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Obedience

Today’s Reflection

WHY is obedience so difficult and often painful? I’m sure there are many answers to this question, but I confess that there is, for me, something of a mystery here. Christ himself is said to have “learned obedience through what he suffered,” even though he was the Son of God (Heb. 5:8). Before his death, Christ agonized and even asked that he be allowed not to die. Yet he submitted to the cross as an act of obedience to the will of God. His famous prayer in the garden, “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42, KJV) perfectly articulates the relationship of obedience to sacrifice.

When we are confronted with a decision, we have the choice to do what’s right or not to do it. We can obey, or we can refuse to obey. To obey is to embrace sacrifice.

– Daniel Vestal
Being the Presence of Christ

From page 93 of Being the Presence of Christ: A Vision for Transformation by Daniel Vestal. Copyright © 2008 by Daniel Vestal. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

When have you experienced obedience as sacrifice? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

Psalm 22:9, NRSV

This Week: pray for those without enough to eat. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.

This week we remember: John Woolman (October 7).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill October 10, 2018, 2:51 am

    Well – this response likely deserves deeper consideration, but here is my current “go with it” response. Obedience to God requires self sacrifice a lot of the time. Our human nature is not wired to put self second, third and certainly not last. Yet, that is what the Gospel asks of us. Put my desires aside and serve the other. Be aware of the pull of my sinful nature and continually turn towards The Source. Lower myself to a servant. Obedience is a choice. If not intentional about choosing the lower (higher?) road – I will probably just continue to operate on auto-pilot…serving myself, my needs, my environment. Pretty sobering. Have I improved in this area – yes, but only by the grace of God, the indwelling of His Spirit – nudging me. Father – keep me attuned to these nudgings, aware of Your Presence and Your call to obedience.
    Betsy – praying for continued preparations for your weekend with the ladies. May your team work as a cohesive unit, to His glory.
    Grateful for the colors of Fall, warm temperatures to do Fall yard work. Grateful for one gerbera daisy still in bloom under my mailbox. And the zinnia beside it still going strong.

  • Betsy October 10, 2018, 7:04 am

    Obedience….that is tough. We all strive to be obedient to God, but sometime our baggage gets in the way. I like your statement, Jill. “Obedience is a choice.” In preparing for this spiritual weekend, I pray for obedience, instead of thinking I know best!
    Praying for the residents and responders in the path of the newest Hurricane in the gulf. Many are on Fall Break and vacationing in the area. Protec those in harm’s way. Amen

  • Julie October 10, 2018, 8:04 am

    Yes, obedience is a choice. As the reflection reminds us we are ALL mrtals while on earth, even Jesus, and as such must constantly and consiously make the choice to obey through sacrifice. God, I ask your forgiveness of my failures to obey when required to sacrifice. I recognize that I must strengthen this dimension of my spiritual life.
    Prayers for Betsy and her sisters in ministery. May the follow Your leading.
    Prayers for Jill and her loving family.
    Prayers for Mary and the new path God ed her to pursue.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich and the path they feel God is leading them to follow.
    Prayers for Connie and her sorrow filled October.
    Prayers for Marcy. I lift heartfelt prayers for Marcy’s wellbeing.
    Thank you for the prayers you pray on my behalf. I continue to apply for jobs online daily.
    Prayers for all the UR famiy members

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 11, 2018, 3:45 am

      Thanks so much Julie!

      May God bless and prepare you for your job, Julie!

  • robert moeller October 10, 2018, 9:52 am

    There have been many times when I stuck my neck and pocket book out to help others when it was credit not cash that paid the bill. I totally agree that obedience and love mean sacrifice. We are asked to loan money without interest and without expecting a return.

    Spent the last few hours in a dream where I was a social studies student or teacher either taking or making an exam about Kavanaugh and the Supreme Court. Over and over the questions came, I ended up sleeping until almost 10 am. That’s ultra-rare for me. It was a struggle.

    Have read the posts of the last two days and will respond later today. Have some time sensitive things to do next. Erich has his interview today. You are in my prayers by name, situation, need, joy, and concern.

    God is with ius all the time. Thank You, Lord.

    • Andrea October 10, 2018, 2:43 pm

      I lift up Erich in his interview today – perhaps it has already happened, but I prayed for his job search last night, and for you as you support him and make changes with him. Prayers too for Anneliese, that her pain and discomfort be lessened.

  • Andrea October 10, 2018, 2:50 pm

    Obedience is indeed difficult, first to discern the path to follow, then to follow it. I find that prayer, accompanied by self-searching, is necessary. I am confident that as we take the right path, God accompanies us and gives us strength. I think, sometimes, there is more than one path one might take, and God lets us choose and then walks with us and supports us. For some, self-sacrifice is unhealthy – I am thinking of people who have grown up with abuse or are currently living in abusive situations, and people who are enablers. It is good to have a spiritual director, mentor, or counselor to look to for help.

    I pray for those who have food insecurity. May resources become available to them, may resources be ample to meet the need, and may I remember to contribute in some way.

    Prayers for UR friends and your prayer concerns. Blessings.

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