Sunday, February 25, 2018
Genesis 1:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38
For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.
Obey . . .
The word conjures up images of dog training or, perhaps, parental scolding. Usually the one required to obey is of lesser rank, power, or status. No wonder we bridle at the mention of obedience. You’re not the boss of me! Yet, the Bible upholds obedience to God as a virtue. Even Jesus was obedient—unto death.
I think obedience has gotten a bad reputation in the modern era. Let’s try to recast our understanding of it. Why do people obey? Out of fear, duty, reward? If so, usually not for long. No, more often people obey because they recognize the authority of the one asking and trust in this authority’s intended good for us. I can’t help but think of horse training as an illustration. The horse that is forced to obey through harsh punishments will lose respect for the rider, question authority, develop distrust, and eventually act out in disobedience, sometimes violently. Conversely, a horse trained with loving guidance learns trust and submits his will to the rider without losing anything of himself in the bargain. I think we must likewise submit our will to God, recognizing His authority, and trusting in His good plan for us. Then we, too, can look forward to a brilliant performance in life.
Prayer: God, please give me the faith to trust and the trust to obey.