Love and Obedience
May 11, 2022 | View PDF
Jesus said, “All those who love me will do what I say.” Learning to obey is part of growing up, and it’s also part of our Christian life. Jesus said, “My Father will love them and we will come to them and live with them.”
There’s a definite link between love and obedience. You’ve heard the old saying, “You can lead a horse to drink but you can’t make him water.” It’s the same with children – you can force them to do this, that or some other little thing around the house, but the only real way to help a child learn is by loving them and teaching them! It’s the same in God’s family – God doesn’t teach us by threatening or forcing – God teaches by loving us and helping us learn from the mistakes we make along the way.
Obedience seems to be severely lacking in today’s society. We have become a VERY permissive society – anything goes – whatever you wanna do is fine – however you wanna live is OK. Sometimes I wonder if our world isn’t secretly being run by Burger King – remember their motto – “Have it your way!” The lines between right and wrong have become VERY fuzzy, we make up our own morality, we define our own ethics, and we’re offended by the very thought of obedience. We want to be the captain of our own ship, and we hate being told what to do! I’m not just talkin’ about the 10 Commandments – I’m also talkin’ about little things like – speed limit signs, no u-turn signs, stay off the grass signs, and no pets allowed signs…! As Christians, we should be law-abiding folks – people who actually do follow the rules – people who go outta their way to be obedient!
God is love and forgiveness and grace and truth and life – but that does not mean God will let us off the hook for not doin’ our chores! God has some very high expectations for us, and obedience goes hand in hand with God’s instructions. That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “All those who love me will do what I say.” It’s like bein’ in a family, we can’t be part of the family of God without paying attention to what God wants from us! We cannot serve Jesus without discipline in our spiritual practices. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to keep God’s commandments both legally (what they “say”) AND morally (what they “mean”). We are to help the poor – feed the hungry – welcome the stranger – forgive those who hurt us and pray for those who insult us…
Just because we’re saved by God’s forgiveness and love DOES NOT mean we have a free ticket to live and act any way we want to! We have instructions from God for life – and the beginning of that life is to learn obedience!
Pastor Corey Jenkins
Sidney 1st United Methodist Church