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OBEYING FROM THE HEART

OBEYING FROM THE HEART

Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director, LHBC

Luke 1:5-7 (NLT)
5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. 6 Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. 7 They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.

It is easy to skim background information before reading major biblical accounts.  It’s just our nature to hurry up and get to the good stuff.  Like all scripture however, there are nuggets of wisdom nestled in there!  

As I began reading the book of Luke this month, the description of Zechariah and Elizabeth jumped out at me.  Zechariah experienced an angel visit while serving in the Temple who promised a baby to the childless couple (John 1:13).  We eventually come to know them as the parents of John the Baptist.  I found myself pondering the words used to describe their obedience to God in the passage leading up to these events.  

In Luke 1:6 in the New Living Translation the word “careful” is used.  The ESV uses the phrase, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” Similarly the NKJV says “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”  The NIV says “observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.”  These phrases all speak to the intentionality and the position of their heart while following the Lord.  

Think of some items we are careful with:  A baby, an antique vase, or an egg for example. We are mindful of how we treat each of these.  We are attentive and cautious when handling them. We keep them safe and are wise with our actions.  When we apply carefulness to God’s commands we begin to see a pattern of discretion and sincere obedience.  Do we handle God’s instruction with the same care when it comes to our attitudes and actions and words? Or are we careless and complacent? 

Through His Word God loves us, leads us, protects us, empowers us, and provides for us.  Are we mindful of these as we live out our day? Are we careful to follow and not break His commands?  

Heart obedience is a continual action when it becomes our way of life.  Zechariah and Elizabeth followed God with a present tense verb.  I want that to be said about me too, don’t you?  It wasn’t something they just did once.  It wasn’t something they put off till a later date.  They weren’t perfect, but they were blameless because they chose to obey and follow God with a sincere heart. We know this because they are called “righteous in God’s eyes.” By grace You and I are made right with God too through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Are there any areas of your life that need to be handled with a little more care?  Let your love for the Lord lead you into obedience this week.  

PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, Thank you for loving us enough to guide us, instruct us, and teach us how to live in your holy presence.  Forgive me for the times I have treated your Word carelessly.  Teach me how to follow your commands and obey you with a sincere heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen.   

MEMORY VERSE FOR THE WEEK:
Colossians 3:15
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.