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Obedience Has Gotten A Bad Rap

June 6th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Brent - (1 Comments)

Obedience has gotten a bad rap.  Our culture values initiative, but obedience is seen as simply responding to another’s directive or initiative.  Our culture values freedom.  To obey is to choose to restrict my freedom out of respect of another.  Our culture cherishes independence.  To obey is to submit.  In a society that seeks equality and personal respect, the respect of those in authority seems to reek of dysfunction.  Where is personal value, we ask, if there is authority that must be obeyed?  Where is freedom, if we must submit?  And where is pro-active initiative, if we are called to respond by obeying someone else?  To obey is to follow and to follow is not to lead, so it must be less.

 

Jesus confronts our culture when He says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  (John 14:15)  He also said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”  (John 15:14)  How can love and friendship be linked with obedience?

 

When we recognize God as God, obedience is natural.  He is Creator.  We are the created.  He is all-powerful.  We are filled with weakness.  He is sovereign.  We are not.  Many times we want to bring God down to our level.  We want Him to behave as if He were one of us.  But He is not.  We want Him to be on equal terms with us.  We seek to diminish Him, and still pretend to worship Him.  But He never changes.  He is always King of Kings.

 

The shock is not that we are to obey.  The shock is that He would dare to call us friends.  (John 15:15)  He doesn’t call us friends because He needs our friendship.  This isn’t a friendship where we can demand of Him as He can demand of us.  No, we are unworthy, but chosen; unlovable, yet loved; unfriendly, yet befriended.

 

Obedience then, is a joyful expression of love to the Almighty by those who have been transformed by His love.  Obedience to Him is true freedom.

-Brent

Getting to the Point

June 5th, 2012 | Posted by bvosler in Dave - (1 Comments)

Reading through the gospels, sometimes the actions of Jesus make me uncomfortable. Especially those
times when Jesus’ obvious passion for truth is translated into a bold willingness to call out hypocrites,
fools, and spiritually blind – knowing full well it will serve only to make things more difficult for Him.
What Jesus said was certainly true, but not said with the purpose of hurting others but rather to
confront actions, attitudes, or beliefs unbefitting of a follower of Christ.

There are times we all need to be confronted with hypocrisy, arrogance, hostility, and negligence.
Sometimes we need to be clear on what Jesus really thinks about our duplicities. Hypocrites are
pretenders, they’re actors, they dress up the outside to make an impression, and nothing brings more
pleasure to a phony follower than a rousing applause from “the crowd”.

Matthew 23 offers a chilling rebuke against those of us who are still learning our lessons on the
distinctions between a good-looking religious person and a genuine follower of Jesus. His words are
confrontational and direct – you can read them for yourself in this rather unpopular chapter.

Then, I would encourage you to consider seriously, as I have been doing, the seriousness of the call to
impact others with truth of the gospel, to resist playing religious games, to keep promises, to major on
things that really do matter, to pay close attention to the inside – the heart, and to humbly hear the
strong rebuke of a prideful tongue.

Uncomfortable? Maybe. But, sometimes it is best to just get right to the point.

-Dave Borror