Summary: A sermon on the meaning, cost, and rewards of obedience
The Importance of Obedience John 14:21
INTRO.: This is the final message in our "Moses and Me" series. It involves the final reality of experiencing God: "you come to know God as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you."
When God called Moses, he gave Moses a sign, but the sign would not be seen until Moses had obeyed God. Exod. 3:10-12. It is often true in Scripture that God gave confirmation following obedience.
Noah obeyed God and built an ark then his family was saved.
Naaman dipped himself in the Jordan seven times in obedience to God before his leprosy was cured.
Jesus died on the cross before He was glorified. Phil. 2:8, 9.
So, God probably will require our obedience before revealing Himself to us and allowing us to participate in His work.
Let’s examine some Biblical teaching about obedience.
I. The nature of obedience: Matt. 21:28-30
A. It is doing what you know God wants you to do.
1. It is not sufficient to say you will do His will. Many are willing to give lip service.
2. Not enough to be in Church every Sunday or pray and read the Bible if you don’t do what He says.
3. Jesus emphasizes this in His conclusion to His Sermon on the Mount. Matt. 7:21-23
4. In the parable of the two builders the contrast is between those who put the words of Jesus into practice and those who do not. Matt. 7:24, 26
B. It is the only valid expression of your faith. James 2:14-18
1. James argues from common sense to say faith without works cannot save. 15-18
2. Then he gives evidence from the Biblical examples of Abraham and Rahab. 20-25
3. Finally, he offers a very startling comparison in 26.
4. ILLUS.; A robin is free in the air, not in the water. A fish is free in the water, not in the air. A Christian enjoys freedom as he obeys Jesus. It is as natural for him to live in obedience as for the bird to live in air and the fish in water.
II. The cost of obedience:
A. It may be high:
1. When Moses obeyed God, it cost him his entire life.
2. ILLUS.: story of the time Moses and George Bush met in Heaven. Moses ignored Bush. This happened several times until the late President asked why he was ignored. Moses’ reply; "The last time I talked to a bush it cost me 40 years in the desert with a bunch of noisy Jews."
B. Your obedience may even be costly to others.
1. In Moses’ case, it led to further hardships for the Jews in Egypt. They were forced to work harder. Exod. 5:1-21
2. Sometimes a person may be called to mission work and his wife and children pay a price by not having a permanent home and financial security.
3. But, most likely, God may give you an assignment that will cost you time and energy as well as money.
4. The price may be large or small, but many are unwilling to pay it.
C. But, consider the cost of disobedience:
1. When Moses disobeyed God, he didn’t get to enter the Promised Land. Num. 20:10. This was a terrible penalty.
2. The worst penalty we face for disobedience is missing out on eternal life.
3. For the Christian, it may mean never really knowing what God can do through you.
III. The rewards of obedience:
A. What obedience does for you:
1. Reveals what you really believe about God.
2. Determines what God will be able to do through you.
3. Determines whether or not you will come to know Him better.
B. Obedience brings security.
1. Remember the parable of the two builders. The house of the obedient is secure.
2. The Father will love the obedient child. (Text) A child is made to feel insecure if father doesn’t love him or her.
3. We all know the importance of a father’s love in helping his children grow into confident, successful adults. How much more important the love of the Heavenly Father.
C. Obedience brings spiritual insight. Jn. 7:16, 17
1. If we sincerely choose to do God’s will, it is not difficult to determine what His will is.
2. Jesus will show Himself to the obedient. (Text)
3. We learn more about God and His will when we live up to what we already know.
D. Obedience frees us from slavery to sin. Rom. 6:16-18.
1. Sin tends to enslave us. Everyone is well aware of this.
2. The only way to free ourselves from slavery to sin is to offer ourselves as slaves to obedience.
3. This means a commitment of our lives to serving God through obedience.