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  • Writer's pictureSteven Marsh

Learning Obedience: a Reflection on Psalm 119:1-24, Genesis 9:1-17, Hebrews 5:7-14 and John 3:16-21

Jesus learned obedience through suffering. That is a profound statement in Hebrews. Obedience is so critical in Christian discipleship. I pose the question: has the evangelical movement removed “suffering” from its theology? As I reflect on my life, I have documented events that would classify as suffering. I have really gotten serious about obedience in those times. On the other hand, when suffering is absent, obedience has become “less of an issue.” Pause and ponder. Obedience requires full awareness of the struggle to be about what Jesus was about in a context and culture that is not “about Jesus.” Therein rests the dilemma. Christianity is not to be a salve that keeps Christians inoculated and disengaged. As I attempt to follow Jesus, life gets tough and I need to learn obedience not only to survive, but to make a difference. Obedience is the prescription that helps me see how things really are and who my Savior really is. True happiness is found in the LORD. To know that, like the psalmist, I must guard my life according to the Word and seek God with my whole heart. Obedience is required. Noah was obedient. What a drag that must have been to do what he had to do when the context did not indicate a flood would ever happen or an ark to be built. Jesus cried out and with tears prayers and supplications. Jesus came to earth not to condemn the condemned, but to love us and show us a better way to live. I thank Jesus for his obedience. I am sure it was no easy undertaking. His suffering was great in order for me to see and experience salvation. Should it be any other way for Christ followers today? Hope for the world requires Christ followers to learn obedience.

Scripture texts are taken from the two-year daily lectionary cycle which follows the liturgical calendar and begins on the First Sunday of Advent.

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