The Law of Obedience

THE LAW OF OBEDIENCE – HOW TO FIND FULLNESS OF JOY

“THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU AND THE LIFE YOU WANT IS TOTAL OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST.”

(Pastor Lee Jackson – FFWC)

I)     INTRODUCTION      THEY HAD A GROUP OF CHILDREN INSIDE A ROOM WITH A VERY REALISTIC BUT TOY GUN ON A TABLE IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM.   THEY VERY CAREFULLY EXPLAINED TO THE CHILDREN HOW DANGEROUS GUNS WERE AND WHY THEY SHOULD NEVER PLAY WITH GUNS.  THEY WENT AROUND THE ROOM TO EACH CHILD EXPLAINING HOW DANGEROUS AND DEADLY A GUN CAN BE AND EACH CHILD AGREED WITH VERY SERIOUS FACES THAT THEY WOULD NEVER, NEVER PLAY WITH GUNS INCLUDING THE GUN ON THE TABLE IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM.  THEY TOLD THE CHILDREN THAT THEY WOULD BE WATCHING THEM EVEN THEY WERE NOT IN THE ROOM AND THEN THEY LEFT THE ROOM TO WATCH THE CHILDREN THROUGH A TWO-WAY MIRROR.  (THEY COULD SEE THE CHILDREN BUT THE CHILDREN COULD NOT SEE THEM.)  IT ONLY TOOK A FEW SECONDS FOR THE KIDS TO START GETTING RESTLESS, FUSSING WITH EACH OTHER AND THEN BEGIN TO MOVE ABOUT THE ROOM.  WITHIN LESS THAN A MINUTE TWO OF THE LITTLE BOYS WENT BACK TO THE TABLE IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM AND BEGIN TO TOUCH AND THEN PICK UP THE GUN AND POINT IT AT EACH OTHER AND OTHER CHILDREN.   WE ARE A LOT LIKE THAT WHEN IT COMES TO OBEYING CHRIST’S COMMANDMENTS.  LIFE IS LIVED IN FRONT OF A TWO-WAY MIRROR.  GOD CAN SEE US BUT WE CAN’T SEE HIM, AND OVER TIME WE BEGIN TO THINK THAT HE IS NOT WATCHING US ANYMORE.   WE HAVE VERY SHORT ATTENTION SPAN WHEN IT COMES TO SPIRITUAL MATTERS.  WE THINK THAT WE CAN BREAK GOD’S LAWS.  WE CAN’T.  WE DON’T BREAK GOD’S LAWS, THEY BREAK US.   WE THINK THAT WE CAN SIDESTEP OBEDIENCE TO GOD WITHOUT PAYING A PRICE.  WE CAN’T SIN ALWAYS HAS A PRICE AND THE PRICE IS IN DIRECT PROPORTION TO THE SINS. WE MAY ASK AND RECEIVE GOD’S FORGIVENESS BUT THERE ARE STILL CONSEQUENCES TO SIN. GalATIANS 6:7-8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” KJV

 read romans 8:35-39 people will often read this passage and assume that this is saying that nothing can separate us from Christ’s love.   it is actually saying that no one or nothing external to us can separate us from christs love when we walk in obedience to him as we can see from the following text.

TEXT: John 15:10-11: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” KJV

II)    WHY DOES GOD REQUIRE OBEDIENCE FROM US?

A)    EVERYTHING GOD ASKS OF US IS FOR OUR GOOD.   HE WANTS TO GIVE US SOMETHING GOOD AND / OR HE WANTS TO KEEP US FROM HARM. Jer 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. NIV

B)   like an athlete in training or a musician practicing a regimen or a soldier undergoing combat training…if we get lazy, careless or rebellious, it only delays the joy and fulfillment that he has for us in  serving him.

C)   Ps 19:7-11: 7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, GIVING light to the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. NIV

D)   OBEDIENCE IS NOT NEARLY SO HARD IF WE ARE PERSUADED THAT IT’S NOT ONLY FOR GOD’S GLORY BUT FOR OUR GOOD.

E)   Heb 12:5-8: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,  because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”   Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” NIV

 III)   THERE IS GREAT REWARD IN BEING OBEDIENT TO CHRIST.

(ILLUSTRATED BY A STORY AUTHOR MAX ANDERS RELATES ABOUT A DOG SHOW, “21 UNBREAKABLE LAWS OF LIFE”, P 28)

A)   DOGS HAD TO START, STOP CHANGE DIRECTIONS, SIT, STAY AND RETURN TO THEIR MASTER AFTER FOLLOWING A PERSCRIBED COURSE THAT TOOK THEM ALL OVER THE ARENA, WITHOUT ANY VERBAL COMMANDS ONLY HAND SIGNALS.

B)   DOGS HAD TO SELECT A WOODEN DUMBBELL OUT OF A PILE OF WOODEN DUMBELLS THAT THEIR MASTER HAD HANDLED.   DUMBELLS WERE IDENTICAL EXCEPT FOR AN IDENTIFICATION NUMBER.

C)   DOGS REQUIRED LIE DOWN IN THE CENTER OF THE LAWN AND STAY THEIR FOR SEVERAL MINUTES WHILD BEING TOTALLY IGNORED BY THEIR MASTER, WHO WAS OUT OF SIGHT BEHIND A CANVASS.

D)   TWO DOGS STOOD OUT: ONE WAS A BEAUTIFUL WHITE GERMAN SHEPHERD.  HE WAS EAGER, GRINNING, TONGUE-LOLLING, FUN-LOVING BUT NOT FULLY TRAINED. WHILE HE WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FIELD HE SPIED WHITE COTTON-TAIL RABBIT HOPPING AT LEISURE AROUND THE EDGE OF THE LAWN.  THE LARGE, WELL MUSCELED PARAGON OF CANINE VIRTUE BEGAIN TO TREMBLING LIKE A WHITE  JELLO STATUE, EYES RIVETED IN UTTER ABSORPTION ON THIS RODENT TREASURE. THE RABBIT BEGAN TO CAVORTING PLAYFULLY AROUND THE BASE OF A MESQUITE BUSH AS IF DELIBERATELY BAITING THE DOG.  ONE FINAL TANALIZING HOP WAS MORE THAN THE WHITE POWDER KEG COULD ENDURE, THE SHEPHERD EXPLODED IN THE DIRECTION OF THE RABBIT AS THOUGH SHOT FROM A CANNON.  BOTH DISAPPEARED FROM PUBLIC VIEW NOT TO BE SEEN AGAIN FOR THE REST OF THE EVENT.

E)   IN CONTRAST TO THE GERMAN SHEPHERD WAS A GLORIOUS, SILKY GOLDEN RETRIEVER HANDLED BY A YOUNG GIRL.  THE RETRIEVER’S EXCELLENCE WAS AS GREAT AS THE SHEPHERD’S FAILURE.  OBEDIENCE TO EVERY COMMAND WAS INSTANTANEOUS, AND PERFECT. BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER EACH COMMAND, THE EYES OF THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER WERE FIXED DEVOTEDLY …ADORINGLY ON THE YOUNG GIRL WHO WAS HIS OWNER AND TRAINER.

F)    FOURTH PRIZE WAS GIVEN TO A SPRINER SPANIEL, THIRD TO A GERMAN SHEPHERD, SECOND TO A BLACK LAB.   FINALLY, FIRST PRIZE WENT TO THIS MARVELOUS DOG AND YOUNG GIRL WHO HAD TRAINED HIM. A RIPPLE OF APPLAUSE WENT THROUGH THE AUDIENCE AS THEY RECEIVED THEIR PRIZE AND THEN A MARVELOUS THING HAPPENED.  THE GIRL WHEELED TO FACE HER DOG, AND SQUEALED WITH DELIGHT, AND BEGAN CLAPPING HER HANDS TOGETHER EXCITEDLY.  AT THIS THE DOG LUNGED UP TOWARD THE GIRL’S FACE IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO LICK HER ON THE MOUTH.  SHE PUSHED HIM BACK AND HE TRIED AGAIN.  SHE STARTED RUNNING TOWARD HER CAR, LAUGHING AND CLAPPING WITH UNBRIDLED JOY, AS HER DOG BARKED, JUMPED AND CIRCLED HER ALL THE WAY, SHARING COMPLETELY IN HER JOY.  CHILLS WENT UP AND DOWN MY SPINE AS I WATCHED IN UNDISGUISED ADMIRATION THE JOY, THE INTIMACY, THE TRUST, THE DEVOTION AND THE ADORATION THAT WAS SHARED BETWEEN THAT GIRL AND HER DOG.

IV)  CONCLUSION – Heb 12:1-3: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for   the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  NIV

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