25/07/2020 pastor Rick Warren
“Obey [God] gladly.”Psalm 100:2 (TLB)
When you think about obedience, is “joy” a word that immediately comes to mind? Probably not. But the Bible tells us to obey God joyfully. And as it turns out, there are lots of great reasons for being joyful as we obey God.
First, look at what the Bible says about joyful obedience.
Psalm 100:2 says, “Obey [God] gladly” (TLB).
Another psalm says, “I enjoy obeying your demands” (Psalm 119:16 NCV).
And later in that same psalm, you can read: “I find pleasure in obeying your commands” (Psalm 119:47 GNT).
Over and over again you find the writers of these psalms instructing us to obey God gladly, and then saying that he actually enjoys obeying God’s commands. How is obeying God enjoyable? Here are three reasons:
1. When you obey God, you’ll have fewer problems. God made you and gave you the Bible—his instruction manual for life. If you follow his instruction manual, you’ll have fewer problems. It’s like putting together a bicycle—if you follow the instructions, the whole process will go more easily. If you follow life’s instruction manual, you’ll have fewer problems and find life more enjoyable.
2. You’ll eventually be rewarded in heaven and see God’s promises fulfilled. “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 NLT).
3. When you love God, you naturally want to obey him. The Bible says, “Loving God means doing what he tells us to do”(1 John 5:3 TLB). Think of a marriage relationship. The longer two people are married, the more they know what offends the other. And they start choosing not to do those things so they won’t annoy the one they love. When you walk with the Lord through many years, you realize all he has done for you and how good he has been to you. So you want to offend him less. You enjoy keeping his commands. You do it because you love him.
Do you know how God measures your love? It’s not by what you say. God measures your love by your obedience. Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15 NIV). That’s how we prove our love.
So start obeying God today. As you grow in your love for God, you’ll enjoy obeying his commands more and more.
- What’s the relationship between love and obedience?
- How have you seen your love for God grow as you’ve obeyed him?
- Which of God’s instructions have you been disobeying—or obeying with a bad attitude? Ask God to help you obey joyfully.
God’s invitation is wide-open.
No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, you’ve got a place in God’s forever family ready and waiting for you. The invitation is wide-open. Just believe and receive.
Are you ready? Here’s a prayer you can start with: “Dear God, I know that when I die I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I know I have ignored you. I confessed I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins and toward you.
“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all that I’ve done wrong so that I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know that only your grace can save me, Lord. I could never be good enough to get into a perfect place.
“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from the sins and the habits that are messing up my life right now. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe that you will keep your promise to save me instantly, certainly, completely, and eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”