Abiding in Christ

I remember growing up my parents always had a set of rules and expectations for my younger sister and I that included: curfews, dating, friends, weekend plans, grades, household chores, etc.  I think I speak for the both of us when I say that we were frustrated with some of these rules at times. One because we didn’t understand them and two because our friend’s rules and expectations were different than ours.

Once I moved out for college, my mom explained to me that the reason why they were so strict on us growing up was because they love us and wanted to protect us. They just wanted what was best for us!

Now, my sister (Jessica) and I were pretty good about following the rules. No, we were not perfect and yes, of course we messed up, a lot actually. There were times when we texted past curfew and got our phones taken up that night (the struggle), we didn’t make the grade we had hoped for/told our parents we would get, we forgot to load the dishwasher, etc.

We fell short, we forgot, we didn’t always do it the right way, but it didn’t mean we loved them any less or vise versa.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask The Father, and He will give you another Helper (the Holy Spirit), to be with you forever even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him or knows Him. You know Him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” -John 14:15-17

When we are obedient to God, we show Him love. 

“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” -2 John 1:6

When we are obedient to God, we show Him we want to be more like Him. It shows that we respect and desire our Heavenly Father. The same thing goes for your parents, (or loved ones) when you obey them, you are showing them love and respect, which draws you closer to them!

Obeying isn’t always easy. It’s not always fun. Sometimes it’s not even your way. And it’s challenging. But when we obey Christ, we become more like Him and we walk in love. God blesses our obedience.

Maybe you’re thinking, okay yeah this is all sounds great, but what if I disobey God? Will He disown me? Will He still love me?

Of course not! God’s love is unfailing for you! He doesn’t stop loving us or put His love “on hold” whenever we mess up. Check out what Ephesians 2:4-5 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved…”

We are saved because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Because of his sacrifice, we are obedient, showing him how much we love him.

Once you have accepted Christ into your life, the Holy Spirit lives inside of you. This is the good news! That means that the Holy Spirit will help us keep all that God has commanded us to do as believers. He will speak to us and teach us through scripture, fellowship and community with other believers, learning and hearing from pastors, experiences, and he will convict our hearts when we begin to stray away from God.

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.” -1 Peter 1:14

This is why being in the Word on a daily basis is so crucial for us! Our flesh will fail us daily, but our faith in God will make us stronger. The Word gives us truth, joy, passion, love, hope, peace, support, encouragement, knowledge, and wisdom! It teaches us how to obey God, how to follow Him, what it looks like to follow Him, and it changes our hearts to be more like Him!

Today, I challenge you to spend ten minutes a day with God. That’s it. Ten minutes praying, praising, thanking, confessing, and reading about God. Then write down the answers to the following questions on a sticky note and put it somewhere where you will see it everyday! (Mirror, alarm on your phone, wall, etc.)

  • What can you do show Him obedience each day?
  • What does that look like?
  • Who can help you stay obedient to God’s truth?
    • Side note: having an accountability partner is so helpful and will make sure you stay on top of things. But remember, you’re only as accountable as you want to be. Be truthful and real to your accountability partner so they can help you grow! Awesome people to hold you accountable: a close friend who has a relationship with God, church leader or staff member [same gender as you], Christian mentor, someone in your family who is a believer, etc.

Let this be your prayer today:
Dear God, please forgive me for being disobedient, for straying away from Your will and for falling into the temptations of this world. Thank you so much for loving me unconditionally each day, even when I fail or sin against You. Thank you for blessing me with Your constant forgiveness and grace that covers my sin each day. My heart desires to be more like You. I ask that you will give me Your wisdom, a heart that craves to know You and to share Your goodness and love with others, discipline to know You more, and obedience to follow You deeper. Amen.

Also this prayer has just been prayed over you today! 🙂

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