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Summary: obedience to God is more than just doing

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What do you look for in obedience? What do you see?

Text: Mt. 22:34-40

Intro:

1. “Good teacher what must I do to get eternal life?”

2. This question reflects the thinking of many when it comes to considering obedience to God

3. Obedience is when a command is issued and effort is made to carry it out; you do what you’re told

I. OBEDIENCE FOR MANY

A. I’m obedient, I’m good if/when I:

Pay my taxes, vote

I’m polite to others

I go to church

I contribute

Sing, pray, try not to go to sleep during the sermon

Etc. etc. etc.

If I can check 75-80% I’m good

“I’ll do my best and God will cover the rest”

The thinking is: “I’ve done my duty, fulfilled my obligation

B. What’s wrong with this picture?

1. it is external, superficial; all this can be done with no

engagement of the heart

2. it is also a mindset of “I can do it myself” thus there is no

real need for God or the sacrifice of Jesus.

3. Ultimately is guts the heart and soul of Christianity and

nurtures the opinion of many that the church is full of

hypocrites.

II. A CASE STUDY KING SAUL I Sam. 15

A. God had given Saul instructions to destroy the Amalekites

15:2-3—do not spare any, totally destroy everything

B. Saul attacked and destroyed all—but the animals

C. Samuel, God’s prophet confronted Saul 15:13ff

1. Saul joyously said—I’ve carried out the Lord’s instructions

2. What is this sound of sheep and cattle I hear?

3. the soldiers brought back the animals but we totally

destroyed all the rest

4. Samuel asks: why didn’t you obey?

5. I did, I destroyed everything the soldiers brought back the

animals in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at

Gilgal

a. Notice: I obeyed—to a point, i.e. partially, mostly…

b. I disobeyed for a higher purpose—to sacrifice to God

c. the truth emerges later: v. 24—I was afraid of the people

D. Samuel’s famous response, v. 22 obedience is better than

Sacrifice

E. Obedience is more than just “doing” it is a heart that is aligned

with God and his purpose and his reasons

1. When Samuel told Saul his kingdom was being taken away,

he was then told it was being given to one better than him

2. when Samuel went to anoint David, God told Samuel he

looks at the heart of man

3. We can very clearly see that Saul’s heart was not right with

God

III. JESUS CONTINUES THE EMPHASIS ON THE HEART

A. He is asked what is the greatest command Mt. 22:34-40

1. a lawyer wanted to test Jesus

2. he wanted to catch Jesus in the categorizing of obedience

i.e. “doing what is most important”

B. Jesus responded “love God with all your heart…..”

1. Jesus returns to the Shema of Deut. 6:4-5

2. The core, the foundation of relationship with God is the love

for God with the whole being, not just outward action

3. “love” here has nothing to do with emotion, but rather

covenant loyalty and obedience—from the inside out

4. Very much like Paul in Rom. 12:2—offer your bodies as a


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