Obedience: A Decision of the Heart

  • June 27, 2015
Saturday 27

John 15:1-17

The Christian life is, to put it simply, walking obediently with God. Obedience is so important to the Lord that Jesus made a point to model it His entire life on earth: "I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him" (John 8:28-29). Can you say the same?

The Lord’s desire isn’t simply to save us; He wants to live inside us to show the world who He is. God sent His Spirit to invigorate and inspire our lives—and also to empower us for His assignments. We can't succeed alone, but the Holy Spirit living within us enables our consistent obedience through the same power that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11).

We may stumble at times, but the important issue is which way our heart is bent. Is it inclined toward gratifying self or toward obeying God? Scripture shows us many heroes of our faith who were not always obedient, such as Moses, Sarah, Peter, and David. But God knew that David was a man after His own heart, and we also hear his heart-cry in the words he wrote: "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalms 42:1). Do you have a yearning to obey God above all else, in every decision you make, no matter what? If so, you can be sure He will show you the way—the Lord always honors such hunger and thirst for Him.

Bible in One Year: Psalms 85-89  

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1 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.

9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

14 You are My friends if you do what I command you.

15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

17 This I command you, that you love one another.

28 So Jesus said, When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.

29 And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him."

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.

1 O LORD, You showed favor to Your land; You restored the captivity of Jacob.

2 You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin. Selah.

3 You withdrew all Your fury; You turned away from Your burning anger.

4 Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your indignation toward us to cease.

5 Will You be angry with us forever? Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?

6 Will You not Yourself revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?

7 Show us Your lovingkindness, O LORD, And grant us Your salvation.

8 I will hear what God the LORD will say; For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones; But let them not turn back to folly.

9 Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.

10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11 Truth springs from the earth, And righteousness looks down from heaven.

12 Indeed, the LORD will give what is good, And our land will yield its produce.

13 Righteousness will go before Him And will make His footsteps into a way.

1 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy.

2 Preserve my soul, for I am a godly man; O You my God, save Your servant who trusts in You.

3 Be gracious to me, O Lord, For to You I cry all day long.

4 Make glad the soul of Your servant, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5 For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.

6 Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; And give heed to the voice of my supplications!

7 In the day of my trouble I shall call upon You, For You will answer me.

8 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, Nor are there any works like Yours.

9 All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, And they shall glorify Your name.

10 For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God.

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.

12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.

13 For Your lovingkindness toward me is great, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14 O God, arrogant men have risen up against me, And a band of violent men have sought my life, And they have not set You before them.

15 But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.

16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your handmaid.

17 Show me a sign for good, That those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, Because You, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

1 His foundation is in the holy mountains.

2 The LORD loves the gates of Zion More than all the other dwelling places of Jacob.

3 Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. Selah.

4 I shall mention Rahab and Babylon among those who know Me; Behold, Philistia and Tyre with Ethiopia: `This one was born there.'"

5 But of Zion it shall be said, This one and that one were born in her"; And the Most High Himself will establish her.

6 The LORD will count when He registers the peoples, This one was born there." Selah.

7 Then those who sing as well as those who play the flutes shall say, All my springs of joy are in you."

1 O LORD, the God of my salvation, I have cried out by day and in the night before You.

2 Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry!

3 For my soul has had enough troubles, And my life has drawn near to Sheol.

4 I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength,

5 Forsaken among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And they are cut off from Your hand.

6 You have put me in the lowest pit, In dark places, in the depths.

7 Your wrath has rested upon me, And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah.

8 You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.

9 My eye has wasted away because of affliction; I have called upon You every day, O LORD; I have spread out my hands to You.

10 Will You perform wonders for the dead? Will the departed spirits rise and praise You? Selah.

11 Will Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Abaddon?

12 Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But I, O LORD, have cried out to You for help, And in the morning my prayer comes before You.

14 O LORD, why do You reject my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?

15 I was afflicted and about to die from my youth on; I suffer Your terrors; I am overcome.

16 Your burning anger has passed over me; Your terrors have destroyed me.

17 They have surrounded me like water all day long; They have encompassed me altogether.

18 You have removed lover and friend far from me; My acquaintances are in darkness.

1 I will sing of the lovingkindness of the LORD forever; To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth.

2 For I have said, Lovingkindness will be built up forever; In the heavens You will establish Your faithfulness."

3 I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant,

4 I will establish your seed forever And build up your throne to all generations." Selah.

5 The heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.

6 For who in the skies is comparable to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the LORD,

7 A God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, And awesome above all those who are around Him?

8 O LORD God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.

9 You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.

10 You Yourself crushed Rahab like one who is slain; You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm.

11 The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all it contains, You have founded them.

12 The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Your name.

13 You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted.

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.

15 How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance.

16 In Your name they rejoice all the day, And by Your righteousness they are exalted.

17 For You are the glory of their strength, And by Your favor our horn is exalted.

18 For our shield belongs to the LORD, And our king to the Holy One of Israel.

19 Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, And said, I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.

20 I have found David My servant; With My holy oil I have anointed him,

21 With whom My hand will be established; My arm also will strengthen him.

22 The enemy will not deceive him, Nor the son of wickedness afflict him.

23 But I shall crush his adversaries before him, And strike those who hate him.

24 My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, And in My name his horn will be exalted.

25 I shall also set his hand on the sea And his right hand on the rivers.

26 He will cry to Me, `You are my Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.'

27 I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.

28 My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, And My covenant shall be confirmed to him.

29 So I will establish his descendants forever And his throne as the days of heaven.

30 If his sons forsake My law And do not walk in My judgments,

31 If they violate My statutes And do not keep My commandments,

32 Then I will punish their transgression with the rod And their iniquity with stripes.

33 But I will not break off My lovingkindness from him, Nor deal falsely in My faithfulness.

34 My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips.

35 Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David.

36 His descendants shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me.

37 It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful." Selah.

38 But You have cast off and rejected, You have been full of wrath against Your anointed.

39 You have spurned the covenant of Your servant; You have profaned his crown in the dust.

40 You have broken down all his walls; You have brought his strongholds to ruin.

41 All who pass along the way plunder him; He has become a reproach to his neighbors.

42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries; You have made all his enemies rejoice.

43 You also turn back the edge of his sword And have not made him stand in battle.

44 You have made his splendor to cease And cast his throne to the ground.

45 You have shortened the days of his youth; You have covered him with shame. Selah.

46 How long, O LORD? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your wrath burn like fire?

47 Remember what my span of life is; For what vanity You have created all the sons of men!

48 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah.

49 Where are Your former lovingkindnesses, O Lord, Which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?

50 Remember, O Lord, the reproach of Your servants; How I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the many peoples,

51 With which Your enemies have reproached, O LORD, With which they have reproached the footsteps of Your anointed.

52 Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.

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Publish Date November 21, 2017
Causes of Rebellion

Believers are not immune to the dangers of doubt and pride.

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