Saturday, August 16, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

To Obey or Not to Obey?  That is the question!


Rev. Jaisen Thomas

Immanuel MTC, VA
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. St. Matthew 7:25

There is a story about a man who before dying made his wife promise that she would put his money in the casket with his body.  He told her that he wanted to take the money with him to the afterlife. She promised she would do as he desired.  Later, upon his death she remained obedient to her husband and the promise she made.  She wrote a check to her husband indicating the total amount of his wealth.  She smiling placed the check within his pocket and said, “Honey, if you can cash it, its yours!”  Obedience to God is never self-serving or self-seeking.  This passage is a section of the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ.  It presents the perspectives of two different responses to the Word of God.  Jesus Christ shares a parable of a wise and foolish man who order their actions based on their relationship to the Word of God.  This parable posits answers to the practical questions of Christian living. 

Obedience to the Word of God, as right action

The wise man places the foundation of his house upon the rock.  However, the foolish man builds his house upon the sand.  It is important to note that the foolish man wasn’t simply a lazy man.  That is, he also worked hard to gather the necessary materials to construct his house.  He was not a man of inaction rather; he was one of wrong action.  So, there is a difference between simply deeds and righteous deeds.  The foolish man depicts one who listens to the Word of God, understands it but refuses to obey.  He is satisfied with the “looks” of the house but, is oblivious to the impending struggles.  The wise man makes the conscious decision to obey before the storm.  Thus, he is prepared and it also reminds us that the fruits of our labor may take time to reveal itself.    There are three steps that we may identify in understanding obedience as right action: hearing the word, making a plan (preparing) and doing the action.  In this way, the “house” will stand as a refuge for others and him in the storm.
 
Faith as overcoming trials

In verse 27, it reads, “the rain came, the streams rose and the winds blew…”.  Jesus Christ clearly communicates through this parable that trials and problems will most definitely come in our lives.  Furthermore, it suggests that the trials will come without discrimination and progressively on the “wise” and “fools” alike.  First, the rains will come then the waters will begin to flood and then the wind will blow hard.  Our trials may as such, one right after the other.  However, the message is not to avoid the storms but, to build our lives to withstand the storms.  Our faith in Jesus Christ anchors us to see beyond our trials and grow stronger even in the face of storms.  We must remember that every “house” is tested and no one is free of temptation, testing, sorrow, etc.  However, will our faith stand the test?  Has a storm in your life shaken you? Is there an area of your life that you are not being “doers” of the Word? Our faith empowers us to experience security, strength and sanctification through the living Word and presence of Jesus Christ.  


Thought for the day:


Thought for the day: The evidence that you are a person in whom obedience will one day be complete is that you are a person in whom obedience is already begun.  – Colin Smith

Prayer: O Lord God, strengthen me to surrender to Your will and to be a prisoner of Your love.   Amen!