Obedience and Christian Leaders

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1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, Romans 1:1-6

A healthy church is not out to control you. But it has received grace and calling from Jesus to bring about

“the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.”

Obedience is a response to Jesus Christ, our resurrected Lord. Obedience flows from faith. Obedience flows from the dynamic relationship you have with Jesus. The most life-giving call to obedience flows from the experience of grace.

The church is at its best when it remains a voluntary association of people graced by Jesus Christ and following Him together with an agreed upon vision of the constraints and freedoms of His holiness.

Christian leadership under the grace of Jesus is not about getting people to do what the leader imagines for his or her benefit. Christian leadership is creates the environment where people get to know Jesus, understand what Jesus wants, and gain the courage to make adjustments to be obedient to Him. That’s the obedience of faith.

Jesus has a problem

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24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”  Matthew 7:24-27

Jesus has a problem: People like to listen and then… not do anything with what they’ve heard. But they feel good about themselves for having heard something. It’s the same problem a friend of mine has with his consultation business. So he says, “No more free advice.” Free advice = we won’t do what you say or even think about it after we get out of the room.

And here’s our problem: Jesus doesn’t give advice.

So He paints a picture for us.

The wise man builds his house upon the rock!

So while we are reading the Gospels during the 50 Day Gospel Challenge, I’m reading to not only get to know Jesus, but also to find out what He would like me to do… today.

Read to obey since we have been given the grace of knowing Him!

 

(50 Day Gospel Challenge: Matthew 6-8)

 

Crowd-Sourcing Obedience

Waiting for the crowd is tempting.

Who’s in your crowd? You know… its the people you worry about and give energy to managing their approval.

Crowd-sourcing obedience to Jesus is deadly.

Jesus warns against waiting for the crowd before responding to His grace and call to follow Him.

13“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.  Matthew 7:13-14

Thankfully Jesus assures us of His Presence as we seek the grace to obey Him. The conviction to obey Jesus over the approval of people is sourced by our acceptance of  His Lordship and His promise to be with us.  See John 14:15-21:

15“If you love me, obey my commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. 19Soon the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Since I live, you also will live. 20When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

 

Obedience ~ Key verses — GLORIFYTHELORD

“Those who accept my commands and obey them are the ones who love me.  And because they love me, my Father will love them.  And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”  John 14:21

Dogs and owners.  Last Sunday after the Origin gathering we were hanging out at UBC and I saw a funny sight.  A young man shows up at the park with his dog.  Sends the ball across the park.  Tells the dog to go get it.  The dog runs over and promptly defecates on the ball!  The dog did not bring that ball back.  The owner was disgusted, but picked up the ball, cleaned up after his dog, and tried again.  That was Scene 1!  The next ten minutes provided us with more entertainment and laughs for the rest of the day as the dog had its own mind and will and the young man shouted and threw his hands up in the air in disgust.

The young man needed to go to obedience school!  With the dog.

Life with the Lord Jesus Christ is also obedience school but it might be better to say we have been gracefully invited into the School of Love!

Jesus connects obedience to love.  If we love Him we will obey Him.  Our intention matters here.  As he gives us a new vision of life through His commands, our intention to obey is a response generated by the grace of His love.  We are not obeying to get God to like us.  We are obeying as a response to Him and His love towards us.  The delight here is that He keeps loving us and revealing Himself to us.

“Those who accept my commands and obey them are the ones who love me.  And because they love me, my Father will love them.  And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”  John 14:21

(Key verses are great for memorizing. Write it on a card and review, review, review.)