Obedience; April 2, 2023

Matthew 21:6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.

This one little verse carries a lot of significance we might overlook. We have no idea which two disciples were sent. Quite probably whey were two we know next to nothing about, in contrast to the few with which we are familiar. The two things we do know about them from this verse are, one, they were disciples, and two, they were obedient. I can think of no finer commendation of anyone! They were disciples of Jesus Christ, having left everything to wander around the countryside following Him. On top of that, when He told them to do something, they did it, period. In contrast, we hesitate to leave anything, even our personal electronics, to follow Jesus! And when He tells us to do something, we are all too likely to make excuses and claim we didn’t really hear Him. We claim we love Him, but He said very clearly, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) It’s sometimes amazing how easily we trip up on that! The devil, liar that he is, does all he can to convince us that Jesus’ commands are restrictive, out to “steal all the fun,” when nothing could be farther from the truth. John encapsulated it in his first letter: “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:3-4) Jesus’ commands are to enable us to participate in His victory over the world! Thinking about it logically, it is an incredible privilege to know His commands, and to be enabled to obey them by His Spirit. That should be our goal and our joy, as His disciples.

Of course this applies to me. I’ve had my times of ignoring God, and even of directly disobeying Him. I can hardly say I’m proud of them, but I need to be honest. I desire to be counted as a disciple, but for that to be accurate, obedience is key. He has taken me through all sorts of training exercises, plenty of which I’ve had to repeat because I didn’t get it right the first time. I’ve got nothing to complain about, because as it notes in Hebrews, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11) I want the righteousness and peace, so I should rejoice in the training! The thing is, Jesus is totally worth obeying. Our flesh and the world try to tell us all sorts of things are important, when saints down through the centuries have realized that ultimately, the only thing of importance is a right relationship with our Creator. I’ve got to keep that in focus, and walk in the obedience of love.

Father, thank You for teaching me to love Jesus from a very young age. Help me never lose that first love, but walk as Your obedient child, Your disciple, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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