Reaping the benefits of obedience

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Good day to all ConnectPoint & Resurrection Center family both near and far!

Glynis and I are praying for you and your family every day! We believe that you will experience God's absolute best as we continue to move "FORWARD" into 2021.

Today, in my Connect Point, I want to define "obedience" and how it plays out on a practical level for us living in the year 2021. I also want to show you what will happen in your life when you chose to obey God and His Word.

Family, Glynis, and I are about to celebrate 30 years of marriage on February 16th (I KNOW WE CAN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER). Throughout our time together, we can both testify that obeying God's word may not have always been easy or comfortable, but the benefits and rewards still outweigh the sacrifice.

See, over our 30 years of marriage, we've learned that for our marriage to survive and thrive for 30 years, it meant that we must walk in obedience to God and each other. It also meant that we had to learn how to make sacrifices. You cannot reap the rewards of obedience without sacrificing.

The Bible has a lot to say about obedience and sacrifice. Deuteronomy 11:26-28 says this: "Obey and you will be blessed. Disobey and you will be cursed." In the New Testament, we learn through the example of Jesus Christ that believers are called to a life of obedience and sacrifice. (I know some of you are tempted to stop reading but keep going).

Both in the Old and New Testament, the general concept of obedience relates to hearing or hearkening to a higher authority. One of the Greek terms for obedience in the Bible conveys the idea of positioning oneself under someone by submitting to their authority and command. Another Greek word for "obey" in the New Testament means "to trust."

One of my personal favorite definitions for obedience is taken from the Holman's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, it says, "to hear God's Word and act accordingly." After studying all the various definitions of the word obedience, we can conclude that biblical obedience means to hear, trust, submit and surrender to each other, to God and his Word.

I don't know about you, but this feels like a very tall order. Thank God we don't have to do this all on our own strength because I would surely fail! Thank God we can get help from the Holy Spirit because He will give us the strength and courage we need to walk in obedience to God and His word.

Please understand while the Bible places a strong emphasis on obedience, it's critical to remember that believers are not justified (made righteous) by obedience. Salvation is a free gift of God, and we can do nothing to merit it. True Christian obedience flows from a heart of LOVE and GRATITUDE for the GRACE and MERCY we have received from the Lord.

On a practical level, walking in obedience is an act of worship, and it proves our love for God. It also demonstrates our faith. Family, never forget that disobedience always leads to pain, sin, and even death, so obedience is a far better option.

When we begin to walk in the rewards of obedience, the sacrifices we make seem small in comparison. Here's what the Bible says YOU will receive when YOU walk in obedience:

  1. The fullness of Joy– But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. John 17:13 NKJV, therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. John 16:22 NKJV
  2. Fruitfulness – I am the vine. You are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15:5 NKJV, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
  3. Blessings - And through your descendants, all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me. Genesis 22:18 NLT
  4. Wisdom – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NKJV Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-25 NKJV
  5. Freedom – Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV
  6. Answered Prayer – Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV
  7. God's Love – Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23 NKJV

Family, that just a small list of some of the rewards of walking in obedience. May these rewards spur you on and encourage you to walk in obedience to God and His word because His rewards are eternal and shall never pass away.

God bless you

Bishop Burton

 

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