STRENGTH THROUGH OBEDIENCE (SUNDAY LIGHT (02/06/19, 09/06/19))
INTRODUCTION: We have just concluded our teaching titled “if there is faith (in God), there will be fear (of God)”, during which we defined fear of God as ‘a feeling of deep respect for God that carries a tinge of dread of His judgment’. This quality will make one to eschew evil and love righteousness (Pro.8:18; 1Tim.6:6-11). We showed that faith in God is a precursor (forerunner) of fear of God; and as one grows in faith, one is expected to have greater knowledge (awareness) of the attributes of God (Jer.9:23,24). In this Sunday Light message, the Lord wants to show us the Strength that is associated with Obedience. The message shall come under 2 sub-headings (A) Obedience Defined (B) Strength Through Obedience, Explained.
(A) Obedience Defined (Deut. 11:8-9; Jn. 14:15, 21; 15:10, 14). Obedience in our context, is essentially to God (cp. Act. 5:29); it involves keeping God’s words, commands, instructions and required principles in all areas. Generally speaking, God=s commandments can be condensed into two, namely: (i). love the Lord with all the heart, mind, soul and strength (Mk. 12:29-30). One who loves the Lord this way will fear Him, walk in His ways and cleave to Him (cons. Deut. 10:12-13,20). The person that fears God will depart from all kinds of evil (Prov. 8:13). One who walks in His ways meditates on and applies His words in his life. Such persons don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly, irrespective of the latter=s physical, economic and social status (cp. Ps. 1:1-3). Cleaving to God involves firm resolve to follow His ways, principles and standard, irrespective of the level of pressure to contradict (cp. Ps. 57:7; Job 27:4-6). (ii). love the neighbour as self (Mk. 12:31). Obedience to God implies determination to love our fellow men as ourselves. And no child of God can afford to neglect this. Although the human nature is prone to self-centeredness/selfishness, the Lord=s command is that we consider others as ourselves (cp. Matt. 7:12; Phil. 2:4). It is to be noted that obedience to God includes obedience to parents (biological and spiritual), husbands and constituted authority, in all matters that are not contrary to God=s counsel and principle (cp. Rm. 13:1-3; Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:18; Heb. 13:17).
Every obedient child of God keys into the programmes that the Lord has for the Church without grumbling (Phil.2:14). All those who love the Lord will obey Him and His servants placed over them, and will sincerely and joyfully get involved in the programmes of the church (Heb.13:7,17). They will faithfully and happily make their pledges and also go on to cheerfully redeem same. Where they don’t have, they don’t discourage others.
Implicit obedience requires a circumcised heart. And so part of His command is that we circumcise our hearts (cp. Deut. 10:16; 30:6). When we willingly and totally submit ourselves to Him, He will circumcise our hearts that they be no more stony against His counsel. (Eze.36:25-27; Isa.6:1-7)
(B) Strength Through Obedience, Explained (Deut. 11:8-9, 13-17; Jos. 1:6-7; Matt. 7:24-25). Obedience establishes a child of God to be as firm as a house built upon a rock with a very solid foundation (cp. Matt. 7:24-25). God, through the mouth of Moses, told the children of Israel that obedience to His commandments would make them strong to (i). Possess the land promised them, (ii). Prolong their days in the land and (iii). Prosper in it. Similarly, today, obedience will make a child of God to be established and strong enough to overcome all the battles of life and wiles of the devil, and to possess all the spiritual and physical blessings meant for him in Christ (cp. Deut. 11:8-9; Matt. 7:24-25; Eph. 6:10-16). It is also through obedience to God=s word, (putting it into practice), that one can holdout to the end. The person that is a hearer only but not a doer will not last in the kingdom (cp. Matt. 7:26-27). Besides, it is the obedient child of God that has God=s promise for prosperity in all that he does (cp. Deut. 11:13-17; Jos. 1:6-7).
Are you there and you need the strength of the Lord to overcome all enemies, obstacles and oppositions so as to possess your blessings, remain strong in the faith, grow and continue through to the end? Make up your mind to rise to complete obedience to God. Disobedience tends to penury, destruction, and ultimately damnation (Pro.1:23-31; Matt.7:21-27)
Rise and let us pray. Fellowship Songs: HCF (55 & 242)