Faithlife Sermons

Why We Should Obey God

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Me: How I struggle with this
We all know we are supposed to follow Jesus… which means we are supposed to obey what he tells us… right?
We know that if we obey & follow Jesus, it will change our lives. We may not always like it, especially when we want to do something else, but at some level, we know are are supposed to obey what Jesus tells us to do.
John 14:23–24 NLT
23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t love me will not obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent me.
God’s love for you and me is not based on our obedience, it’s based on his GRACE… there is absolutely nothing we can do to make him love us more.
But once we give our lives to him, he expects us to follow him and to obey him.
Jesus says right here that if we love him, we will do what he says. He also says that if we do not do what he says we do not love him.
We - how we all struggle with this

We usually obey God for not so good reasons.

I think that maybe we all struggle with this somewhat. We obey God for some reasons that are not the best reasons to obey him.
1. We often obey God because if we don’t someone will find out.
A lot of people try not to sin because they are afraid that they will get caught and they will look bad to people they want to look good in front of. Most of us want people to think nice thoughts about us… right?
When I was growing up, I didn’t do too much wrong because I always got caught…
There are two problems with this reasoning.
The motivation for not sinning can be taken away. (business trip… no one is watching)
Once you mess up, and people know, there is no reason not to just keep sinning.
Barbara was married but was interested in a guy at work, but she would not do anything with him because she was afraid of being caught and didn’t want people to look badly at her. but when she was out of town on business, there was no one to to catch them and an affair began.
2. We often obey God because we don’t want Him to be angry with us.
Some people only obey because they are afraid of God. That’s not all bad, but it should not be the only motivator for good behavior. Fear will only keep us straight so long.
We need to have a healthy fear or reverence for God because to die without Christ will cause God to judge us and punish us for eternity.
Not wanting God to be angry with us as a reason to behave will cause your relationship with God to be cold and mechanical.
God does not want us to live in fear of Him.
3. We often obey God because we believe that we have to earn God’s love.
We believe that we have to live up to certain standards so that we will deserve his love and favor.
This comes from a wrong view of who God really is and our relationship with him will be reduced to simply keeping a list of rules. Following Jesus is not just about do’s and don’ts.
Instead of an intimate relationship with Jesus, we practice a ritual… a religion.
4. We often obey God so that he will bless us.
We look at God like an investment bank. We actually try to manipulate God by our behavior. You may haver heard people say that if you do ??? then God has to do ???. Listen to me - God doesn’t have to do anything.
We say stuff like, I have been faithful and he should have blessed me. I gave money and he didn’t fill my bank account up…
We begin to see ourselves as someone who deserves to be blessed in the ways we want… that we have earned these blessings. Listen - He is the awesome creator of the world and he is holy and we are not. We are sinful people who rebel against God and deserve death and hell.
God is not a bank that pays interest nor is he a formula. He is the living God.
None of these are really good reasons to obey God.

God gives us Six really good reasons to obey Him.

1. We should obey God because of Jesus love for us.
Understanding God's love makes us want to act in obedience because love motivates us to please the one who has so freely loved us. When we experience love, we usually respond by seeking to express our love in return. (couples)
God has clearly demonstrated is love for us…
John 3:16 NLT
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
Romans 5:6–8 NLT
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
So how should we respond to this great love that God has for us?
a. Obeying God is how we show Him that we love Him.
Paul stated that Christs love compelled him …
2 Corinthians 5:14–15 NIV
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
John 14:15 NLT
15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.
b. We love him because He loved us first.
1 John 4:16–19 NLT
16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
A lot of people miss this because they don’t believe that God loves them unconditionally. We actually can’t really comprehend it because we don’t have the capacity to truly love unconditionally.
Nothing that we do will earn his love… he already loves us.
This is important because our picture or image of God is important. If we view him like a strict or an abusive parent, or like a policeman we will view him as strict and waiting to catch us messing up.
That’s not who God is.
He loves us unconditionally so we respond to him by loving him… obeying him.
2. We should obey God because sin is destructive to us and those around us.
ILL - story of Jonah.
Jonah’s sin …
endangered his life
endangered the lives of those on the boat with him
resulted in the loss of property.
caused Jonah to have a hard heart and be un-sympathetic to others.
caused Jonah to lose his testimony.
isolated him from God and others.
ILL - My friend’s son who did a drug deal in the house wiht his mom and sister present in the house where a gun was drawn …
Satan has blinded us to the consequences of our sin. In the garden he told Eve that she would surly not die if they ate the fruit. You will surely not die… “
The effects of sin are everywhere in our self centered pleasure seeking culture.
As we become more aware of the harmful effects of sin, we will choose to obey him more. Some of the effects are:
Emotionally, sin causes us to experience the pain of guilt and shame; and the fear of failure and punishment.
Mentally, sin causes us to experience the anguish of flashbacks - continuing to relive our sin.
Physically, sin may cause us to suffer from illness or to be abused. It could result in the loss of property, or even the loss of life.
Relationally, sin can alienate us from others.
Spiritually, sin causes us to make the Holy Spirit sad, to lose our testimony, and to break fellowship with God
3. We should obey God because he will discipline us
Hebrews 12:5–11 NLT
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.” 7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever? 10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
The HS convicts us of sin which is a form of discipline. Discipline is not punishment. Discipline ie meant to steer us to obedience.
Too often we make decisions without regard to God’s truth or his consequences. When we make choices outside of what God wants … there will be consequences. There are also consequences when we make decisions within the will of God - we call these blessings.
a. God’s discipline is always for correction, not condemnation.
1 Corinthians 11:32 NLT
32 Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
All of us have heard that small voice in the back of our heads telling us not to do something before we did it. But we went on and did it and got into trouble… now you are being condemned by the world.
b. Jesus bore on the cross all of the punishment we deserved, therefore, we no longer need to fear punishment from God for our sins.
God will discipline us to guide us to become more and more like Jesus, but punishment is reserved for those who never follow Jesus.
4. We should obey Jesus because His commands are good, and good for us.
Romans 7:12 NLT
12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.
1 John 5:3 NLT
3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome.
God gives his commands to us for two good reasons: to protect us from sin’s destructiveness, and to direct (provide) us in a life of joy and fruitfulness. His commands are guidelines given to us so that we can live life to it’s fullness. Obeying his commands are not a means to gain God’s approval.
a. Because His commands are good, we will be blessed when we obey Him.
Deuteronomy 5:29 NLT
29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever.
Deuteronomy 6:24 NLT
24 And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him so he can continue to bless us and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day.
Since his commands are good and add value to our lives, we can choose to obey them. Unfortunately most people in our culture, have a negative attitude about God about God’s commands and obeying them. If we believe that our worth and value is based on our performance, then every command is one more thing that we have to do to earn God’s acceptance.
But if we are secure in Jesus, then we will view his commands as helpful guidelines to living an abundant life.
b. God’s commands are valuable because they come from a loving Father.
This book (the Bible) is the handbook for a great life. God has given it to us to follow because it’s like an owners manual. Life works better if you follow it.
4. We should obey God because He promises eternal rewards in Heaven.
God will reward us in heaven for what we do here in this life. He will reward us for the deeds we do that honor Jesus and move us closer to him.
2 Corinthians 5:10 NLT
10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
1 Corinthians 3:11–15 NLT
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 12 Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13 But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.
a. The judgement seat of Christ is to reward good deeds, not for the punishment of sin.
Through Jesus’ payment for our sins on the cross, we have escaped eternal judgement. However our actions will be judged when we appear before Jesus at the judgement seat.
There, God will evaluate our performance and reward us for deeds that reflect a desire to honor Christ. However, He will reject deeds done to gain God’s acceptance or others approval, or to meet our own standards.
5. We should obey God because Jesus is worth following.
Psalm 73:25 NLT
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
Psalm 73:28 NLT
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
All of these are good reasons to obey Jesus, but the one that is the most noble, is we obey him because of who he is.

You must learn to obey Jesus for the best reasons.

Here is what you need to do.
We are called to follow Jesus, which means that we have to obey him. You cannot follow him without obeying him.
Remember we follow him because....
of his love
sin is destructive to us and those around us.
the father’s discipline.
his commands are good and good for us.
he rewards us in heaven for what we do here.
He is worthy to be obeyed… to be followed.

We can make a difference in our world by following Jesus.

Imagine the difference we can make in our world if we are following Jesus.
Imagine a marriage where the husband is loving his wife like Jesus loved the church… where we submit one to the other.
Imagine a family where the parents don’t exasperate their children.
Imagine your job if you and others were giving 110% all the time.
Imagine our area if we were following Jesus every day...
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