7498 - Obedience Rewarded

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What a joy we have in sharing with you from the Word of God.

Today we open our Bible to 1 John 3; verses 21 and 22. First let me read these verses and then we can talk together.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God (22) and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.

That phrase, “if our hearts do not condemn us,” does not mean that we have reached sinless perfection. Some people have interpreted those words in that manner; however, a better understanding could be that these words represent the attitude of the heart of a Christian who has diligently sought a pure heart and has confessed the known sins in his life. Following Scripture he has asked God to search his heart and reveal any obstacle between himself and God, so that it might be confessed and dealt with. The desire is to live habitually in an obedient, yielded fellowship with the Lord. When a Christian has this humble, yielded attitude then we have assurance and confidence before God.

The life spoken of in this verse is not one in which a person is playing games with God –– being much more conscious of maintaining a good image with friends and church members, instead of keeping our eyes focused upon Jesus and living with a desire to please Him.

Friend, the issue is our personal relationship with our Lord. Are we excited about being His child. Do we honestly desire to live in a manner which brings pleasure to the Lord. Are we making it our aim to please Him? That’s the person who is able to stand before the Lord without any regret or doubt.

The passage continues that such a believer may be certain that God will be delighted to answer his prayerful request because he is habitually seeking to honor and obey Him by keeping His commands and living by His stated standards.

The key here is in the tense of the language. It implies a repetitious effort to keep on doing what God desires, and not to be fluctuating between obeying for awhile and then doing our own thing for awhile.

The book of Romans (6:16) clearly states that we are slaves of the one which we obey. So let us be always obeying the Lord. This leads to an abundant, radiant life in Christ.
The psalmist talks about this principle when he writes (25:10), “All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of His covenant.”

We may understand what the psalmist is saying by remembering that a parent would never need to discipline a child who is caught up in the joyful desire of fulfilling every wish and desire of the parent. To such a child, even the thought of doing something which would break the fellowship relationship with their parent is hurtful enough to keep them from walking in such a disobedient path.

And so it should be to the child of God. Even the thought of a broken fellowship which results from our disobedience encourages us to continue in an obedient walk.

You see, obedience brings reward. God is able to bless the obedient child, even as a parent may reward an obedient child in a family. John 14:21 says, “whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

What greater blessing could one experience than to be covered with the love of Jesus and the Father. Of course, you recognize the greater degree of love from God than from any other friend. But the beautiful thing about love is that “love begets love.” The Bible focuses it by saying God’s Holy Spirit fills us so we may pour it out on others.

Remember, our obedience enables God to reward and bless us.