Sold Out on Obedience
In this sermon about obedience to God, we are challenged to allow God to shift our natural focus from ourselves to the needs of others.
What do we mean by obedience?
Surrender is God’s expectation of us. Obedience is the purpose for which we were created.
Imitating Christ’s humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Obedience is Uncomfortable, but that’s OK
Philippians 2:4 ESV
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Obedience is uncomfortable. It goes against the natural instincts of our fallen human nature. Here Paul says obedience means not worrying about your own plans, but look out for the interests of others.
How to shift your focus
Jesus is Lord is so much more than a creed.It’s surrender.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together) supplies seven principles for eradicating selfish ambition from Christian communities. Christians should:
- Hold their tongues, refusing to speak uncharitably about another Christian.
- Cultivate the humility that comes from understanding that they, like Paul, are the greatest of sinners and can only live in God’s sight by his grace.
- Listen “long and patiently” so that they will understand their fellow Christian’s need.
- Refuse to consider their time and calling so valuable that they cannot be interrupted to help with unexpected needs, no matter how small or menial.
- Bear the burden of their brothers and sisters in the Lord, both by preserving their freedom and by forgiving their sinful abuse of that freedom.
- Declare God’s word to their fellow believers when they need to hear it.
- Understand that Christian authority is characterised by service and does not call attention to the person who performs the service.
What is Holy Spirit leading us to do at this time? What inconvenient step towards more positive obedience might he be asking us to take? What is God asking your corps or church to do in obedience to God together?
If you found this podcast sermon about obedience to God helpful, would you please do something for me?
Why not check out these posts from around the blog?
- Review & Reflection: The Quarterly Preview
- Mothers' Day | Christ in Your Home
- Tips for Handling Church Problems at Christmas (and any other time)
- Fighting for a Great Marriage
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