Thursday, November 05, 2015


[Jesus asked:] “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" (Luke 6:46)

These words confronted me in my daily quiet time with God today.

They hit me hard. I felt that they were directed at me and not at "other people." 

As a Lutheran Christian, I regularly confess my sinful nature. Of course, it's a true confession for any human being.

But I realize today that I also make this confession, in part, to excuse my disobedience to the will of God, the law of God, to explain it away.

Of course, the law of God cannot save me from sin and death because I'm incapable of perfect obedience. Only the perfect sinless Jesus, Who took humanity's rightful punishment for sin--death--can save those who repent and trust in Him as their God and Savior.

But surely that's no reason for me to not try to obey God's law out of gratitude for God's grace and new life given freely to all who turn from sin and trust in Christ. 

I am forced to ask myself this question: If I'm willfully disobedient or casually so, can I honestly say that I'm letting Jesus be my Lord? Am I doing violence to my relationship with Him, risking its loss because of subtle disobedience?

I've been reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer's meditation on Psalm 119, left incomplete at his death. This is Bonhoeffer's point regarding this psalm extolling God's law: Believers in the God we now know more fully in Jesus Christ seek to live obediently to His Word, to His law.  That message dovetails with the simple words of Jesus I focused on today.

I sensed God telling me, "If you believe in Me, no more excuses! If you believe in Me, obey!"

Of course, God is compassionate. He remembers that we are dust. But I best express my gratitude for His love and redemption by striving always to obey Him. 

God, help me to be obedient.

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