Daily Devotional 6-11-20

The Long and Short of It, Part II
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

Here is my final conclusion: fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the entire duty of man.  Ecclesiastes 12:13

I know pets have special place in our lives, especially dogs. We love them and we treat them well. We train our dogs so that we are able to communicate with them to the extent of their capability. We are excited when our dogs obey us. We get frustrated when they don’t.  Sometimes we even send them to obedience school. Yes, obedience school for dogs!

Obedience is so crucial in every relationship. All healthy relationships come with spoken and unspoken values and rules. Every home has rules, not just for kids, but for adults as well. Individuals have their personal rules they obey. 

Love commands obedience.

It’s not easy to walk in healthy love because love is not lawless. Sometimes, you want to have your own way, but love requires you to consider God and the people around you. Jesus’ life is one of complete obedience to His Father. In fact, we are who we are in Christ because of His obedience. Talking about Jesus, Paul writes, “he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross,” (Philippians 2:8). We cannot separate Jesus’ love from his obedience to the Father. The only way He proved His love was to obey his Father to the extent of dying on the cross. 

The truest test of love is obedience.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does, (John 5:20). Jesus did not win the Father’s love with His obedience. Instead, His obedience was a responds to the Father’s love.  The cross, viewed from this perspective, is a symbol of Jesus’ obedience to the Father’s love.  Jesus feared (respected) the Father so much that He would do anything asked of Him. 

He calls us, too, into a life of obedience. We are not obeying in order to earn a favor from God.  Instead we show our respect and love for the Father through our obedience. Obedience is central to our relationship with Christ. We prove His lordship over our lives in our obedience.

The long and short of the Christian life: Love God through obedience. Then, you will love others.  

PRAYER: Grant me the grace not to be my own god, but to respond to your love with obedience.