Hi! I’m so happy you’re here. You’ve made it to the halfway point of our week on obedience — congrats!
In the last post, I shared one reason I’m glad we’re studying obedience. But there’s another reason too, which I’ll get to today. First though, let’s look at the words Wendy Blight opens up today’s I Am Loved lesson with:
“Love. A simple four-letter word that elicits deep emotion, generates genuine heartache, inspires catchy tunes, and transforms lives.”
Did you notice obey is also a simple four-letter word that elicits deep emotion and generates genuine heartache … when we don’t do it? But guess what happens when we do obey? Our lives are changed! Like love, obedience transforms us to be more and more like Jesus.
If I would’ve picked up Wendy’s I Am Loved book in the first twenty or so years of my life, my reaction to this week’s topic would’ve likely been, “What in the world does obedience have to do with love?”
Let me explain.
In my grade school years, I went to a church that was focused on rules and rituals, so obedience to me was more about respecting those rules out of a sense of responsibility. And while feeling responsible to do what's right isn't a bad thing, since then God's helped me realize responsibility alone doesn't always produce the motivation needed to lead us into obedience.
For example, today’s homework is titled “Love One Another,” in reference to the command in the Bible for us to do so. But what about when the “another” is someone who’s hurt us or is just plain difficult to deal with? How are we to obey and love them?
I don’t know about you, but when I approach obedience only out of a sense of responsibility, I tend to not feel very “responsible” to obey this command when it comes to loving the hard or hurtful. In those instances, my sense of responsibility can shift to protecting myself, sometimes resulting in me choosing to walk away, rather than walking in obedience to love that person.
While I’m guessing we’ve all done this with at least one hard person in our life, what if Jesus had done the same? What if He’d chosen to protect Himself and walk away from the cross rather than choosing to obey God out of love?
I shudder to think...
But I’m so very glad Jesus understood obedience had everything to do with love. And I’m so very glad God placed us right here so we, too, can grasp this.
Reflect and Respond:
Do you tend to obey more out of a sense of responsibility or love? How can knowing and remembering we’re called to obey out of love help you to love the difficult people in your life?
We'd love for you to join us this week for part 2 of our optional Fulfilled Teaching Series. It's not too late to purchase this option to go with your I Am Loved study.