You may have noticed that we blog and tweet A LOT about obedience. Why is that? We are so caught up on the obedience thing because of what Jesus said to his followers during his last meal with them. “If you love me, obey me.” That seems pretty straight forward and we want to be people who are marked by loving Jesus! That is why it is such a big deal to us.
Before we go on to what this obedience will cost us, what is it that Jesus asks us to do? 1. Love each other as Jesus loves us (Jn 13:34) and 2. Go everywhere and encourage others to follow me like you do (Mt 28:19).
These are the last two things Jesus told his followers to do. There may be other things he asks of you, but let’s just try to get our minds around these two. As we do you will see, pretty clearly, the cost of obedience.
“Love each other as I have loved you.”
Well, how did Jesus love us? Paul described it this way in Romans 5:8, “God acted out his love for us by sacrificing Jesus, his only son, on the cross to redeem us back from the enemy’s control.” TIME OUT! That would mean that we need to be willing to give up the thing most dear to us to repair a relationship with someone who consistently spits in our face. Too hard? Most of us struggle with sacrificing something for our friends, much less our enemies!
Maybe the other one is easier…
“Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every person.”
Going involves leaving – leaving everything – in order to take the grace of God to every kind of person all over the world. Some people, lots of people actually, have tried to do this and they were killed by the people they were trying to share that “good news” with. They made the ultimate sacrifice for their obedience.
So basically what Jesus is asking us to do is lay everything on the altar for him, in order to demonstrate that we love him by following just these two commands.
GIVE UP EVERYTHING – all that we have, and maybe even our very lives.
Who can do that?
None of us can, to be honest. Even the best of us hold things back. God must come through for us.
Thankfully, he usually doesn’t ask us to give it all up all at once, right now. He lays out baby steps before us, asking us to trust him in this or give up that. As we have courage to take that step, he lays out another.
Sometimes we succeed.
Sometimes we fail.
He is gracious.
Bottom line: Obedience will cost you everything, but be encouraged… nothing was really yours to begin with!