Summary: Love and respect God so that all you want to do with your life is obey Him.
Do you want to know how to live with less problems and with less stress? I can tell you. The question isn't if you want to listen. I'm sure all of us are interested in how to live a less problem or stress free life. What I'm going to share with you is easy for me to write. It will be easy for you to listen. The challenge isn't in the delivery of this message or the hearing of it. The challenge will be for you and me to receive it as truth and live it.
Do you want to know how to live a less problem and stress free life? Here's the short answer. Here it is: Love and respect God so that all you want to do with your life is obey Him.
Well you might be thinking, that isn't such a hard thing. After all, I'm here on Sunday morning to worship and learn more about God. Maybe you're thinking loving God and obeying Him is what my life is all about. Do you consider yourself a good Christian person? You should really think long and hard about that answer before you do so.
Actually while you're pondering on how good of a Christian person you may think you are, let's hear a little from the most famous preacher on earth not named Jesus. You can read along in Romans 7:21-25. Paul says, " I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord"
So let's ask that question again. Are you a good Christian person? Because if you are confident in how good you are, then you don't have anything in common with Paul. Paul loves God with all his heart; and because he wants to obey God more than anything he finds himself at war. He doesn't walk around as a miserable person, but he feels miserable when he repents of his sin. He concludes that only through the power of Jesus Christ can he live in obedience to God.
Paul teaches to love and respect God so that all you want to do with your life is obey Him.
There's no way to live in obedience to God unless you're willing to throw down everything you want at the foot of the cross and live for Jesus. (Philippians 3:7-11) And this is the part that is very difficult for all of us. Going to church, attending a small group, volunteering on a ministry team or for a church function, or even teaching Sunday School are all good things to do. But these things don't make you a good Christian person.
I started by asking you a question: Do you want to know how to live a less problem and stress free life? And the answer is to love and respect God so that all you want to do with your life is obey Him. Here's what is most difficult about this answer and it's not the obedience part. It's the love and respect part. Why we obey God is more important that the act of obedience itself.
We'll talk more about this in a minute. For now, let's walk through the reason for why our attitude of obedience is so important.
1. People sin.
If you have kids, you know this to be true. Have you ever tried to tell a two year old NOT to do something they really want to do? What is their reaction? Do we really grow out of this tendency to rebel? Have you been around teenagers much? When I’m asked, “Why does bad stuff happen to people” this is the reason that God shares with us. Because we are sinful and rebellious. People rebel against God and His Word. We have since the beginning.
If you want to take some time to find out what the Bible says, check out these scriptures:
2. There is retribution for sin.
Retribution means, “just desserts” it’s what we have coming to us for our rebellion. Retribution can also be the reward we receive for being obedient
In the old law Leviticus 26 outlines the retribution both for obedience and disobedience:
According to the Levitical code, if the people obey God's word then He provides the following retribution: rain, there is plenty to eat, His people live in peace, they are protected from wild animals, they defeat their enemies, and their nation will grow strong