2 Timothy 4:3-4
In recent years I have observed that ‘obedience’ has become one of the most misunderstood words in the Bible. This is mainly due to the heavy focus some modern day teachers and preachers give to the mercy and grace of God given in lavish abundance to every believer. Whenever grace is taught without the balance God has placed in His Word, the balance that teaches that obedience is still important to Him today, then it is easy to find ourselves among those who will not endure sound doctrine but seek instead teachers who will tickle our ears (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Before we know it, we can find ourselves knee deep in sinful thoughts and actions, assuming it doesn’t matter because God’s grace covers it all.
Before continuing I want to establish that God’s grace is so amazing, we must never diminish the immensity and wonder of all He has done for us in sending Jesus. Such grace and love is beyond our understanding. When we look at what it meant that our precious Lord should be willing to take on flesh and lay down His life in humble obedience to secure salvation for all who will turn to Him, then our gratitude should overflow in an outpouring of love. However, when other Scriptures teach clearly that obedience does matter to our Holy and Righteous God, then we ignore them at our peril and may be in danger of falling outside of His grace through wilful disobedience.
So, what does obedience mean to us today? A glance into Genesis 3 shows how Paradise was lost to mankind when temptation visited Eve, who in turn tempted Adam in the beautiful garden where they walked with God. How easily they fell, leaving dire consequences for all who would follow. However, Revelation 22:14 tells how Paradise will be regained: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the Tree of Life, and may enter through the gates into the city.”
Between Genesis and Revelation, we find Jesus, the One who became the bridge between earth and Heaven, restoring sinful man to a Holy God, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
When it comes to understanding obedience, we will find no better teacher than Jesus who says, “If you love me, you will obey my commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience born out of love for the One who gave His all for us should flow from our heart with pure joy. Jesus not only teaches through word, but also through example: “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:8). Obedience made Jesus the author of salvation.
Obedience requires discipline. We must never ignore those Scriptures that warn us of the consequences of unrepentant disobedience. Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”(Matthew 7:21). May our obedience flow from a heart full of love and gratitude for His sacrificial outpouring of mercy and grace toward us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to be my perfect example and Saviour. Thank you, Holy Spirit for being my constant helper and guide through the turbulent trials and temptations of this world. Please help me to walk the pathway of obedience until my race is run. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.