Obedience to His Will, His Way
We as Christians must become obedient to His will and to His way. This sermon covers the final new year’s resolution of obedience to God and it’s benefits
My key verse:
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. – v.47-49
It is the last Sunday, and the last day, of my month – January. All month we have looked at making spiritual resolutions that will help us in our growth both spiritually and while living in this world. Thus far we have added leaning on His (God) everlasting arms in both the good and bad times. We have also added carrying the love of Jesus with each other, in other words, love one another. The resolution we last added to our list was about becoming more fervent in our prayer life.
I have one more resolution that I would like for us to add to our list; no, it’s not to late to be making a new resolution. This resolution requires us to look Jesus, who should genuinely be at the head of all of our lives – He’s our forefront. As believers, Christians, we are to walk in His way but are we really walking in His way? This final resolution will draw us closer to truly walking in His way. How do we go about walking in His way? What is required of us?
We as Christians must become obedient to His will and to His way. In 1 John 5:3, it is said that the love of God is keeping His commandments; if we genuinely love God then we ought to keep to His statutes, His commands, His will, and His way. For us to keep His commandments, which means to abide (live) by, obedience is required. So, this final resolution is all about obedience to God’s will and way. We must grow more obedient to God.
What is obedience?
For us to become more obedient we need to know what is obedience and how to become more obedient. When you hear the word obedient it may take you back to your childhood when you would hear your parents or maybe a teacher use that word. As we’ve grown to become adults the idea of obedience is placed on our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and even our pets – we want them to obey us. Obedience is defined as compliance with an order; that is, submission to another’s authority. Submission. Let us take a moment to look at and focus on the word submission.
What does it mean to submit? We hear that word and our mind goes nuts. How does it make you feel when you hear that a servant should submit to his master? I imagine that your mind and stomach begins to churn in disgust. How does it make you feel when hear the good ol’ verse about wives submitting themselves to their husbands? I imagine that got a groan and a roll of the eyes. We don’t really like that word, do we? Submitting, in that sense, is all about giving up – in wrestling it’s called tapping out. Yet, when you submit those vacation days to your boss you absolutely love that word. When you submit, you’re certainly giving up something or turning something over.
When we profess our faith in God wholly, as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we must come to obey Him. We must fall into obedience in God’s will and way; here is how our faith works. Our faith requires that we submit ourselves to the Lord. This means that we are suppose to give ourselves up to His will and His way; we are to turn our lives over to the Lord’s ways. Think about this, have you truly given up your ways for the Lord’s way? The believer that is genuine in his or her faith will fall into obedience, submit, to God’s way. This may certainly cause the genuine believer to hesitate at first but living in God’s way becomes like breathing for those that are genuine in their faith. Why? Because the genuine believer falls in love with God and the love of God is keeping His commandments. The genuine believer looks at Jesus’ example and looks to walk in His way.
His way vs. Our way
When you take a look at Jesus in His ministry you will notice quite a few things about His ministry in which we should model our walk in life and in our faith. Jesus often told His disciples, those that followed Him, and even the Pharisees (John 8:16-19) that He was here to the will of the One that sent Him – His Father; there are several instances of this that can be found in the gospel according to John. You will never find an instance where Jesus said He was here working on His own will. What was the Father’s will?
Jesus tells us in verse 47, part of today’s key, that He was here to save the world.
And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
Notice, Jesus did not come to judge (condemn) but to save. Jesus will certainly judge in His next coming, but His first coming was all about the Father’s will and the Father’s will was that the world be saved. Further proof of this can be seen in John 3:16 – God loved this world so much that He gave His only begotten son so that those who believed in the Son would not perish but have everlasting life. The will of the Father was that both you and I be saved from sin, saved from the guilt of sin, and saved from His wrath. We have been commanded to love one another, to believe in Him, and to ask in Christ’s name. We have also been commissioned (ordered or charged) to spread the Gospel – that’s the Gospel of Christ. Notice, I said that the gospel is Jesus’ gospel and not that of ourselves. Notice I said that we have also be commanded to obey the commands of loving one another, believing in Him, and asking (praying) in Christ’s name.
Are we truly being obedient? Think about this; are we, collectively, being obedient to His will and His way? I believe you will answer, “some are, some aren’t”, which means we’re not being obedient, collectively as a whole. You will see that there are some who are all about their own will and way and God’s commands and commission. You will see that there are many who are all about their name and their glory instead of God’s glory. There are very many people who take their gifts, no matter what that gift is, and use it not for God’s glory but to fill up their pockets or build up their fame. There are many that go around and try to share their own opinions and ways instead that of the Lord, and then they will put their ways off as something that came from God.
Move to obedience
We have become a lot like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day; we keep up a lot of mess. Jesus came to this world and taught us how we should move about in His way and teach His way. Jesus said to love; Jesus said to have faith in Him; Jesus said to pray to the Father and ask in His name. We then, like how the Pharisees did, start to bend those ways and intermingle them with our ways. Because of our ways we have so many denominations, and so many different messages which causes nothing but strife among believers and for those in the world that would love to come to Christ. Jesus was not about denominations, a specific nation, or a specific group of people, but was all about saving the world.
We have created all of our rules and regulations on following Jesus. We will go out and condemn quicker than we will go out and actually teach and preach the truth in Jesus’ way. I remember a story my dad would always tell me about those that would condemn him to hell, yet he ended up preaching about the salvation of Jesus Christ! Jesus, with the words out of His mouth, said He did not come to judge but to save. What are we here to do?
If we were to follow God’s will, and not that of our own, we would better be able to lead people to His forgiveness and His salvation. The world needs saving and instead of us creating strife in this world, we could better show others how to add happiness, peace, and joy into their lives. Obedience to God will not only lead us to His glory, but it will help us become better witnesses to leading others to find His glory. Folks preach and teach prosperity through faith, they’re talking about money, but I tell you that obedience in God brings about a different kind of prosperity – happiness and joy in your soul.
We are told that through our obedience that we will receive the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. Through our obedience we are told, by Jesus, that our prayers will be heard and that we will be granted the desires of our heart. When you was a child, and you obeyed your parents, you were rewarded – I hope. When you obey God the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, you will receive the greatest of all rewards – your own mansion (dwelling place) in the Father’s house and in His glory.
We want to be blessed and we certainly want all of those around us to also be blessed. We must fall into obedience and they too must fall into obedience. If you have not been obedient to His will and His way, I advise you to repent and turn from your ways. Understand that you can only do so much for yourselves in this world, and if you choose not to be obedient to God, you have done nothing for yourself – you will miss the reward of obedience. Believers, we must fully commit ourselves to His will and His way: we must follow His command of loving one another as Christ loved us; We must continue be strong in our faith and believe in Him. We must also pray to the Father and ask in His name. When you spread the gospel, do it in the Father’s will and not that of your own – don’t go about seeking your own glory or creating strife between you and another believer. Let us be about God’s will this year and watch what affect it has on both you and those around you. Let us share more about His gospel, teach more about His forgiveness of our sins, and preach more about His salvation – this is a saving word.