Minding . . .

Vol. 4, No. 1

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed. –Romans 6:1

Obey with all your heart.

The U.S. Marine Corps says, “He who cannot obey . . . cannot lead!”

Good theology constantly calls for deliberate, responsible decisions about how we are going to live and it never forgets that Christian decisions are commitments to action on principle (not out of mindless conformity), undertaken in freedom (not from external pressure or bullying), and motivated primarily by love of God and of justice (not by fear). –J.I. Packer, Hot Tub Religion

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
–William Shakespeare

Decisions are commitments to action! Too many believers run through life after making commitments thinking that those commitments do not matter; and in growing older give the excuse they are tired, unhealthy, or busy. Their commitments amount to a sham.

Since I cannot save myself, I cannot atone for sin; I cannot redeem the world; I cannot make right what is wrong, make pure what is impure, make holy what is unholy. That is the work of our sovereign God. The thing I must do is obey.

Obedience means that I have banked everything on Christ, and my obedience is met immediately by the delight of the supernatural grace of God. The promises of God are of no value to me until, by obedience, I begin to see and understand the nature and character of God.

When God says, ‘come,’ I need to simply come! When He says, ‘let go,’ I simply need to let go! When He says, ‘trust,’ in what ever the matter, I must trust. The promptness of my obedience is my part. God takes care of the rest.

I have studied several languages (Latin, French, Greek, Hebrew, and sometimes English). I can still read those languages. It is interesting how the original language used in writing captures nuances that are difficult to bring into another language. Such is Augustine’s definition, written in Latin, of the word ‘disobedience and temptation.’ Cogitatio, imagination, delectation, and assensio. English requires 22 words to capture that simple Latin verbiage: A thought, a picture, a fascination, a fall; it may be wrong choices, errors in judgment, stubborn will, or an unguarded appetite.

From you own experience, answer the basic question: What single factor has produced the best results in your walk with God?

King Saul (who was disobedient) answers: Obedience is far better than sacrifice. God is much more interested in your listening to Him than in your offerings. –1 Samuel 15:22

Obedience is not just a word we utter. It is a character of our life. It is spelled out because it is to be harbored in the heart. it affects all that we say, think, and do. We are challenged in our family, home, businesses, work, and even our retirements to be obedient. Which area or season of life do we want to exempt from obedience?

How many years has it been since you left your commitment at the altar of obedience and exchanged it for the character of disobedience?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

January 6, 2019

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