‘Whenever the going gets tough the tough get going’. I wish I could say this applies to me. I find myself too easily waxing and waning when pressures mount. I readily admit that this is something which I do not admire within myself. When I was in 2nd or 3rd grade we were asked to design a house in art class using the three dimensional drawing skills we had just learned. We could work with a group on this little project to get it done. As we started to draw we all started to get excited about actually building the house. We began to tell our class mates and then we told the teacher we wanted to try and build a small model house for extra credit. She gave us the go ahead and we decided to work on it that weekend. All of those friends came over to my house and within minutes we were sprawled out on the floor in agony over the task that we had given to ourselves. We did not realize what we had taken on.
In the Christian life we can sometimes have the romantic notion that our life will be easy once we have become a Christian. In many ways it is the very opposite. Jesus has called us to take up our cross daily. This life of suffering can make it hard to steadily obey God. Even though we may at first have grand ideas of consistent faithfulness and obedience on our part we soon realize just how much we fail. Fortunately God is always proven to be faithful and He gives us a renewed ability to obey Him.
In looking to Christ we not only see the prime example of perfect obedience in the face of great adversity and suffering, but we look to Christ knowing that He has accomplished the obedience required for salvation. This empowers us to live out of freedom rather than fear. We no longer obey God because we have to, but we obey God because we desire to. This change of heart gives us the power to obey God when obeying Him is hard. As we come to worship God this Sunday reflect on Christ’s perfect obedience and resolve to new obedience out of love and desire to live as God has called us to live.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 15:1-35
Sermon: Obedience is Better than Sacrifice
Confession of Sin
Leader: God our Father, you are majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders. In you there is no shadow of turning.
People: But we are like birds who stray from our nests, forsaking the path of righteousness, each turning to our own way. Lord have mercy!
Leader: You, Lord, have made us into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, commanding us to be holy for you are holy.
People: Lord, forgive us for profaning the holy name that you have given us. You are the Lord who sanctifies us and has crushed the curse of sin and death by the power of the blood of Christ.
Confession of Faith (Westminster Shorter Catechism)
Q.87. What is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.