As believers we don’t have to look far to see that there is a great deal of teaching on t.v. and in all forms of the media emphasizing God’s mercy and His love. It’s vital that we understand how important both of these things are in our lives. Without God’s love He wouldn’t have demonstrated mercy in saving us from our sins and selves. We should never forget the price Christ paid in His demonstration of that love for us! We also need to be mindful of the great mercy He demonstrated at Calvary and the great mercy He demonstrates daily in our lives. Our God is an awesome God that loves us with a love we cannot really even fathom.
Unfortunately, we have to look a little harder to hear balanced teaching on God’s judgement. When we become children of God, we have an advocate that goes to God on our behalf interceding for us. That is Jesus. He doesn’t leave us to our own devices but provides through the Holy Spirit a means of hearing His voice and teaching us His ways. With the word of God (Bible) and the Holy Spirit we are well equipped to serve God. If we slip up, we have Jesus interceding on our behalf and have only to confess our sins to be forgiven. We are not however, to take for granted God’s mercy or His forgiveness. There is plenty of words of warning to each of us with regards to continuing in willful disobedience. Once God has made it clear through His word and through His Spirit that we are to surrender a behavior or activity to Him and we continue on and ignore that gentle voice it can become a very large obstacle in our prayer life and in our communion with God. As with any good parent, there are times we correct our kids and do so for their own best interest. If they continue to ignore us and carry on in their disobedience there is always negative consequences. It is the same in our walk with God.
Just as a parent can see the dangers of disobedience in the future of their children, God can see the danger it will present in our lives. It is out of love for us that He calls us to a walk of obedience. Not as a slave but as a child. A child that He longs to give the experience of joy, peace and freedom that come from close communion with Him. That communion can only grow through our obedience to His voice. The Bible is very clear on the importance of obedience in response to the price Christ paid for us, just as it is clear on the opportunity for restored fellowship with God when we mess up by turning to Christ and asking forgiveness.
Job 36:11 NIV 11 If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.
Romans 1:5 NIV 5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.
Matthew 7:21 NIV 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
1John 2:3-6 NIV 3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,”but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
Acts 5:32 NIV 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
And finally the following sums it all up… 1John 2:1-11 NIV 2 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins,and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,”but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command;its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Let’s keep a balanced look at the cost of serving God. We are blessed beyond anything we could ever imagine but it does not come without a price and that price is to stay in communion with the “lover of our soul” and in doing so, we are called to walk in obedience.
Psalm 85:8 NIV 8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;He promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—but let them not turn to folly.