Thursday, March 12, 2009

DAILY WORD

This morning we are given a glimpse into the intimate relationship between the Father and the Son. This relationship is characterized by sacrificial love (agape) as well as steadfast obedience. Jesus repeatedly testifies to the fact that his actions are guided by what he sees his Father doing; the Son can do nothing of his own accord. The theme of Christ’s obedience to the Father is found throughout the New Testament. As the apostle Paul declares, Jesus was “obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). However, the steadfast obedience of Jesus was not a response to an angry and overly demanding God, but to the eternal love and compassion of his Father. In other words, true love begets true obedience.

In our own lives, we are called to respond in obedience to the unconditional and everlasting love of God, our Father. Jesus himself references the relationship between love and obedience. He says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). In other words, if we love Jesus, we walk in obedience to his commandments. Augustine of Hippo, the most influential theologian in Christian history, made the simple statement, “Love God and do as you please.” At face value, this statement seems careless and na├»ve. But Augustine understood the relationship between love and obedience. He knew that if we truly love God with all our heart, mind, and strength our natural response will be that of obedience.

Our Lenten journey includes the call to obedience, the call to be faithful to the commandments of God as revealed in his Word, both written and living. If we desire to grow in obedience and faithfulness, we must first begin to pray for an increased desire and love for God, because love begets obedience.
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