience demonstrates devotion.
"If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.” John 14:15 (The Message)
Obedience brings maximum freedom.
(No guilt, no shame, no consequences)
“I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalm 119:45 (NLT)
The Radical Call of Jesus:
Live in peace.
"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Do not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ 22 But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!” Matthew 5:21-22 (NLT)
Be faithful to your spouse.
"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28
Keep your word.
"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter of divorce.’ 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Matthew 5:31-32
Tell the truth.
"Again, you have heard that the law of Moses says, `Do not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I say, don’t make any vows! If you say, `By heaven!’ it is a sacred vow because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And if you say, `By the earth!’ it is a sacred vow because the earth is his footstool. And don’t swear, `By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Don’t even swear, `By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, `Yes, I will,’ or `No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.” Matthew 5:33-37
"You have heard that the law of Moses says, `If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.’ 39 But I say, don’t resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too.” Matthew 5:38-42
How to Obey:
Focus on the commander, not the commands.
We can obey God because we can trust Him.
(Suppose that everything said about Jesus and all that he claimed is true. Is there any doubt that God has our best interest in mind in showing us how to lvie?)
Acknowledge when obedience is hard.
Everyone is going to blow it sometime.
Seek and accept input from other believers.
Develop a life of transparence.
Confess and repent when you fall short.
Disobedience today does not require disobedience tomorrow.