Responding to God's Word

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:1-3

God wants us to respond to His Word with obedience.

Let’s pretend that you work for a company that is growing rapidly. The owner of the company is interested in expanding overseas. To pull this off, he plans to travel abroad and stay there until the new branch office gets established. He makes all the arrangements to take his family to Europe for six to eight months, and he leaves you in charge of the organization in the United States. Before he leaves, he tells you that he will email you regularly to give you direction and instructions.

He leaves. You stay. Months pass. Every day, you get an email from the owner spelling out his expectations. Finally, the owner returns. Soon after his arrival, he drives down to the office, and he’s stunned by what he sees. Grass and weeds have grown up high. A few windows along the street are broken. He comes into the receptionist’s room and she is doing her nails, chewing gum, and listening to her favorite country music station. The waste baskets are overflowing. The carpet hasn’t been vacuumed for weeks and nobody seems concerned that the owner has returned.

The owner asks about your whereabouts and someone in the crowded lounge area points down the hall and yells, “I think he’s down there.” So, the owner goes in that direction and finds that you are finishing a chess game with the sales manager. The owner asks you to step into his office (which has been temporarily turned into a television room for watching afternoon soap operas).

By now, your boss is exasperated. “What in the world is going on?” he says. “What do you mean?” you say. “Well, look at this place! Didn’t you get any of my emails?”

“Emails? Oh, yeah – sure, we got every one of them. As a matter of fact, we have had an email study every Friday night since you left. We’ve divided the personnel into small groups and discussed the things you wrote. Some of those emails are very interesting. A few of the employees who do cross-stitch or calligraphy have made beautiful framed pictures with excerpts from your emails. Some of us have actually committed to memory some of your sentences and paragraphs. One or two of the guys have memorized entire email messages. Great stuff in those emails!”

Your boss can’t believe it. He says, “OK, OK – you got my mails, you studied them, you meditated on them, you discussed them, you even memorized them. But what did you do about them?”

“Do? Uh – We didn’t do anything about them.”

Sometimes we respond to God’s Word the same say. We read it. We study it. We discuss it. We memorize it. We meditate on it. And all those things are great. But they are not what the final response should be.

God is looking for obedience. He is looking for those who first receive His Word and then respond to it by obeying Him.

It’s great to mark your Bible. But it’s better to let your Bible mark you!

Have a great day, and keep moving forward!