Daily Devotional for Sunday August 30, 2015

Honor Your Mother and Father - Part 2 of 2

(Ephesians 6:1)

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, thank you for being the perfect father. No matter what our relationship has been with our earthly mother and father, you are the great example of a true parent as you love me unconditionally no matter what. Help me to be a grateful child of your today and acknowledge your love and nurturing as I honor you with my life. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!

Honor Your Mother and Father - Part 2 of 2

Depending on the translation you are using, there is a part of this verse that talks of obeying your parents "in the Lord". The original Greek text actually translates "for the Lord's sake". Why is it so important to the Lord that we obey our parents? As we grow up, our parents are the first authority figures we are exposed to. We learn at a very early age that our behavior is governed by others. We learn how to make choices. We learn that there are consequences for the choices we make, good and bad. Obeying our parents teaches us that we are accountable for the things that we do in this life.

Once we start school, we then realize that our actions there are governed by our teachers and the school administration. We then learn that society has laws we must follow and the police, prosecutors, and judges have been put in place to enforce those laws. The reason this is such an important issue is because, while we have those in authority over us during our life here on earth, we also have God, our Creator in ultimate authority over our life. Obeying our parents is critical because if we don't learn how to obey the authority that our parents have over our life, we will never learn to obey God who has the ultimate authority over our life.

You see, my friend, God loves us. Most of you have or had a parent or parents who love you. When your parents give you rules to follow, it is not to make your life harder, but easier. It is from that love that they tell you what you can and can't do. Some things are common sense; others are from experience. You see, they know what the end results of certain decisions will be, and they are trying to keep you from making mistakes. That is what God does also. In His Word he tells us things we shouldn't do, many which are obvious and common sense. Then there are others that come from God knowing what the ultimate outcome will be.

One of the most vivid example is God's warning not to be unequally yoked. The literal meaning of that verse in context is talking about marriage. A Christian, not being married to a non-Christian. Why? If you could come to Liveprayer someday and read some of the email, you would understand quickly. Just like parents have a reason for rules that we may not totally understand or agree with, so does God. Obedience is a way that we can protect ourselves.

Of course, God gave us all free will. It is understandable, since otherwise we would be little more than robots. But there have been times when I wish I didn't have the ability to make choices. We usually learn at a very early age that when we make the wrong choice, there are consequences. Often we have to pay a price for disobedience. Those consequences hopefully serve as a mechanism to help us in the future make the correct choice. Punishment for disobedience is designed to help us learn that we can not disobey and get away with it.

In Hebrews 12:5,6 it tells us that God punishes those He loves. Punishment is not meant to make us mad or to push us into further disobedience. Instead it is designed to help us understand that we are to be obedient children, and that there are consequences associated with disobedience. Let me say here, that many have this image of God who delights in punishing His disobedient children, and that all of the hardships we suffer must be punishment for things we did wrong.

While there may be some direct consequences from sinful activity, God loves you, and is not a God of punishment, but a God of grace and mercy. Trust me, if He wanted to inflict punishment on us for our disobedience, we would never be able to live under the weight of the hardships we would have to endure. It is important for us to learn that free will is not a license to disobey, but to obey.

I love you and care about you so much. Being obedient to our parents is something the Lord has asked us to do for His sake. It also teaches us how to obey, since we need to be obedient to Him as well. For some like me, there is a rebellious nature that is obviously part of our sin nature we inherited. Never forget it was Satan's rebellion that got him thrown out of Heaven.

It was the rebellion of Adam and Eve that brought sin into the human condition. So we are born with a rebellious nature, a tendency to disobey. That is all the more reason why we must be aware of how important our obedience is; if for no other reason, than to avoid the consequences of our disobedience. Ultimately though, we obey out of love.

Our parents love us enough to give us rules to follow to help us in our life. We need to understand that and obey out of love for them. God loves us enough to gives rules to follow to help us in our life. We need to understand that and obey out of love. I pray today that you will see how important obedience is and that out of love, you will obey your parents; out of love, you will obey God!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller