4th March 2018

The Impact of Obedience 

“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35 (NIV UK) 

Donald Carter was ordering dinner at a fast-food restaurant when he noticed that the young woman taking his order looked exhausted. He asked her if anything was wrong, and she told him she was working double shifts to pay for her nursing course. It was clear, however, from the desperation in her voice that it was a real struggle. So Donald decided to do something about it. He created a GoFundMe page, and within a few days people from around the world had raised the $7,000 that she needed. What stood out to me about this story was the impact a single act of kindness can have in the world. Because of Donald’s generosity, this young woman’s career as a nurse will positively affect the lives of thousands of patients in the years ahead.

As followers of Christ, we’re commanded to obey him, though the results of our obedience is in God’s hands, not ours. And that’s a good thing! Because God often works through our simple acts of obedience to bring abundance and incredible blessing to the world, all according to his good purpose.

The story of the loaves and fishes in the Gospel of Matthew illustrates this truth brilliantly. When Jesus asked his disciples for the food they had, they obeyed, probably with a lot of confusion. Five loaves of bread and two fish doesn’t even sound like enough to feed them! But they obeyed anyway, and the results were abundantly more than they ever could have expected! Matthew tells us: “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children” (Matthew 14:20-21).

This overwhelming abundance is such a clear example of the type of blessing God so often brings about from the simple acts of obedience he asks of us. Sometimes it might be as small as a one-time donation to a worthy cause, or maybe an extra night of volunteering. And sometimes it might be as simple as starting a GoFundMe page for a cashier who dreams of becoming a nurse. But whatever it is, when his Spirit prompts us to obey, we should do so with the faith that our God can bring abundant blessing through it, no matter how big or small the act.

Prayer
Gracious Father, so often we pass through life centred on ourselves. Help us to see the vision towards others which alone makes it possible for us to fulfil your Son’s command to us to love one another. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by Joseph Tkach

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About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

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