CHAPTER 8

Obeying Christ’s Commands

If Jesus Christ is really my Lord (as was discussed in the previous chapter), then what should I do (Luke 6:46)? _________________________________________________ We have a wonderful Lord who wants us to obey Him!

What does it mean to obey? A person obeys when he does what he is told to do. An obedient person does exactly what he is asked to do. He is one who carefully follows someone’s instructions. Did Samuel obey Eli (1 Samuel 3:9-10)?  ________ Did Jonah obey the Lord (Jonah 1:1-3)? _______

What is a command? A command is an order given to a person telling them to do something or not to do something. Have you ever heard your parents give you orders or commands such as these:

_________ "Straighten up your room."
_________ "Take out the trash."
_________ "Make your bed."
_________ "Don’t spend more than $5.00 in town."
_________ "Don't wake up the baby."
_________ "Do your homework."
_________ "Don’t eat before supper."

Put a check () before the commands above which are DO’s and put an "X" before the commands above which are DON’T’s.

Look at the following verses from Ephesians chapter 4, and put a "NO" if there is not a command found in the verse and put a "YES" if there is a command:

Verse 4  ________
Verse 11 ________
Verse 29 ________
Verse 32 ________

Do the same for Ephesians chapter 5:

Verse 1  ______
Verse 9  ______
Verse 18 ______
Verse 22 ______
Verse 23 ______
Verse 30 ______

In 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, which verses have a command in them? __________________________________________________________________

Find the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 or in Deuteronomy 5. Which of these commands are DO’s and which of them are DON'Ts?

How Should I Obey?

1)  First,  Listen Carefully to the Instructions.

Before I can obey a command, I must listen carefully to make sure I understand what I am told to do. Suppose your teacher tells you to go to the supply room and bring back 30 pencils, 20 erasers and 15 pads of paper. You go to the supply room as you were told, but then you think to yourself, "Now what was I supposed to get?" You try to remember what the teacher said, and then you return to the class with 20 pencils, 15 erasers and 30 pads of paper. Did you obey your teacher? _____ Did you want to obey your teacher? _________ What was the problem? 

King Saul was given an important command in 1 Samuel 15:3. But before he was given this command, what was he told to do (1 Samuel 15:1)? _____________________________________________________ Before we can do what God says, we must HEAR what God says. The Bible says that every man must be swift or quick to H______ (James 1:19). We must not only hear, but we must D_____ what God says (James 1:22).   "Blessed (happy) are they that __________ the Word of God and ________ it" (Luke 11:28 and see also Luke 8:21). Hear what God says; listen closely to His instructions and follow carefully His directions.

Many centuries ago there lived a great preacher named John Chrysostom. It was the custom of that day for people to break into a great applause after hearing a good speaker. Chrysostom’s messages were often interrupted in this manner, and he would often rebuke the people for such improper behavior in the house of God. One day Chrysostom preached a powerful message in which he shared with the people how wrong it was to applaud when God’s Word is preached. At the close of the sermon the audience showed how much they enjoyed the message by breaking into an enthusiastic applause! Did these people really hear what their pastor said? _____ Did they obey their pastor? ______

2) Make Sure the Command is For You.

Suppose one day at school the teacher says, "John, take these forms to the office for me." Who is the only person in the class who should obey this command? ___________ We must not obey commands that are not given to us. For example, in Genesis 22:2 God told Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Does this mean that every father should do this to his son? ______Paul told Timothy to take a little wine because of his stomach problems (1 Timothy 5:23). Does this mean that believers today should drink wine when they have a stomach ache? ______

In Colossians chapter 3, can you find a verse where there is a command given especially for children? ______________ for husbands? ____________ for wives?____________ for fathers? ____________ for servants (slaves)? ____________ for every believer? ______________

There are some commands that are given to all believers. There are some commands that God gives to all men. Read the following verses and put AB before the verses that contain a command for all believers and put AM before the verses that contain a command for all men:

_______Acts 16:31 ______ 1 Thessalonians 5:16 ______ Philippians 4:6
_______ Acts 17:30 _______ 1 John 3:23
(the first command)
_______ 1 John 3:23
(the second command)

3) Obey In All Things.

Suppose your Mother tells you to make your bed, pick up your clothes and wash the dishes. After hearing these commands you quickly make your bed and pick up your clothes, but you do not wash the dishes. Did you really obey your Mother? _____ Did you do some of the things she told you to do? _____ Did you obey Colossians 3:20? ______ What three words in Colossians 3:20 tell us that we should obey everything that we are commanded to do? _____________________ Does God want partial obedience or total obedience? ___________________________________

Read the command that God gave to King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:3. Now read verses 7-9. Did Saul do what God told him to do? ______ Did Saul do some of what God had told him to do? ______ Did Saul think that he obeyed the Lord (verses 13 and 20)? _______ Did he really obey God (see verses 19, 22-23)? ______

                      Check () only that which is correct in the following equations:

_______ Partial obedience = obedience

_______ Partial obedience = disobedience

When Should I Obey?

1) I Should Obey Right Away!

Don’t delay, but be quick to obey! Abraham was given a very difficult command to obey. He was told to kill his son Isaac whom he loved. As you read Genesis 22:3, can you find anything in this verse that indicates that Abraham started to obey God’s command right away? __________________________________

Suppose your Mom says to you, "Please take out the trash for me." Two hours later she returns from shopping and she discovers that the trash has not yet been taken out. When your Mom asks you about it you reply, "But Mom, I just didn’t get to it yet." Did you obey? _____ Usually the best time to act upon a command is RIGHT NOW!

2) I Should Obey God Whether I Feel Like It Or Not!

When our parents tell us to do certain things, we do not always feel like obeying. We can think of other things we would rather do then wash dishes, straighten up our room, wash the car, etc. But we learn to obey anyway, whether we feel like it or not, "for this is R___________" (Ephesians 6:1).

The same is true with God’s commands. We do not always feel like doing right. We do not always feel like doing what God says. There are times when we may feel like doing wrong or doing what is not right. Do you always feel like going to school? _____ Do you think that Abraham felt like sacrificing his son? ______

In Luke 17:7-9 we read about a servant who worked hard all day in the field. Do you think he was hungry? ______ This servant was then told to prepare supper for his master and then to serve his master. He was not to eat anything until after his master was finished eating. As the servant smells the aroma of the food that he is preparing, what do you think he feels like doing?__________________ Thus, he must make a choice: Should he follow his feelings and enjoy this food now or should he do what he has been commanded to do? What choice did he make (Luke 17:9)? ___________________________________________ Later, after his master had finished eating, the servant could enjoy his food with the inner satisfaction and delight of knowing that he had done right and that he had obeyed his master!

"Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way,
to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey."
 

Whom Should I Obey?

The Bible tells us whom we should obey: "WE OUGHT TO OBEY ________" (Acts 5:29). God is the Highest and the Greatest Person that there is. He is the LORD OF LORDS and the KING OF KINGS. We must always obey Him!

There are other people who are in positions of authority over us that we should also obey. In the last chapter we took a look at some of the people who are over us that we should submit to and obey. In the following relationships, put the letter "A" before the person who is in authority and put the letter "O" before the person who should obey.

_____ child

< >

_______ parent
_____ teacher < > _______ student
_____ President < > _______ citizen
_____ wife < > _______ husband
_____ coach < > _______ player
_____ believer < > _______elder or Pastor

Suppose your father were an unbeliever. One day the phone rings and he says, "I’m busy right now. Please answer the phone for me and tell the person that I’m not home."  If you were to do this, would you be telling the truth? _____ Should you obey your father and lie or should you disobey your father and say only what is true (Acts 5:29)? ________________________________ (Perhaps you could say something like this: "Dad, I really want to obey you, but I can’t say something that is not true. Would it be all right to ask the person if they have a message or if you could call them back later?")

We should always obey those in authority over us unless they tell us to do something that would make us disobey God. Consider Daniel chapter 6. God told Daniel to pray. The king told Daniel not to pray. What did Daniel do? ___________________

What Should I Obey?

What is the first command that a person must obey (see Acts 16:31; 1 John 3:23a)?

  1. He must love his neighbor.
  2. He must go to church every Sunday.
  3. He must love God with all his heart.
  4. He must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
  5. He must be loving and kind to others.

Have you obeyed this first command? ________

When a person obeys this first command, he is saved! What is one of the first commands that God gives to a saved person (see Acts 10:48 and compare Acts 2:38)? ______________________________ Have you obeyed this important command? _______ If not, why not?

There are many other commands that God gives to believers. Here are just a few of them (please MATCH):

1.______  Read the Bible. A. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
2.______  Pray. B. Mark 16:15
3.______  Preach the gospel (good news). C. Philippians 2:14
4.______  Don’t forsake going to church. D. 1 Peter 2:2
5.______  Don’t murmur and complain. E. Colossians 3:15
6. ______  Be thankful F. Hebrews 10:25

All of God’s commands are found in His Word, the Bible. Read them and heed them!

Why Should I Obey?

1) I Should Obey For My Own Good.

According to Deuteronomy 6:24 (see also Deuteronomy 10:13 and Jeremiah 32:39), why has God commanded us to do certain things:

  1. So that we will be miserable
  2. So that we will be unhappy
  3. So that we will be burdened with a load too heavy to bear
  4. So that we will benefit and be blessed (for our good always!)

God is not trying to hurt us; He wants to help us. Those who are the most miserable are those who do not obey the Lord’s commands!

2) I Should Obey To Show My Love For Christ.

Jesus said, "If ye love me..." (see John 14:15):

  1. Put a bumper sticker on your car which says, "I love Jesus."
  2. Sing the song, "My Jesus I Love Thee" or "Oh How I Love Jesus."
  3. Keep My commandments (OBEY ME).

What will the person do who loves Christ (John 14:21,23)? _________________________________________ What will the person do who does not love Christ (John 14:24)? _____________________________________

Suppose a Mother told her daughter to go into the other room and fold the clothes. Ten minutes later the girl returns and says, "Mommy, I love you!" Mommy says, "Did you fold the clothes as I told you to?" The girl answers, "No."

Read 1 John 3:18. Did this girl (the one mentioned in the last paragraph) love her Mother in word and in tongue? _____ Did she love her Mother in deed and in truth?_____ Did she really show her love for her mother?  ______ Don’t just say it, show it!

3) I Should Obey To Show That I Am Really Saved.

If I’m really saved, then I ought to obey! "We know that we know Him if we __________ (OBEY) His _______________________" (1 John 2:3). Read 1 John 2:4. This person says, "I know Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour!"   He says this with his lips. Is there something wrong with his life? Is this person obedient or disobedient (1 John 2:4)? _____________________ Was this person really telling the truth when he said, "I know Him"? ________

None of us obey the Lord as well as we should. However, if we are really saved, we will want to keep His commandments and do those things that are __________________ in His sight (1 John 3:22).

Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.
Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily.
Action is the key, do it immediately. Joy you will receive.
Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.

We want to live pure, we want to live clean, we want to do our best.
Sweetly submitting to authority, leaving to God the rest.
Walking in the light, keeping our attitude right, on the narrow way.
For if we believe the Word we receive, we always will obey.    
Mike and Ruth Greene

Remember the example of the Lord Jesus. Did He obey God (Hebrews 5:8; John 15:10; John 8:29)? ______ Our God delights when His children obey Him (see 1 Samuel 15:22)! "Lord, help me to delight and to be happy in obeying You and in obeying Your Word!"

May God help each of us to be OBEDIENT CHILDREN (see 1 Peter 1:14)!


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