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TUESDAY — Make the World a Better Place: Obedience
Big Point: What Jesus says is to teach them to “obey”—not learn, memorize, or read—but to obey. Obedience is the name of the game.
Jesus insists that we must put his words into practice. If we call him “Lord,” we ought to obey him, because a “Lord” is not only a protector, but someone who has the authority to tell us what to do. Those who believe that Jesus is Lord will also want to obey him. If we love him, we will do what he tells us. A faith that doesn’t come with obedience is not a real faith. Faith and actions work together, reinforcing each other — faith leads to obedience, and the resulting actions give visible evidence that the faith is real. Faith and obedience are symbiotic (a relationship of mutual benefit or dependence). Even our love for God is expressed largely by the way we obey His commands. Because we love Him, we obey Him. We show our love of God by eagerly striving to know Him and obey His commands.
“The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience.” (Oswald Chambers)
READ…What does the Bible say?
Matthew 28:18-20 (New Living Translation)
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
1 John 5:2-5 (New Living Translation)
We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments. 3Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. 4For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
John 15:16-17 (NLT)
You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.
2 John 1:6 (NIV)
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love.
2 Timothy 2:1-26
• A Good Soldier of Jesus Christ
• An Approved Worker
THINK…Find the answers
What single thing did Jesus command his disciples to teach new believers?
Of the commands Jesus gave the disciples, which ones did he single out for new believers to obey?
What does John say that we walk in, when we walk in obedience to God’s commands?
LIVE…What will you do now?
We’re called to be an example of obedience to those of whom we’re commanded to make disciples. Since our level of obedience is reflected in our lives, what needs to change in your life to better obey Christ’s commands?
Sometimes we know that obedience to Christ’s commands dictate we turn away from our current and comfortable way of living. What part of obeying Christ’s commands do you struggle with?
Jesus gave us our marching orders in Matt. 28:20: to make disciples. That’s the core; everything else he says in those three verses explains what making disciples entails. thejesusvirus.org is a blog for missional practitioners of ‘organic, simple, viral Christianity’. It’s dedicated to a simple, ‘living’ Christianity that spreads easily from person to person. In other words, the site suggests that making disciples consists of merely teaching them a few simple, reproducible skills (Mt. 28:20), and then offering them opportunities to use them. “Let them learn by connecting with Jesus and obeying.” The site identifies this basic skill set for new disciples, all of which are premised on obeying what Christ calls us to do:
• Read the Bible as a personal conversation with Jesus. Obey what it says.
• Pray as a personal conversation with Jesus. Obey what he tells you to do.
• As a group: pray, invite Jesus in, listen, and obey.
• Pray for those who need Jesus. If Jesus tells you to talk with someone, obey.
PRAY…God, what do You want me to know & do?
Ask God to empower you to obey Him and all His commands. Acknowledge that you need His help. Ask for His forgiveness when you fail, but remain confident in His grace. Ask God to help you be a living example of Christ’s love by obeying His commandment to love.
Daily Bible Reading Commentary: Leviticus 16-18
16:1-34 This section covers the Day of Atonement which was commanded to be observed annually to cover the sins of the nation, both corporately and individually. The atonement was provided, but only those who were genuine in faith and repentance received its benefit, the forgiveness of God.
16:2 Common priests went every day to burn incense on the golden altar in the part of the tabernacle sanctuary, outside the veil. None, except the high priest, was allowed to enter inside the veil, into the Holy Place, actually called the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant rested.
17:12 Since it contains life, blood is sacred to God. Shed blood—death—from a substitute, atones for or covers the sinner, who is then allowed to live.
18:1-30 Laws given, relating to sexual practices, that eliminated the abominations being practiced by the heathen in the land. These laws assume the general prohibition of adultery and of a father incestuously engaging his daughter.
18:3 Repeating sexual practices of the Egyptians or Canaanites was forbidden.
18:4 “I am the Lord your God…” This phrase, used over 50 times, asserts the uniqueness of the one true and living God, who calls His people to holiness as He is holy, and calls them to reject all other gods.
18:29 “cut off from their people…” All of the sexual perversions mentioned in this chapter were worthy of death, indicating their loathsomeness before God.
18:30 “customs that were practiced before you…” Not in their presence, but by the people who inhabited the land before them, were such sins committed.