Posts Tagged ‘Obedience’

1
Aug

Bible Devotions From Jonah 1-4

Posted by: admin    in Jonah

Although there are many lessons that could be taught from the book of Jonah, there is but one very important one that I want to bring to your attention today. You see from the record that I could move in My mighty power to force a disobedient servant to do what I wanted him to do. And you can see that having fulfilled that given task, he still bore within his heart a deep resentment and anger towards Me. While he could call out to Me from the belly of the fish and declared that he remembered Me in his extremity, and he could express thanksgiving and confess that salvation is of Me, yet in all of this, he did not have My heart. And you see that he was angry with Me over the repentance of Nineveh, and he was angry over the withering of the plant. And his anger was so strong that he expressed the desire to die. But what was the true goal of My dealings with My servant?

Surely it was to use him as an instrument to bring Nineveh to repentance because I chose to have mercy upon them. So you see that I chose sovereignly to use even an unwilling and disobedient servant to bring to pass My will. Do not be amazed! I say again, do not be amazed that I choose to use even those whose hearts are not right towards Me. You may think that I did this because I had no one else available. But that is far from why I did it. Does not My word declare that I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy and I will judge whom I choose to judge? But I want you to see something else. See how I continually dealt with the rebellious heart of My servant until I brought him to the place where he was forced to recognize what was in his own heart. And while the record does not declare that he changed, for the last of his words recorded his insistence that it was right for him to be angry, even if he remained that way unto death, but My appeal and My rebuke confronted him with how much more he cared about a plant that was used for his own protection from the sun than he cared about the many souls that were in the city of Nineveh. So then in the end he was confronted with the difference between that which was in his own heart and that, which was in My heart. For though I may work through even one who holds a disobedient and rebellious attitude in his heart, be well assured that My mercy will extend to that disobedient servant so that like Jonah he can be shown the difference between that which is in his own heart and that which is in My heart. For in the end, it was not only My desire to extend mercy and the gift of repentance to the wicked city of Nineveh, but it was My desire to extend mercy and the gift of repentance to My disobedient servant Jonah. And I proclaim this to you for two reasons. First of all, that you will not be amazed when I use those whose hearts are disobedient and not towards the things that are in My heart. And that I will not only work through them, but I will extend mercy towards them, even if I must deal with them severely so that they can repent and embrace what is truly in My heart. And the second reason that I bring this word to you is so that you may know and desire not only to perform My will, but that you may desire to possess My heart that will motivate you to do it for the reason that is in My heart to command it.

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8
Jun

Bible Devotions From Matthew 12:1-21

Posted by: admin    in Matthew

A few days ago I spoke to you about the necessity of love being the goal and the foundation of the law. I pointed out to you at that time that if obedience to commands did not arise from a heart that was transformed by My love, then such obedience did not really represent that true obedience from the heart that was motivated by My love. Here you see in this portion the consequences of an obedience that is not rooted in love. Here you see not only the blindness, the spiritual darkness that results from cleaving to commandments and regulations without a heart of love. For not only were the Pharisees eager to condemn the disciples for plucking and eating the grain on the Sabbath, but they were determined to withhold mercy from the needy.

And they even were ready to kill because they perceived that My Son would not adhere to their rigid and unmerciful standards. Not only does My Son confront them with evidence from My Word to demonstrate the error of their interpretation and application of the law, but He also confronts them with how their own conduct in rescuing a sheep on the Sabbath indicates the contradiction and inconsistency of their standard. In truth, you must see that they did not even understand My purpose in giving the law. And they had so far separated the literal words and tied them to their own interpretations and elaborations, so that what they represented as My law truly no longer represented My heart. And you see by the quote from the words of My servant Isaiah that they paid little or no attention concerning what it declared about the character and the ministry of My servant the Messiah. So here I give you a very clear picture of what is the inevitable result of adhering to the law as merely a set of commandments and regulations that must be strictly obeyed. But this obedience is detached from My heart. And those who pursue it, do not really know Me, even though they may be deeply sincere about keeping the commandments as an act of obedience to Me. You see this sincerity and the extreme and fanatical zeal that it produced epitomized in My servant Paul before I apprehended him.

And it was only as he met Me through My Son and yielded to Me that his heart was changed, so that he no longer obeyed out of blind and fanatical zeal, but out of faith working through love. This is so vital an issue that must be settled in your heart, for without it thus being settled, be sure that your heart can wander into the way of outward obedience without love, even to the extreme point of fanatical zeal that is blindly hostile to My heart of love.

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24
Jan

Bible Devotions From Isaiah 20 & 8:18

Posted by: admin    in Isaiah

There are two most important words that I would give you from this portion.

And I want you to take them to heart. For though you may not now recognize how they apply to your lives, to your experience, yet it will come to pass that you shall see and understand how they apply. First of all I want you to consider the willingness of My servant Isaiah to obey My direction and to walk in utter humiliation before the people as a prophetic sign to them. I know that you are appalled and mystified that I would command such a thing, and you also are perplexed that My servant would willingly obey such a command. But then you and many do not appreciate how willing he was, both to freely obey Me and to treasure the importance of communicating My Word to My people, even though such obedience involved humiliation. Are you also not thinking why should it have to be for so long, for could not a few days or a few weeks suffice? But then you can hardly understand the degree of hardness of hearts and unbelief that had settled upon My people. Nor do you understand or appreciate the extent of My mercy, of My desire to warn them and to draw their dependence away from the nations unto Myself, so that they may find their protection from the king of Assyria in Me. But you see that even this most extreme sign, this awesome portrayal of judgment to come, did not turn them away from their false dependence. Would you then judge that all of this extreme effort was wasted, that My servant Isaiah’s willing obedience to walk in humiliation was for naught? If you would consider this matter in this way, then you would fail to see that the testimony of My servant’s faithfulness and the extension of My mercy to my disobedient people, as it is here, is not merely an incident in history. It is rather a continuing witness of My love, My long suffering love, My enduring love for My people. And My servant, by his willing obedience to serve as a sign in his humiliation, is an enduring testimony of how My love can possess a heart of a faithful servant so that he is willing to obey at great personal cost. So rather than considering this as a strange and perplexing episode that seemed to bear little or no fruit, I want you to see that it is instead an enduring witness of the power of my love to reach the hearts of My people and to call them away from false and fleshly dependencies in the face of threats, so that they would turn back to Me, the only source of help and deliverance. For those who would be so possessed in heart of My love for My people as Isaiah was, would be willing to obey even at great personal cost, even at the cost of great humiliation, in order to communicate My Word to My people. And would you be willing to be among those who are thus called, even though it may prove that your obedience and your faithfulness would seem to have little obvious fruit? For you can be sure that such willingness can only be effective if you like Isaiah are possessed in your hearts by My love. And therefore am I not opening your hearts not only to hear the message of My love, but to receive it, so that you also may join those who are called to be signs among My people in these days.

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