Season 1, Episode 51
For Monday, March 23, 2015
“The Root of Christian Obedience” Part 1
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and great commandment (Mat. 22:37-38).
I recently heard a story about a farmer who planted two trees on either side of his property. One tree was planted to provide a hedge, blocking an unsightly landfill not too far away. The other tree was planted to provide shade and a place to rest beside the cool mountain stream which ran beside the farmer’s fields. As time passed, the two trees grew. One day, the farmer noticed fruit hanging from the branches of the trees. He picked the fruit and took it inside. Later that evening, as he rested on his porch, the farmer took the fruit for an evening snack. The fruit from the tree on the landfill side of the property was flawed. Its shape was wrong and its taste was sour. The fruit from the other tree, however, was sweet and delicious.
What made the fruit of one tree bad and the fruit of the other tree good? It has to do with the roots of the two trees, doesn’t it?
Could it be that some Christians produce fruit that is sour to our watching world because our roots are in the wrong places? Today and tomorrow, I want us to see the root of Christian obedience. Then, later this week, Lord willing, we will see the fruit that we will bear when our roots are right.
The root of Christian obedience is LOVE.
Love should be at the core of everything we do as Christians. It was God’s love that initially drew us to Him, wasn’t it? John writes,
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
That love imbibes every part of New Testament Christianity. Love is the message of New Testament Christianity (John 3:16), and it is the mark of New Testament Christians (John 13:34-35).
If we lose our love, then we lose the root of who we are and Whose we are.
A lawyer came to Jesus wanting to test Him. At that time, a lawyer wasn’t someone who appeared before court to argue a civil case. Instead, a lawyer was someone who was considered to be an expert in the Law of Moses. So he asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Mat. 22:36). Is it possible to pick one of God’s commands over others? The Pharisees thought they had stumped Jesus with this question. But Jesus stunned them: “Jesus said to Him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind’” (Mat. 22:37). And there it is. Love.
Let’s wrap it up: Though the Law of Moses was taken out of the way and nailed to Christ’s cross (Col. 2:14), love continues to be the root of what we do under the New Testament. Paul says that, without love, our words, our possessions, and our actions are worthless (1 Cor. 13:1-3).
Memory Verse: Did Noah love God? He must have because He obeyed everything that God told Him to do. This week, let’s study Genesis 6:22 to remind us of the type of obedience that God desires of us.
Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did (Gen. 6:22).
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Tomorrow, let’s continue our thoughts about the root of Christian obedience by discussing four reasons why the church needs love. I’ll meet you then for The New You.