THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date – 5-1-11

LESSON TITLE: “LET YOUR LIGHT SO SHINE: OBEDIENCE”

WELCOME

Who or what are you seeking on this wondrous Lord’s Day? Well, the Psalmist David said we should, “Seek the Lord and His strength,” furthermore, we are encouraged to, “seek His face ever more!” It is my hope and prayer that we are all seeking the one and only true God on this His Holy Day!

And now may I welcome you to our program. We are glad that you have chosen to assemble before almighty God today. Furthermore, as those who love and desire to serve Christ, what a privilege and opportunity this is to worship His glorious name. I hope and pray that we will each do our best to participate in this worship to God and to offer those sacrifices which are acceptable in His sight.

So, as we begin our reverence to God the Creator of all, won’t you bow with me before His throne at this time?

(PRAYER)

Well, its time to begin our first song of the day. So, won’t you do your part in praising God at this time, as we sing together, “Anywhere With Jesus?”

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

As we mentioned earlier this morning, there are many things which we are required to seek as those who love God. Another great verse to help us with this discussion is found in Matthew 6:33. There we read, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Here we find that we are also commanded to seek God’s Kingdom first. However, what is really wonderful about this command is the promise which is attached to it. As you notice, Jesus went on to say, “And all these things shall be added to you!” What things? Well the context tells us that the things we have need of both physical and spiritual. In fact the point is made in the text that if God will care for the rest of His creation how much more will He care for a living, breathing soul? Wow, we truly serve a loving and caring God.

Finally, let’s mention a verse found in 1 Peter 3:11, which brings up another thing we must seek. There we read, “Let him seek peace and pursue it.” Are you a peacemaker and do you seek to be peaceable with all men? The first part of this verse actually says that we must “turn away from evil.” You see the reality is that if we want to be pleasing to God we must leave those things which are contrary to His Will and do what? Seek peace!

So the question is yours this day, “just who or what are you seeking?” Are you seeking the things of this life or the glory of this world? Or are you seeking that which is according to the teaching of Christ, that which leads to eternal life? May we all seek God, His Kingdom and peace in this present world!

In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson, we will be concluding our discussion entitled “Let Your Light So Shine!” Our specific lesson of the day is, “Obedience” So please stay with us for this study from God’s Word, and I will be leading our thoughts at the appropriate time. Now let’s join together in our next song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

By Ray Sullins

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”

Since the beginning of the year we’ve been looking at some great lessons together, challenging lessons about different types of characteristics of a Christian, different types of attitudes that we are to have in order to be right in the sight of God. These are attitudes and actions that we are supposed to work toward that we might treat our fellow man as if we were dealing with Christ Jesus Himself on this earth. And so I hope together since the first of the year we have learned a lot of good things and challenging things, even some things that are a little bit different that we might again do better in our daily lives, that we might show forth glory to God because our light does shine and people do see God in us, not just us alone.

With that in mind as well today, I would like to end with a thought that might summarize best all of the things we have done or at least we might say that it might be behind all of the things that we have discussed, and that is this idea of “Obedience.” Think for a moment about what Paul said to the Roman church in Romans chapter 6 and verse 17. The Bible says, “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. There’s that idea spoken of even in this text not only about the heart of man… We’ve been talking about the heart of Christ in us and again the things that come out of that proper heart. But here he says that we “obeyed from the heart.” What? What have we obeyed? It says, “That form of doctrine.” We obeyed the Will of God, if you will. In fact is that not what God has required from the very beginning?

When we back up not only to the Garden of Eden but specifically as we see the law given at Mt. Sinai. We read there in Deuteronomy chapter 4 and other such passages about how they were not only challenged to hear, but to observe and obey and follow the commandments of the Lord, to teach those things to their children that their children might also know and obey them.

And as we go throughout all of the Old Testament is that not what all of the prophets came declaring of God? Obey the Lord! Turn back to the Lord! Hear Him and obey Him!

Then we move into the New Testament and even those gospel accounts and what do we find throughout the gospel accounts? John the Baptizer. We find Jesus. And what is it that they proclaim? Follow God! What does it mean to follow God? It means not only to know Him, but to obey Him. If you’re going to follow something, you’re walking after it. You’re going after it, and you’re imitating it. We must obey our God!

Was it not Jesus Christ Himself that summarized so well in John 14:15 the fact that if we love Him, we are going to show it by doing what? Keeping His commandments! “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Do we do that? Do we strive to do that? Do we accomplish that in our lives? Do we make sure that the world sees that we love our God because we are obedient to what our God asks of us? Then because of our obedience and the fact that we are seen to be those who are blessed by God, and as we saw last week, happy in those blessings then certainly our God shows the love He has for those who are His own. And when people see that love, what do they want? They want to know God and they want to learn who God is and what they learn about God is the same thing that we already know and that they see in us that we, or those who love God, obey God.

Was it not Paul, to the Colossian church, that said, “Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord.” What are we to do in the name of the Lord? All things. What things? Whatever it be that we say in word or whatever it be that we do in deed. All things are to be done in the name of the Lord.

And what is it that the name of the Lord or the authority of the Lord has designed for us? His Word. And what does His Word tell us? Those things which we are to obey. You know if I’m going to be happy, I must obey God because I am commanded to be happy. If I am going to be cheerful, I must be one who obeys God because I want to be cheerful. If I’m going to learn to adapt, I must learn to what? Adapt because I am commanded to adapt in this world in relationship to the things of God. And on and on and on and on we could go with all of the different things that we have talked about up to this point and so many more because at the heart of them, at the heart of obedience is not only knowing the Will of God, but doing the Will of God.

If you will now then go with me to Matthew 28. When we turn to Matthew 28 the thing that generally comes to mind is the great commission when Jesus before leaving this earth actually encouraged His disciples, encouraged them to know what it was that He was challenging them to do for the sake of the Father in Heaven. What He told them was to, “Go into all the world,” but before we look at that, I want you to notice what He said to them afterwards in verse 20. There in Matthew 28 and verse 20 He says, “Teaching them (who? Those who heard and obeyed or believed) teaching them to observe all things that I command you.” What is it that we are supposed to do for those who hear and obey God? Teach them to believe and know and obey all things. Not some things. Not the things we like. Not what fits into their schedule. Not what is convenient. All things. Do we observe all things of God? Is that not obeying the commandments of God? Is that not proving to God our love by obeying the commands?

But now what I want you to notice with me is who He was talking to, the apostles as we call them or the chosen twelve, but then He also here is giving a covenant or commandment to those that would be faithful. Speaking first of all in verse 18 that “all power or authority had been given to Him.” Then in verse 19 He says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” What was the purpose? To make disciples. And then what? Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. And those disciples, those disciples who have been what? Baptized are the very ones who are to be taught to observe all things that God commands. Taught to obey! Do we obey? You know we live in a society that we don’t want to be told what to do. We grow up and we want to reject and resent what our parents tell us. And when our boss asks something of us, we often try to get by with as little as we can because we really don’t like people telling us what to do and we really don’t like to obey others. But what we fail to understand or to accept is the very heart and principle of the Word of God for the follower of God is that he obey God, first the Will of God and secondly that they are obedient to others as the law of God that they might act as they would toward Christ.

Are we obedient? Are we submissive? Are we humble? Are we those as we find here who have been taught to observe all things, to obey all things and therefore we do obey all things?

Well what we would like to focus on now for the remainder of our time is to think about for a moment these who were told to obey or observe all things. What was it? What was the action that gave them a need to be taught to observe all of the commandments of God or to obey all of the commandments of God? What have they done? They have believed and when they believed, they obeyed they did something in order that they might have a need to be taught all things to continue obediently before God. And what was that? Well in that text it says, “They were made disciples.” How were they made disciples? Well the same text says, “They were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” What was involved in this baptism? Because the Bible talks of different baptisms. What was it Jesus wanted His disciples to do as they were on the earth?

Well the clearest example is found in really in Acts chapter 2 because after they had been commanded in Luke 24 to go and wait in Jerusalem until the power came from on High, we know that on the Day of Pentecost they went there and they waited and had been waiting as well for a period of time and when the power came on the Day of Pentecost, the church was established. Peter preached and the first thing that happened after he says, “You are guilty of the very blood of the very Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the prophesied One,” and the scriptures say, “They were cut to the heart.” They were moved with compassion. They were pricked and they realized they had murdered the very Savior God had sent to redeem them from this world. Do you remember what they cried out to Peter and the others? They cried out boldly, “What must we do?” How do we correct this? How can we get things right? (Acts 2 verse 37) Do you remember what the answer was? “Repent and be baptized.” Had they confessed? Certainly there was a confession. Certainly they knew who Jesus was. They were torn in the heart. They were ripped out in the heart knowing that yes, this was Jesus and we believe, we believe, then they were told to “repent and let every one of you be baptized.” Those who did so that day, the Bible tells us in verse 41 “were three thousand souls who were actually baptized.” Then in verse 47 it says, “These were the same added to the church.”

We go through the next several chapters and more and more are being added sometimes even by the thousands in number. It says, “The disciples grew and multiplied greatly.” Then we move on through Acts and we find text after text, example after example of those who were of need to be taught to observe all things, to obey all things of God, to show God love by obedience in all things after they had obeyed and followed and become what? Disciples! And what did they do? Well the Eunuch in Acts chapter 8, do you remember him? “See, here is water, what hinders me to be baptized?” Philip says, “Do you believe?” He says, “I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” He made the confession. He repented, and he was baptized. They both went down in the water and after he baptized him, it says, “They came out of the water and the Eunuch went on his way rejoicing.” All of these things to do what? Obey the plan of salvation, to be added by God to His church.

We go on to verses like even Acts 9 where we see the conversion of Saul. We might move on over now to Acts 10 and the family of Cornelius. Do you remember there when he called a gathering to hear the truth taught by Peter? And eventually what are we told there in verse 48? It says, “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” And what do you think they did? Verse 47 says, “They were baptized.” They were baptized! Did they confess His name? Certainly! Did they repent? Yes! All of these things are required. You can’t be saved without repentance (Luke 13:3). You can’t be saved without confession (Romans 10:9-10). But you can’t be saved according to what this says except for baptism as well. That opportunity to die with Christ. That opportunity to rise out of the grave as Christ rose out of the grave and thus to be found as one washed from their sins.

Is that not what it says there in Acts 16? In Acts 16:22 Ananias actually told Paul this, he said, “Arise and be baptized…” Why Paul? Why Ananias? “To wash away your sins.” The same thing Acts 2:38 says. It is for the remission of sins, to wash the sins away, not in a literal sense, but in a spiritual and figurative sense these things are done.

The Philippian jailor’s also found there in Acts 16 where he also and his family were baptized.

Lydia is found also in the text.

On and on and on we could go! Example after example! Challenge after challenge to understand what it is that God wants of those who are right in His sight.

So the question is today: Will we obey from our hearts that form of doctrine, that form of doctrine given to us through His Word not only to become a Christian, but that form of doctrine that is found in His Word to continue as a faithful Christian. You see that’s what our God wants. That’s what He desires. And that’s what He really approves through us again that we are faithful in His sight.

A final example I would like to think about for a moment is what their God told Saul through Samuel the prophet in the Old Testament. Do you remember there when he gave the sacrifice that was unacceptable? Then he had the idea, “Well as long as I sacrifice, God will be happy.” Do you remember what it is that Samuel said from God to Saul? He said, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” What good is a sacrifice if it’s not through obedience? If the sacrifice is by obedience, great! But if it’s not, it is no good. Obedience is that first key. To know what God wants is that first opportunity unto salvation because without proper knowledge, how can one be saved? Until one hears, how can they develop faith? Romans 19:17, “Faith comes by hearing.”

So let me challenge all of us as Christians to make sure that the Word goes out, the need to hear about God and to fully obey Him in all things, but secondly, let me also challenge you who are not Christians today to hear the Word of God, to believe it, to obey it as He commands because that’s the only way to be saved. That’s the only way to have eternal life.

(SONG # 3 - “There’s A Fountain Free!”)

CLOSING COMMENTS

Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to us all. We invite you to join us every First day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!

But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today’s lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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Have you obeyed your God this day? Have you fully submitted to all of His Will as a faithful child? If not, why not turn to God today, give Him your very best and make your life right – before it’s everlastingly too late!

(Program closing)