Run to the Cross: Week 3

March 28, 2022

John 14:21

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

1 Samuel 15:22 

“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.”

Devotion

Obeying was easy when we were young.
Either way, we’ll know the results.
Obey an instruction, we’ll be fine or be praised.
Disobey an instruction, we’ll get an earful from our parents, or a ticket to the corner of the classroom.
Obedience has always been the core foundation of a child’s moral and spiritual compass since the early years.
Not surprising that one of the 10 commandants was to honor our parents and Paul explicitly pointed it out in Colossians 3:20 that children need to obey their parents in everything because it pleases the Lord. 

As we get older, the situation is the same.
Obey the traffic rules and you’ll be fine (no praise this time).
Disobey the rules, the men-in-blues will come after you.
The result is always, and almost instantaneous.
But life becomes a little more complicated as we follow Christ.
While we profess to love Jesus, and promise to obey His commandments, the test comes when difficult situations arise. 

“Love your enemy?”, “Pray for those who hate you?”, “Forgive seventy times seven?”

And these are just starters.

Throw in the ever-changing evolving culture and even mandates that the world obey (but highly questionable for believers), then the act of obedience becomes a challenge. 

It’s for your health, they say. 

It’s how everyone does it, they say. 

It’s the norm, they say.

It’s the fastest approach, they say.

It’s to earn more money, they say. 

Yet deep down, contrary to popular opinion, you know it’s not right. What do you do then?
Do you follow the world because it’s the norm and you blend in with the crowd?
Or do you go against the grain and obey Jesus?

In some cases, the outcome of obedience isn’t so instant and clear cut anymore.
We are in this world but not of this world.
We do not obey the rules of this world, but every word of God.
God desires our obedience more than any sacrifice, service and gift that we give.
To love is to obey.
Ultimately, God wants us to acknowledge that He is the one overall, the beginning and the end and what can then be a better way to live than to live in immediate obedience to Him.

So what do you do?

Let John 14:21 comfort us.
While the result of obeying Jesus won’t be always necessarily apparent, but His everlasting promise is and always will be.

Prayer

Dear Lord, Thank you for your everlasting love.
Your grace and mercy that renews every day.
You love us so much that you always give us a choice and not forcing us, but rather,
pursuing us and desiring us to have an intimate relationship with you.
Forgive me for the countless times when I fail to or choose to give in to my human mind and
fleshly desires, taking the easier, wider, world-pleasing route.
Help me to see your patience as your love in wanting me to see your faithfulness and your
greatness.
Help me to love you in a tangible manner by obeying you, be it encouraged through your
still quiet voice, or as commanded in your unchangeable written word.
Thank you for your deep love for me, In Jesus name I pray, amen.

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