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Posts Tagged ‘obedience’

Psalm 105 is a description of how God delivered the Hebrews out of Egypt with divine protection and provision.

It’s a quick read that illustrates the power and purposes of God.

You can check out that passage and others in today’s One-Year Bible reading by clicking here.

The psalm provides a marvelous picture of God’s mercy and might.

So why did God do these things for the Hebrews?

Verse 45 has the answer:

“All this happened so they would follow His decrees and obey His instructions.”

Sometimes the Hebrews did what verse 45 described.

Life was good in the Promised Land at such times.

Many times, though, they ignored God’s Word and God’s will.

And despite repeated pleas made to the people through prophets inspired by God, the people recurringly ignored God’s Word and His will.

You know what happened as a result.

The fountain of blessings dried up and the tsunamis of torment took its place.

We’ve experienced the same to a lesser extent, I’m sure.

Life is always better when we learn and obey.

It’s no accident that God has blessed you with health, with relationships and with income.

Please be careful that your life of faithful obedience will be clear to all, including Him.

As always, I love you
Martin

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Living the Christian life isn’t complicated.

It’s just not easy.

Being faithful is never about brainpower.

But it is about willpower.

As in deciding we WILL obey God’s will.

“And this is His commandment: We must believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with Him, and He with them. And we know He lives in us because the Spirit He gave us lives in us.” (I John 3:23-24)

Is God living in you?

If so, He is loving through you.

Love somebody today in a way that unmistakably overflows from the love you have for God.

It’s why He saved us.

As always, I love you
Martin

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I love the vivid, sometimes veiled nature of scripture.

“What’s wrong, Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way?”

These words from Psalm 114:5 remind me that God is almighty and that immense power of nature is but a pawn in His hands.

God wanted to deliver His children to safety away from the pagan army of Pharoah and the Red Sea was in the way.

And so, God spoke.

The will of God — literally His breath — pushed a pathway through the Red Sea and the Hebrews fled to safety on the Sinai Peninsula.

The above rhetorical question emphasized that when God speaks, nature listens.

The wind and the waves obeyed His voice at the Red Sea, just as they did 1,500 years later when God’s Son calmed the Sea of Galilee to save the lives of His apostles.

So if God’s voice can part or calm a massive body of water, can it not prompt us to hurry toward the completion of His will?

Are we motivated to get going in order to help others come to spiritual safety “on the other side?”

Are we prepared with a credible testimony and memorized scripture to help hurting, distressed people to experience “Peace! Be still” moments?

Let’s hurry toward becoming one who listens for the voice of God and acts faithfully in response.

It’s not good if the Red Sea was more obedient to God’s voice than are we.

As always, I love you
Martin

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When God sends blessings our way, it’s not just because He loves us.

It’s also because He wants us to love Him more.

And as Psalm 105:45 tells us, love is shown through our obedience.

The verses leading up to verse 45 list a number of great blessings that God poured out upon the Hebrews after they were rescued from Egyptian bondage. You can read of those blessings by clicking here.

I love how the psalmist summed up the purpose of the blessings with his words in verse 45:

All this happened so they would follow his decrees and obey his instructions.”

I encourage you to think for a moment of three great blessings you’ve received from the Lord and then reflect on why God sent them your way.

It’s because He loves you and desires that you show your love for Him by following His decrees and obeying His instructions.

There’s simple yet powerful parallel passage in Luke 6:46 that records Jesus asking His disciples, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say?”

Let’s show our love for God by living more obediently to His Word, not just in the big stuff like not committing crimes but also in the little stuff like giving money or time to someone in need, even though our human passion would rather spend both on ourselves.

It’s clear which choice would show an obedient heart to God.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We all heard the phrase during our childhood, “Do it because I said so.”

Perhaps it was parent or grandparent.

For years, we did things because they told us to do them.

But adolescence breeds independence and that sometimes devolves into a non-compliant path that isn’t good.

Hopefully, logic and love and faith guide your decisions today as they should guide mine.

And that includes trusting the wisdom and judgment of people who sometimes have a clearer view of the right path than do we.

The reality is that consistent, stubborn refusal to accept wise direction “because we know better” is a foolish, sometimes costly choice.

Another reality is that we’ve all played the fool in this way at one time or another.

We were walking a dead-end road at work or in a relationship or with our health and we refused the advice of caring people who knew what they were talking about.

What really bristled us was when were at the end of the road and we knew we had no viable option except to listen to the one or ones we had ignored.

We couldn’t understand how their advice would help, but when they said, “Do it because I said so,” we finally trusted them and — Voila! — the advice worked.

Our job performance or office relationships improved. Our marriage our parent-child relationship improved. Our cholesterol or BMI levels improved.

And our propensity for prideful stubbornness was hopefully diminished a bit.

Why this message today? Because there are times that we should do things because the Bible tells us to, regardless of what we think.

We don’t understand how it will all work out to do it God’s way, but it does if we’ll trust and obey.

That’s what happened in Luke 5 when Peter and his boat crew fished all night and caught nothing.

You know how the story goes with Peter initially disputing Jesus’ direction.

The nets went down, though. Why?

But because you say so,” Peter said to Jesus (Luke 5:5).

Of course, the catch was huge.

Good thing that Peter put out the nets because Jesus said so.

Let’s surrender our will and forgive the really hurtful offenses — because Jesus said so.

Let’s surrender our will and forsake the really tasty sins — because Jesus said so.

Let’s surrender our will and overcome our shyness and invite co-workers to church and the gospel — because Jesus said so.

Let’s surrender our will and do whatever the Word calls us to do, even if it conflicts with out pride-limited perceptions and precepts.

And let’s surrender our will and do what caring, prayerful, spiritually mature mentors counsel us to do when we’re not biblically certain of our path.

The catch of peace and blessing will be huge.

As always, I love you
Martin

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We don’t like it when others try to play “head games” with us, giving us veiled clues as to how we might obtain their willingness to give us help or simply to give us things.

I am very thankful that God doesn’t play head games with His children.

He’s very clear in the scriptures regarding how we receive blessings and how we can receive chastisement.

If we honor Him by obeying the teachings of scripture, we’ll enjoy blessings that will thrill us and influence the unsaved world to consider the opportunity of salvation into a life of blessing. Consider these words from Deuteronomy 28:12-14 —

“The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.”

Wow. I really like the idea of being on the top shelf of blessing, not because I’m better than others but instead because I’m living closer to the pattern that endears me to the heart of God.

I like the idea of being the head, not the tail.

And that status will be mine as I obey the 10 Commandments, obey other Old Testament teachings, obey the words of Christ and obey the teachings of the Apostles.

As I declare to all that my desire is to serve Jehovah God only, God sees my heart and sends my blessings.

You and I can choose differently, though.

We can choose to live like the world, acting as if the world is more pleasing and powerful and nurturing than is Jehovah.

If we give up on God, however, He will give us over to our crazy beliefs and we’ll be relying on our own strength and wisdom.

That’s never a good idea in the long term.

Sad thing is, this is exactly what has been happening to the U.S. in recent years. Read the following, recognize the realities of our current financial dependency upon other nations and then decide for yourself if what Moses wrote 3,400 years ago applies to the current and perhaps future condition of our nation.

The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail. All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever.

“Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 28:43-48).

I pray that our nation’s leadership recognizes the mandatory nature of serving God and obeying His Word. I pray that you communicate the importance of this mandate to your elected officials.

I pray that your votes at election time reflect a belief in Deuteronomy 28.

I pray that you’ll pray for national, spiritual renewal.

If it doesn’t happen, the future isn’t good for our children and grandchildren.

Pray. Please pray.

As always, I love you
Martin

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