Daily Devotional for Friday July 8, 2011
Choose Who You Will Serve
(1 Samuel 15:22)
The Bible teaches us that to "obey is better than sacrifice." What an incredible truth this verse is for our day to day lives. It supports the verses of Ephesians 2:8 and 9 that tells us that our salvation is by faith and NOT of works. While God is concerned about what we do with our lives, the fruit that we can produce for the Kingdom from our efforts, He is first and foremost concerned with our obedience. You see, our obedience flows from a heart that is yielded to Him, a life that is surrendered to do HIS will and not OUR will.
This very day you will have a chance to obey or rebel against God. In reality, during the course of any given day there are many opportunities that we consciously choose to obey or rebel against God. But I want to focus on the very next decision that you have to make after reading these words. IT IS NO ACCIDENT THAT GOD HAS ALLOWED YOU TO READ THESE WORDS. GOD IS PREPARING YOU FOR THE VERY NEXT DECISION THAT YOU WILL MAKE WHERE YOU CAN EITHER OBEY HIM, OR NOT.
The life of King Saul is a very sad commentary of someone that God anointed in a great way and chose to rebel against God. King Saul lived with the same free will that God gives to all of us. He had to make choices each day to obey or rebel against God. Sadly, there are ALWAYS consequences for our rebellion. These consequences come in many forms but there is always a price to pay when we choose not to obey God.
Likewise, blessings will always follow our obedience to God. The greatest blessing of all is that peace that passes all human understanding we receive when we are living our lives the way God has asked us to. When we are living for Him, making choices that honor God, there is a peace and joy that you could never put a price on.
I love you and care about you so much. Today's Devotional is a special warning for you to be aware of the choices that you will make today. You will have many opportunities today to choose to obey God, or rebel against God. I will be praying that you will make the choice to obey God. To set aside your will, your desires, for His will and His desires.
Jesus promised His followers a life of abundance. That abundance comes from living a life pleasing and acceptable to God. God loves us so very much. Like any parent, He only wants the best for us. When He asks us to obey Him, it is not for HIS good, but for OUR good.
In the Old Testament, many of God's children were quick to offer up sacrifices to Him, yet their hearts were far away from Him. They honored Him with their lips but God saw their hearts. We obey God out of our love for Him. All of our good works, our good deeds have little meaning to God if our hearts are not right.
When we have surrendered our lives to Him it is our DESIRE to love Him, and we show Him that love through our obedience. We can tell our mother or father how much we love them, but we SHOW that love through our obedience. God is the same way. We can sing praises to Him, do great works in His name, but it is our obedience that shows God how deep our love for Him really is.
As you go through the rest of this day, remember these words...TO OBEY IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE. You will be making a choice very shortly in which you can obey God, or rebel against Him. Show God how much you love Him today, and OBEY.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller