The BIBLE VIEW #963 — Obedience

In This Issue:
I Should’ve Done It Right the First Time
A Better Work
Standing on the Inside
Obey God
A Child’s Song

Volume: 963      June 24, 2024
Theme: Obedience

I Should’ve Done It Right the First Time
Bill Brinkworth

The strong winds of a rainstorm pushed over a large 10’ by 10’ entranceway to my garden.  On it hung the foliage of two seedless grape plants.  The growth was massive, totaling at least 300 pounds.  There the plant support lay after the storm, a tangled mess of plant and split oak posts.

When I built it, I knew I was using the wrong materials.  I figured termites would appear out of nowhere and gobble the structure, but I did not want to spend the money at the time to buy the right timber and build it right.  The future of the plants was not important to me at the time.  However, the little creatures did find a meal, and it took a wind to emphasize the damage they had done.

Looking at the jumbled mess, I thought, “I should have done it right the first time.  I ended up spending the money anyway.”

People go through life making similar discoveries.  They learn the biblical way to live when they are younger.  They heard testimony after testimony of how people learned about life the hard by making bad decisions that made their life not come out the way they wanted. 

When hearing the testimonies, the young listeners vowed not to mess up their lives the same way.  They purposed to be a good Christian, follow God’s commandments as closely as possible, and stay far from sin. 

Often, when going through their teenage years, they fell for similar distractions and soon found their lives also in a tangled mess.  With multiple marriages in their past, a habit of smoking, broken relations with families, legal problems, wrong decisions after wrong decisions, or other damage done by involvement in sin, they one day realized that they should have done their lives right the first time.  They should have lived as God commanded in His Word because any other way does not work!

After purchasing pressure-treated lumber and rebuilding the arbor correctly, my next task was sorting out the mangled vines to salvage as much developing fruit as possible.  Patiently, I went through each vine and, to my surprise, learned something else. 

I realized that the plants were mostly vines and little fruit.  I cut away much of the unproductive vines, disturbing one little toad, and one by one, cut away what did not have any fruit and put what was left on its new support.  What now remained was at least one-third of what originally had been growing.

One may learn a similar lesson after getting to a point where one wants to start all over again and live the way God says to in His Word.  It may be realized that a previous life-style was unproductive and even a waste of time before living God’s way.  

Activities and things dumped for unscriptural living are often later seen as unimportant and hardly worth the priority given to them.  That new car we had to have and the second job we needed to pay for it was not worth the time we missed seeing our children grow up and raising them properly.  A fine house was a “must,” but it forced both parents to work, forcing the children to be raised by someone else with standards that were not the mother’s and father’s. 

Church services that could have helped were missed because sports games were placed at a higher value.  Now, we cannot even remember who played who or where the games were.  All those things and other vain activities are now seen as a waste of our time and, in the long run, did not satisfy or help us.

Learn the lesson I learned from my collapsed grape arbor.  We only have one life, and it needs to be lived the right way. 

The world has no clue what the right way is.  They try to fill their spiritual emptiness with activity and things.  Those things are a temporary cover-up of real needs. 

We are created to serve God, and His leadership is the only way we will ever have joy and fulfillment.  Live your life according to the way His Word guides.  God has raised billions of children, and when they do it His way, they will do it the right way the first time.

“Don’t pray to give God instructions — just report for duty!”
 — Author Unknown

A Better Work
C. H. Spurgeon

“The ship is on fire!” was shouted.  The bales of cotton were pouring black, horrible smoke.  Safety was in question. 

Passengers and crew were in extreme danger, but a capable captain was in command.  He told those around him, “If you behave yourselves, I think I can get all to safety.  All will be spared if you follow my instructions!”

If they trusted the captain, they would do as he ordered.  No sailor or engineer would refuse to work the pumps or prepare the boats, neither would any passenger disobey any rule.  

Because of confidence in their leader, they obeyed him at once.  They believed his orders were wise, so they kept them.  Neither their fear nor rashness would lead them to rush to and fro contrary to his bidding.  When the boats were lowered and brought one by one to the ship’s side, those who were to fill them waited their turn in firm reliance upon the captain’s impartiality and prudence.

They got into the boats or waited on board, for they considered his orders were dictated by better judgment.  Each man and woman firmly believed in the superior officer.  Discipline was maintained.

Obedience to God’s commandments also proves genuine faith and trust in the Lord.  There is no trust where there is no obedience. 

Some say they trust Christ but do what they like.  The faith which saves and is genuine is a faith that obeys.

“The acid test and proof of faith is obedience.” — Author Unknown

Standing on the Inside
Walter Knight

 A mother repeatedly told her little boy to sit down.  The boy continued to stand, disobeying his mother. 

Finally, the mother went to him and plopped him down in a chair.  Fuming, the boy said, “I may be sitting on the outside, but I am standing on the inside!” 

How displeasing to God is our only outward obedience to His commandments, when inside we are very rebellious to Him.

“Obeying God may not be the easiest way, but it is the wisest.”
— Author Unknown

 Obey God
Author Unknown

Implicit obedience is our first duty to God and one for which nothing else will compensate. 

If a child at school is told to solve a math problem and copies an answer instead, the effort of cheating will not increase his mathematical ability.  Likewise, we should obey God and do what he requires of us.  Shortcuts cheat us from doing or learning what we should.  God’s way is always the best.

A guide through an unknown country must be followed without question, or his followers will be lost.  A captain commanding the direction of a vessel up a river must be obeyed by the pilot, or the ship will run aground.  A soldier in battle must fight when and where he is ordered.  When the conflict is over, he may see how following his commander’s orders got their side a victory.  The farmer must also obey God’s natural laws of the seasons to have a bountiful harvest. 

We must all obey God’s spiritual laws to reap happiness here and hereafter.

“Following God’s directions are the only way to get safely Home.”

A Child’s Song
Author Unknown

A child’s Sunday school song teaches an important truth:

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.
Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily.
Action is the key — do it immediately, joy you will receive.
Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.
We want to live pure; we want to live clean.
We want to do our best.
Sweetly submitting to authority, leaving to God the rest.
Walking in the light, keep our attitudes right,
On the narrow way.
For if you believe the Word you receive, You always will obey!

The BIBLE VIEW #907 — Obedience

In This Issue:
Be Obedient While You Have the Opportunity
Is He Really Your Lord?
A Benefit and Privilege
Don’t Question Orders

Volume: 907   May 15, 2023
Theme: Obedience

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Be Obedient While You Have the OpportunityBill Brinkworth

“Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1

Although Proverbs 27 is chock-full of life-directing wisdom, verse one should remind each one of us that our time on this Earth is not forever. Our life could change drastically or end before the sun sets today. No one knows how much time they have left.  No one has the promise of tomorrow!

While we have the time, do not procrastinate.  Do not put off:

  • Being saved. Although many put off being born again (John 3:3), they may not have tomorrow to do so.  One’s opportunity to have God’s promise of an eternity with Him may soon be ended. Each time salvation is put off, one’s heart hardens and becomes more defiant to God’s calling. 

    One may have another day, but after having ignored the pleas of the Holy Spirit so often, the Spirit may no longer speak to one about securing their eternity (Romans 10:9) in Heaven.  Each time one says “No” to the Spirit of God’s prodding and His commandments, one’s sensitivity to God’s calling is lessened.
    “Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7“
    And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.  25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:24-25
  • Halting the sin(s) you have been convicted of doing.  When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit convicts one of sin(s) that is/are prohibiting one’s spiritual growth. Putting off iniquity one was made aware of should be dealt with immediately. What if the rapture (I Thes. 4:16-18) or death takes one home before a “convenient time” to obey the Lord occurs? It would be too late. Obey the Lord now while there still is an opportunity.
  • Doing what the Lord laid on your heart to do. Has the Lord urged you to rebuild a broken relationship, get involved in a ministry, read your Bible, be faithful in church, make your testimony more godly, or something else? Do it now, as again, you may not have another chance to do so.
  • Being the Christian, spouse, parent, or child, God would have you be. You may never have another opportunity if you put it off any longer.

Most of us have had many days. We assume we will have more time, but we may not.  This may be the last reminder one may have to obey what God has laid on their heart to do. Do it now, as no one knows how much more time they have left.

Is He Really Your Lord?
Bill Brinkworth

Often in prayers or conversations, God is called “Lord.”  “I love you, Lord,” “Lord, we need your intervention in helping us out of this mess,” and “Lord, I’ll do whatever you show me to do” are often uttered.  If, however, the situation is followed up on and the reactions observed of the one who requested of God, it may be wondered if God is really one’s “Lord.”

The title “Lord” implies that another is one’s master and is a supreme being, an absolute authority, and one’s ruler.  If it is true that “Lord” has a Saxon definition meaning “sole bread giver,” then it also implies that the user of the address “Lord” is relying on God for all their provisions and needs.  When God is addressed as Lord, is He really all that title implies?

  • If God truly is one’s Lord, one would do what God has told them to do.  God would not have to speak to our hearts multiple times about reading His Word faithfully, halting the sin He convicted us of doing, changing a practice in our life, or doing anything His Spirit whispered to our hearts about doing.  Total obedience would be given to God if He indeed were our Lord.  “LORD, it’s not open to discussion.  You show me, and I will do it!”
    “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” Luke 6:46
  • If God truly is Lord of your life, He should receive your total respect and honor.  One obeying the Lord should never dispute, question, or refuse to do the bidding of one’s Master.
    “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour?  and if I be a master, where is my fear?  saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name.  And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?  7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee?  In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.  8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?  and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?  offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?  saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 1:6-8
  • If God is truly your Lord, then there should be proof.  You should notice how you have forsaken your will and way for His.  Even those around you should see your priority in obeying God’s will!
    “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
    “(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13
    “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciple.” John 15:8

Calling God Lord, does not necessarily make Him one’s Lord.  If we make God our Lord, it will be shown by our obedience and respect for Him.

Is His Lordship in your life clearly exhibited in the way you live?  Is God truly your LORD?

“To live for self or God is the question we all face.  How one’s life turns out depends on how the question was answered!” — Author Unknown

A Benefit and Privilege
Watson, 1696

  1. God commands nothing from us that is not beneficial.”
    “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.” Deut. 6:2
  2. God has His reasons for telling us to do something.  We should not question why.
  3. He bids us to repent.  Why?  That our sins may be blotted out.
    “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” Acts 3:19
  4. He commands us to believe, and why?  That we may be saved.
    “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
  5. There is love in every one of God’s commandments!

“True obedience hath no lead at its heels!”  — Adams, 1653

Don’t Question Orders

“Sir,” said the Duke of Wellington to an officer of engineers who argued the impossibility of executing the directions he had received, “I did not ask your opinion, I gave you my orders, and I expect them to be obeyed.”

Such should be the obedience of every follower of Jesus.  The Words, which He has spoken and had recorded, are our law!  Our adherence to them should not be based on our judgments or fancies.  We are to do our Master’s bidding and advance through flood or flame.  We are to do as He tells us to do!

“Don’t pray to give God instructions.  Just report for duty!”