Whom Do You Serve?

Whom Do You Serve?

In Preparation...

  • Contemplate the idea of a grey area in life.
  • Write as much or as little as you are led to write in your journal about what it means to be obedient to God.

The time for fence-sitting is over

Some things in life really are black and white. They really are one way or the other with no grey area. A woman is either pregnant or she is not. There is no “little bit pregnant”. The baby is either in there growing or it isn’t. People are either alive or they are dead. Despite the very cool movie line, no one is ‘mostly dead’ (thank you, Miracle Max). Some things in life are simply cut and dry no matter how much we would like to think otherwise.

God is the same way.

We are either with God or we are against God. There is no middle ground. There is no fence upon which to sit. Likewise, God has pronounced that there is right and wrong in the world, good and evil, love, and hate. Some people are good and some are evil. Some people love others and some hate them. That these things exist is a fact that is only open to debate by those trying to make excuses for things they do not want to admit fall into a camp disapproved of by God.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:12-13 (NASB)

That seems harsh but it is not meant to be. It is meant to be a wakeup call. It is meant to get the attention of the reader. It is meant to direct people to the idea that we are not perfect and have flaws in us that God does not like. That is another black and white truth; everyone is flawed and no one gets it right. Romans 3:10 (based on Psalm 14:1-3) comes immediately to mind which says no one does anything good. The point here is that we all break God’s rules in some way, which makes us all guilty for different reasons. To God, the violation is all that is needed. However, there is good news in that our salvation has been provided from this guilt, from all guilt. This is what Paul is trying to communicate with both the Romans and to us.

Obey Strong's 5219-hypakouo

Greek Strong’s Number: 5219

Greek Word: ὑπακούω

Transliteration: hypakouō

Phonetic Pronunciation:

hoop-ak-oo’-o

Root: from <G5259> and <G191>

Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:223,34

Part of Speech: v

Vine’s Words: Obedience, Obedient, Obey

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV:

obey 18

be obedient to 2

hearken 1

[Total Count: 21]

 

from <G5259> (hupo) and <G191> (akouo); to hear under (as a subordinate), i.e. to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority :- hearken, be obedient to, obey.

James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “5219”.

Jesus died on the cross to wash away that guilt. It is His righteousness that cloaks us, and His goodness that steeps into our bones that has nothing to do with anything we have done or will do. This is a fact we get to claim too that is just as black and white as any of the others. It is what our faith and belief in Jesus do for us by design, by God’s design. We demonstrate to ourselves and the World that this is so by our obedience to God’s ways.

10  as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE;
11  THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;
12  ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.”
Romans 3:10-12 (NASB)

Psalm 14:1-3

It is this act of obedience that demonstrates who our master is either God and love or Satan and sin. There is no grey area here. There is no middle ground. There is no foot in both camps. If our heart is truly changed to love Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit, then our lives are changed to move away from the things God says He doesn’t like because we want to please Him. Continuing to do things He disapproves of because we somehow think Jesus’ sacrifice gives us the liberty to continue to do them is just false. But those who claim that liberty will be known by their fruits. Jesus Christ is the final judge. It is up to Him what to do. He will be the one to open the Book of Life, and it is He who will determine what is to be done, and that is not a grey area either.

Digging Deeper

  • Look up Matthew 12:30-33 in the Bible translation of your choice.
  • Now look up Joshua 24:15 and write your reaction to these two passages of scripture in your journal.

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