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A Life of Obedience


Scripture: Acts 5:14-29

I. Introduction: How do you make decisions? Do you try to determine what will benefit you the most, or perhaps you strive to please or impress others? Maybe you let emotions take control or attempt to make a logical choice. Wise men and women learn to obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him. There is nothing more important in life than following Jesus and trusting Him to care for your needs.

II. What does the Bible say about obeying God?

A. Biblical Example: When the apostles were told to stop preaching in Jesus’ name, they responded, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

B. Sowing and Reaping: Galatians 6:7 says, “Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Every action has an impact, for good or evil. Our decisions, and the choices of others, determine the quality of our lives.

C. Disobedient Biblical Characters: The Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Imagine how different the stories in Scripture would be if mankind knew what disobeying God would cost:

1. Adam and Eve would never have eaten the forbidden fruit.
2. The nation of Israel would have chosen to fight for the Promised Land the first time around instead of wandering 40 years in the desert.
3. After seeing Bathsheba bathing, David would have turned away and walked back inside.
4. Jonah would have willingly traveled to Ninevah to preach the Word of God.

D. Faithful Biblical Characters: The Lord rewarded those who were willing to follow His commands:

1. Noah was asked to build a massive boat—which made him the laughing stock of his commnity. But he was ready when the flood came.
2. Moses, a desert nomad, had to appear before Pharaoh, the leader of a powerful civilization, and demand freedom for the Israelites. Ultimately, the people were allowed to go.
3. Joshua was told to march around Jericho for seven days instead of relying on the military tactics he knew. And God destroyed the enemy.
4. Nehemiah boldly asked the Babylonian king for supplies to rebuild Jerusalem and received all he needed, including guards to help him safely reach the city.
5. In captivity, Daniel and his three friends refused to eat meat because it was not prepared according to Hebrew dietary laws. Yet they were healthier than all the other young men.
6. Peter and the apostles refused to stop preaching about Jesus, even though they were threatened with flogging and imprisonment.

E. The Requirements: As believers, we must:

1. Believe that God is sovereign—He controls all things at all times (Ps. 103:19).
2. Trust that He will work for our good in every situation and circumstance (Rom. 8:28).
3. Love the Lord. The Bible says we show our love for Him by obeying His commands (1 John 5:3)—and not just when they are convenient and desirable.
4. Listen to Him. When you pray, make time to hear what He has to say.
5. Be courageous. Obeying God takes courage because following His will often leads to conflict. You must be willing to do what is right anyway.
6. Fully surrender to Him.

F. The Results of Obedience

1. You will experience personal victory if you follow His will, even if the world does not consider you a success. (See Josh. 1:8.)
2. Obedience leads to supernatural peace and joy in every circumstance.
3. Spiritual growth and maturity results when believers continue to walk with God in the midst of suffering.

G. Application

1. God may ask you to do something that doesn’t make sense from a human perspective.
2. The Father may lead you to give up a hobby or donate a valuable item.
3. He may prompt you to give financially when money is scarce.
4. The Lord might want you to serve in your church or take a leadership role although you feel inadequate.

III. Conclusion: When you need to make an important decision, don’t rely primarily on your own reasoning, the opinions of others, or even what worked in the past. Get on your knees before the Lord and pour out your heart. Spend time prayerfully reading His Word. Listen for His voice, and then follow His specific guidance for your life.

Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. If you will take to heart this one principle, you will have the awesome privilege of watching the Lord accomplish great things in and through you.