“The disciples were amazed, ‘Who is this man?’ they asked. ‘Even the winds and waves obey Him!’” (Matthew 8:27 NLT)
Obedience to God’s directives is a vital issue. In John 15:14 Jesus said to His disciples: “You are my friends if you do what I command.” That raises the question, “Can you be a Jesus follower and not obey Him?” Which raises another question: “If you want to follow Him, why wouldn’t you want to obey Him.”
When I began my walk with the Lord, I was ignorant of much of the Bible, I knew very little theology, I had developed no spiritual disciplines, and had no real clue as to how to behave as a believer. All I knew was that Jesus loved me, died for me, and was asking me to follow Him. Everything else would have to come in time. That was nearly 60 years ago.
What motivated me then was His love. He forgave me, lifting the weight of guilt and shame I carried, freeing me to see for the first time that I had potential to be and do things I never dared dream I could. What often deters people from following Jesus is their fear that they’ll miss too much “fun.”
Rick Warren wrote: “When I was a kid in high school, a guy came up to me and said, ‘You’re restricted.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Because you’re a Christian. You can’t do any of the fun stuff the rest of us do.’ I looked him in the eye and said, ‘I could take all the drugs I want to take. I could get stoned all I want to get stoned. I could drink all I want to drink. I could go to all the parties I want to go to. I could go to bed with as many women as I want. But here’s the difference: Jesus changed my want to.’”
I love that! I don’t obey out of a sense of obligation or the result of guilt, fear or condemnation. No, it’s a privilege I enjoy and seek because my “want to” now is to please and honor the One who laid down His life in my place. My motivation to obey is the nail pierced hands and feet of my Savior, and the wound in His holy side.
No one made Jesus die for us. It was His choice. Why? Because He knew He was the only One qualified to take our place. Because of His sinless life, He was the perfect “Lamb of God” who alone could take away the sin of the world.
What’s your motivation? Or are you still enamored by the lusts of the flesh? May I be honest? Satan is a liar and all this world offers is a mirage. What you’re seeing and believing is that what is material is eternal, but it’s not. Nothing of this world can satisfy the hunger of your soul for the only One who can fill that God-shaped vacuum in you. His name is Jesus, and He died in your place! It was me and you who deserved to be on that cross, not Him.
Ron Hutchcraft, though I’ve never met Him, as a brother in Christ, I love and appreciate him. He says nothing will ever change in anyone’s life until they look at the Cross of Christ and say these two words: “for me!” You can chase after the trinkets of this world until your dying breathe and never experience the joy, freedom, hope, and passion that can only be found in Jesus. But He’s a gentleman and will never force you to follow Him.
Today, allow your spirit to stop long enough to look into the face of the Man who died in your place. View the blood dripping down His face as the crown of thorns, rips into His sacred head. View with your eyes of faith the only One whose sacrifice matters. Why? Because only Jesus could pay the death penalty our sin demands.
Romans 6:23 says: “For the wages of sin is death.” Wages is paid for what we’ve earned. It’s the payment for what we deserve. And sin’s wage is the death of our soul for all eternity. Why so long? Because it’s a debt we owe that we couldn’t pay even if we had all eternity. But the rest of the verse says: “but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My motivation for obedience is gratitude for all Jesus did for me that I could never in eternity ever have done for myself. How about you? What’s your motivation?
Blessings, Ed 😊