Saturday, May, 6, 2017 | 9:58 AM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9: 12 - 15
Obey. What does this word do to you? Does it make you want to run away? Does it make you think of legalism? “Do this or else”? Or – does it make you think of the rewards that come from obeying?
Bonus Scripture for this week: Matthew 19: 16 – 26. The story of the rich, young ruler. In this Scripture, Jesus defines a difference between “keeping the commandments” and obeying. What does it mean to obey? The Greek word “hypotage” also translates “submissive.” Humility is reflected in our obedience. We have talked before how it is in doing what we are designed to do that we obey. We have also further talked about that we are designed to worship and that the Hebrew word pronounced shaw-khaw’s translation infers both obedience and worship.
The big question is who (or Who) do we obey? When we obey Jesus, we disobey our flesh and the world. When we obey our flesh and the world we disobey (or sin) against Jesus Christ. In our Scripture this week, “they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ.” In other words, they obeyed what they confessed. What do we confess? We confess what we believe. I recently read a very eloquent part of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Cost of Discipleship where he asserts, “only he who believes is obedient, and only he who is obedient believes.” One without the other is cheap grace.
True grace, also as we have discussed before, is not convenient. The world, rather, is all about convenience. Last week, Pastor talked about sin. It’s not a convenient discussion. No one – and I do mean no one – enjoys talking about their sin; about our failures. We find innovative ways to dress it up, slap a mask on it (thereby becoming hypocrites) and look the other way. Occasionally, we turn it into the proverbial “elephant in the room.”
This letter to Corinth is as pertinent today, here in America, as it was in Corinth when it was written. The intent is to encourage. In the same way, the Covenant nature of our group is critical in exhorting and encouraging one another towards obedience. We might see the speck in someone else’s eye, but we never see the log in our own eye, as long as we are focused on the speck. It’s not easy or convenient or even simple.
But – it is imperative that we honestly approach this in all earnestness. The key to this is obedience. Christ calls us. We follow. Keep our eyes on Him. Confess our sins to Him. As we prepare to celebrate Communion, there is no better nor more appropriate time to confess. One month from now, we will celebrate Pentecost and Communion. What is keeping you from a closer walk with Jesus? Obey.