Gift of Obedience - Thursday, February 14th 2013

Hosea 1:2

When the LORD began to speak by Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea: "Go; take yourself a wife of harlotry and children of harlotry, for the land has committed great harlotry By departing from the LORD."
NKJV

We often hear Christians say things like, "The Lord just wants me to be happy" or "God wouldn't ask me to do anything that I can't handle." The truth is that God often asks His people to do what seems impossible. It is also clear that happiness rarely has anything to do with His commands. Hosea was told by God to take a wife that would cause him much pain. Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son, whom he called 'laughter' and loved dearly. Mary, who was called most blessed among women, was required to stand by and watch her son die on the cross. These three, and many others in the Bible, were asked by God to do what we would think impossible for them; things that would bring pain and suffering. They had different circumstances, and different struggles, but the one thing they shared was obedience.

Matthew 16:24-25 "Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.'" NKJV

Jesus went through incredible suffering and pain to free us from the bondage of sin. He did not die just so we could be happy. He did not give His life so that we could simply pursue our own selfish desires. He died to set us free, and to give us the model of how to live free. He taught the disciples through His word and example that our calling is to lay down our own lives for the sake of others.

Life Lesson: Following Christ is hard, but it's the least we can offer Him for the price He paid.

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for loving me so much that You were willing to die a horrible death and suffer the humiliation of my sins. Lord, I choose to follow You, wherever You lead me, because I love You. Jesus, help me to walk in obedience. Give me Your strength, power and love so that I can willingly lay down my life for others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge
crossthebridge.com

Scripture quotations marked 'NKJV™' are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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