Doing Life Together

snake-1322240_1920At times, it is tempting not to be obedient to God. In fact, sometimes it is so counter culture that we give in to the moment or to our emotions.

Bill had a typical, momentary struggle with obedience that many of us have faced. The cashier made a mistake and handed him a twenty dollar bill instead of a one dollar bill. Should he tell her or simply pocket the money?

As a Christian, he knew the right response, but thought, “What’s the point of doing the right thing on something so small and insignificant? Does it really matter? Who would even notices? Everyone cheats the system. Maybe I should just take the money and walk away.”

Most of us struggle with obedience at some point in our Christian walk. Maybe we chose not to take offense even though offense was justified. Maybe we gave a soft answer to an angry accusation. Maybe we chose not to sue another Christian when we were clearly wronged. Maybe we  passed on a juicy piece of gossip about someone who is not always nice. Maybe we resisted lust on the Internet.

Very few people will congratulate you for your decision to act godly. But be encouraged! A reward is coming for your obedience to God. How do we know this? God tells us. Psalm 19:11 says, ”Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward” (NKJV). The psalmist is talking about being obedient to the Word. We should fear (be reverent and obedient) the Lord and live a life pleasing to God. When we keep God’s commandments, we will be rewarded. He also says, our reward will be great.

Obedience to God isn’t always easy. That’s why Paul tells us in Galatians 6:9 not to grow weary while doing good. He says, in due season, if we don’t lose heart, we will reap. This was meant to encourage us, to help us persevere when no one is looking or cares.

Obedience often requires us to delay gratification. In our society, people want things now. We want immediate gratification and lose heart when we have to wait for things. We are not used to hearing the word-wait. I often  find myself caught up in this culture of impatience. I have to remind myself that God talks about seasons – times to plant and times to reap. Not every benefit of Christian living is immediate. Yet, the promises of His rewards are astounding-peace, health, abundance, and a sound mind to name only a few. And those rewards can be had now. Others will be given in eternity.

So if you are tempted to give in to lust, greed, cheating, immorality, gossip, lying or other behaviors that seem easy to do, remember your temporary response will result in regret.  A sign of maturity is being willing to crucify the flesh and be obedient to the Spirit of God living in you.

Be encouraged. We can have days of heaven on earth according to the psalmist. And we will also be greatly rewarded for our obedience and faithful living. It might be awhile.

Bill returned the twenty dollar bill and no one cheered or even thanked him for his honesty. But Bill knew he did the right thing and pleased God. His reward–peace of mind and knowing that his obedience pleased God.


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