Sunday, August 17, 2008

The rear view mirror

Today’s Reading: John 14:24 (NIV)

24 “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they are from the Father who sent me.”

Good morning!

I’ve been told I have a stubborn streak. Doesn’t everyone? After all, it is that strong sense of direction within that prompts us to inch forward; to push just a little harder and not give up. Of course, I’ve been known to push the ticket to the extreme and run headlong in the opposite direction. My childlike stubbornness has often taken me to places I really did not want to go. Has this ever happened to you?

I remember one summer Saturday morning: my father was on his way to the hardware store and I wanted to ride along. My dad was not the most patient person when it came to shopping at the hardware store. He seemed to have all the bad luck. Dad never purchased a “do-it-yourself” project home kit that didn’t have a key piece missing from the package, and this seemed to infuriate him to no end. He was planning to have an engaging and spirited conversation with the store manager, and there was no way he wanted his little girl to be there and witness the fallout. Sometimes, a loving parent will tell us no because they can see the bigger picture. Fathers expect their children to listen and obey.

Well, Daddy’s answer was not the answer I wanted to hear, and he made me really mad! So I added my own little self-expression to the fray. As Daddy pulled the car out of the driveway, I ran outside and stuck my tongue out at him. Let me tell you something: with my Father, this is a huge mistake! He wasn’t about to tolerate a little lip from his child. Did you know that our Father has this rearview mirror, and He can see what we are up to without even turning around? My dad threw his 1966 Chevrolet into reverse and pulled back into the driveway. What happened next wasn’t very pleasant and I don’t think I ever stuck my tongue out at him again. This is just one example when stubbornness did not work to my advantage. As I look back on that morning long ago, I am thankful I wasn’t behind the counter at the hardware store when my dad arrived that day.

Did my Father love me when he said no? When I disrespect my Father's Word and disobey Him, was I demonstrating love?

Jesus teaches that love and obedience are inseparable. Doing what our Father instructs is the only way to demonstrate our love for Him. It is so much more than mere lip service; obedience is an act of pure faith.

Father, forgive us when our selfish sense of direction gets in the way of Your will. Help us to be completely satisfied with Your Word, especially when you say no. Teach us not to add or subtract from your Word or try to change it to suit our own personal preferences. Help us realize Father, that when we choose to obey you, we express true love. May thy will be done, Lord; not my will, but thy will. Oh, how we love you, Father! Help us demonstrate that love by choosing to obey, even when we really don’t understand why you said no. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

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