Monday, February 22, 2010

Obedience

I was asked to talk today in church. If you know me, you know that I took a giant, eye closing, nose holding, leap out of my comfort zone.  And my pop-tart stayed with me despite having to talk not once, but twice.  Then Pastor asked for a copy of my talk.  1) I said something different in each service. 2) I had sketchy notes.  But I created something that met with husband's approval.  I'll post it at the end.  First - out of curiosity, I did a word search on Obedient ...

Definitions:
  • the act of obeying 
  • dutiful or submissive behavior with respect to another person
  • the trait of being willing to obey
  • behavior intended to please your parents [or God]
  • dutifully complying with the commands or instructions of those in authority
  • the virtue of entrusting oneself to proper authority 
  • to follow, heed, comply with commands or injunctions within a sphere of jurisdiction.
  • complying with or submissive to authority
Word Origins:
  • Hebrew - shama - to hear, listen, obey
  • Greek - hupakouo - to listen under, to obey [opposite = listen around, beside]
  • Greek - peitho & peitharcheo - to persuade, convince [opposite = apeitheo - unconvinced, disobedient - apathetic?]
  • Latin- oboedire - towards; oedire = "to hear" Meaning: "to hear or listen towards"
in the bible - Obey appears 69 times and obedience 16 times. God only repeats what he really wants us to get.  Think he wants us to obey???

Let's see how Jesus obeyed ... he is a pretty good role model.

Jesus' obedience was not...
  • legalistic compliance with Law; keeping the rules 
  • precise performance of a programmed plan; doing the dictates
Jesus exercised obedience through faith by...
  • listening to God through trials, hardships, suffering
  • continuing to listen to God unto death on a cross 
The result of his obedience allowed Him to take our death and invest His life in us. Christians are free to obey. We are not slaves to sin. We are most free when we obey. Free to be man as God intended.  
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Sacrifice does not always require obedience however obedience always requires sacrifice. We sacrifice the flesh every time we obey God. My challenge is to continue to try to grow closer to God by obeying Him. Listening to what He says never leads us wrong. 
--Mike Richardson 
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Sunday 2/21/2010

First off - I am not on council. I am not on the finance committee. And I am not a member of Spirit of Joy. Yet.  (We are working on that.)  I am just a gal trying to be obedient to God.  I recently shared this story with A. and she asked me to share it with the congregation.  (My initial response was, "No!"  God said, "Obey." So ... I did.) My husband and I moved to the area from DC last summer when he retired from the military.  We moved down here for my job in Wadesboro.  My paycheck is the one that pays childcare and other similar expenses.  In November, due to many circumstances, I quit my job.  Without another one to fall back on, but it was the right decision. In December I went on a few interviews and accepted an on-call/prn position.  About the time I was starting the new job, I felt a very strong pull to tithe 10% of all my income.  

This didn't seem too hard.  Until I didn't work for 3 solid weeks.  I had about $100 in the checking account and still had to write my tithe check AND pay daycare.  I knew which one was getting paid and decided I would work something out with daycare.  Scott and I talked.  He discovered that one of our accounts would not have penalty charges if we withdrew from it.  Daycare was covered.  Then I was called in to work a couple of days.  God is good.  
This entire experience is one of discipline.  I have been praying for God to help me learn how to be obedient to him.  Tithing is but one way he is asking me to be obedient.  Obedience is not easy. It is not logical.  It is not fun.  But the benefits of obedience are amazing!   If you are a parent, I am sure you have had the conversation where you told your child to do something, they asked, "Why?" and you responded, "Because I asked you to."  Because you need to obey.  Because I'm Mommy. Please.  Just obey.  Obedience is one way we can show our heavenly father that we love him and that we have faith in him to take care of is.  

I am reading the Bible in a Year and this was in today's reading ... Leviticus 18:4-5 "You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the Lord."

He loves us. More than we can ever imagine.  This is one way for us to show him how much we love him.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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