Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lessons With Promise

"If you love me, you will obey what I command... Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me... If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching... He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." John 14:15, 21, 23, 24

The extent of my love for Christ is shown by the extent of my obedience to him. 
"But now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:21-24

The God of the universe owes me nothing, but has given me everything for eternity by offering grace and justification.
"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

God has a will. He has a plan to fulfill that will. He will equip me.
"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show the same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." Hebrews 6:10-12

God doesn't ask me to be successful, just faithful. Always.
"No faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." Hebrews 11:1, 2, 6, 39, 40

Do I see the problem or do I see God? Faith helps me look beyond the world's value system and see the eternal values of God's kingdom.
"When they saw him, they worshiped him... Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you'..." Matthew 28:17-20

Honest worship of Christ always leads to active obedience to Christ.
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, 'O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'" Daniel 3:16-18

The battle - the entire battle - belongs to the Lord. I must even surrender my faith to God's will.
"This is what the Lord says, he who made heaven and earth, the Lord who formed it and established it - the Lord is his name; 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'" Jeremiah 33:2-3

The Lord promises four things: 1) He desires my prayers; 2) He hears my prayers; 3) He answers my prayers; 4) He supersedes my prayers.
"I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts." Psalm 119:44-45

Freedom is not about autonomy; freedom is about obedience.
These are lessons I've learned and am still learning. Sometimes the hard way and sometimes the long way. But once I know something to be true, in light of God and his truth, I cannot stay the same. Offering excuses or petty reasons sounds ugly when I actually say it out loud, and it sounds horribly cheap when I pray it in my mind.
I'm thankful for Truth. And for grace that comes from Truth. And for freedom that comes because of grace from Truth.


  1. Agreed, Grady! And what an amazing friend I am so very blessed to have! :-)

  2. Double agreed, what a blessing this post is & a blessing to have a friend like Sarah who encourages me in my walk with Christ!