Tag Archive | obedience

Y is for Yield

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife [Mary]. (Matthew 1:24)

And she [Mary] brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

Mary and Joseph Yielded to God's will.

Mary and Joseph Yielded to God’s will.

Joseph could’ve ignored the angel’s message and carried out his original plans to divorce Mary privately. But he yielded to God’s will for him.

Likewise, Mary could’ve refused to become the mother of Jesus. She had the option to say, “No, thanks.”

From the beginning, there were options. Adam and Eve could have refused to eat the fruit of the tree. Perhaps they did many times prior to the moment recorded in Genesis. But eventually, Eve yielded to Satan’s ploy to become like God.

Since then, as we have seen through this study, the Bible portrays people who have had choices to make. Some chose well and yielded to God’s plan, while others yielded to their own desires and/or to the enemy.

To the day, we all yield either to God’s will or to Satan’s temptations. One or the other wins. We choose. However, God is faithful and will provide the strength we need to yield to Him rather than temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).

May God grant you the strength to yield to Christ throughout the duration of this Christmas season and the New Year?

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter Y?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

R is for Repent

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” (Matthew 3:1-3)

Jesus--Our Example in All Things

Jesus–Our Example in All Things

Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist fulfilled one of Isaiah’s prophecies (Isaiah 40:3). As the prophet predicted, John lived in the wilderness, dressed in clothes made of camel’s hair, and wore a leather belt. Locust and wild honey became his diet. His message was a call to repentance—turning from sin back to God. He cautioned the people that the kingdom of God had come near. When the time had come, John baptized Jesus and proclaimed Him the Messiah (John 1:29-34). (All four gospels mention John the Baptist. Read about his miraculous birth in Luke 1 and about his ministry in John 1:19-34.)

While John called for repentance, Jesus came to fulfill that call in that without Jesus we cannot maintain a repentant heart. We, like the Israelites continuously turn from God to our own selfish desires. But through Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit to help us continue in the righteousness of the cross.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter R?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Q is for Quick

 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Lion of Judah

Lion of Judah

When God asked “whom shall I send,” Isaiah answered, as we should, “send me” without hesitation. Isaiah’s quick response proved his eagerness to serve God in faith. This willing servant became one of Israel’s greatest, if not the greatest, prophets of all time. Through Isaiah, God warned the nations of hardships, wars, famines, and destruction. But Isaiah’s most noteworthy prophesies are the ones about the Messiah. And Jesus Christ fulfilled them all. (Read some of Isaiah’s prophesies about Jesus in Isaiah 1:10‐20; 6:1‐13, 9:1‐7.)

Isaiah is a good example of how God can use a willing person who is quick to answer His call.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that starts with the letter Q?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

O is for Osbtacle

At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (1 Kings 18:36-39)

31 Colored Holly Leaves 4 webLike all the prophets of the Old testaments, Elijah faced many obstacles as he related God’s message to the king of the day. The kings then, as those governing the people now, didn’t like hearing the truth—they had strayed from God and had worshipped idols. The kings wanted to hear that God was pleased with them and paid people to tell them so. Anyone who brought messages of destruction where often imprisoned or put to death. Thus the obstacles in the paths of God’s true prophets tested their faith as well as threatened their lives.

But Elijah remained faithful to God and boldly faced Ahab with a proposition from God, placing an obstacle in Ahab’s path of worship. Prompted by God, Elijah challenged Ahab to bring his 850 prophets of the false gods Baal and Asherah to Mount Carmel along with all the people. There, the prophets of Baal and Asherah built an altar to their gods. Likewise, Elijah built an altar to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob–t—living and true God. The deal was, in turn, they each would sacrifice a bull, but not light a fire to it. That was the job of their gods. The one who answered and lit the sacrifice would prove to be the true, living God. Ahab’s prophets went first at the invitation of Elijah. They called to the gods. They shouted. They cut themselves with swords and spears, as was their practice, until evening. Yet, Nothing happened.

Then it was Elijah’s turn. He cut up the bull, placed it on his altar, and doused the wood with water. Then he prayed to God. Fire fell from heaven, consumed the sacrifice, and lapped up the water. (Read about all the obstacles Elijah faced in 1 Kings 17 through 2 Kings 10.)

Jesus also faced many obstacles as He carried out His mission to redeem the world. Before He began His ministry, Jesus fasted forty days. Satan tempted Him with every temptation known to man. The people whom Jesus healed and came to save mocked Him, beat Him, and crucified Him. But all His obstacles were part of God’s plan to prove His great love for us and to defeat the enemy through the blood of Jesus.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that starts with the letter O?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

M is for Minister

And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days. And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. (1 Samuel 3:1, 19)

Jesus Came to Serve

Jesus Came to Serve

Samuel’s mother dedicated him to the Lord and presented him to the priest Eli when the child was weaned, probably between the age of two and four. Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli for many years as an apprentice. As he grew, he found favor with God who called him to be the last judge of Israel. The word translated as minister meant servant. Samuel served Eli until the priest died. Then Samuel served God. (Read about Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:1‐21, 7:1‐8:22, 9:15‐10:9.)

Among the many works of Jesus, we find, like Samuel, His most defining attribute was that of ministering or serving. Jesus left no doubt about the importance He placed on serving when He said “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Just as He came to minister to others, we, too, have an obligation to minister to those around us, to meet their needs, to care for them. Ministering is not about preaching or standing out in the crowd. We all have a ministry, a commission, a purpose which involves serving others.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter M?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

L is for Leader

And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the Lord hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. (Judges 7:15)

 Almighty God is He!

Almighty God is He!

After the Hebrews occupied the Promise Land, they found themselves threatened by the surrounding nations because they did not obey God’s instructions to drive the inhabitants from their camps. The Hebrews also fell into idolatry repeatedly.

But God was faithful even when His people were not. He set up judges to guide His people back to Him. One such leader was an unlikely soul named Gideon. Gideon came from a poor family and was the least in his father’s house. And even though Gideon tested the Lord by putting out a fleece, God saw valor in the young man and chose Gideon to lead His army against the Midianites. The Lord sent Gideon and an army of three hundred men to fight the innumerable men of the Midian army. Not only was Gideon’s army small in number, they were armed with only trumpets, empty pitchers, and torches concealed under the pitchers. Oh … and God. During the night, Gideon and his men infiltrated the enemy’s camp. At Gideon’s signal, they blasted the trumpets and broke the pitchers, revealing the torches. God caused great confusion to fall on the Midianites, and they began to kill one another. Because Gideon trusted and obeyed God, he saved his people from the enemy. (You can read Gideon’s story in Judges chapters 6, 7, and 8.)

Like Gideon, Jesus was born of lowly state. However, He obeyed God’s instructions and saved the world from the enemy. Jesus is the Leader of the nations and will reign victorious forever.

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter L?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

K is for Kingdom

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

Join the Lord's Army

Join the Lord’s Army

When it came time for the Hebrews to enter the Promised Land, Moses had died, and God had chosen another man to lead His people into their inheritance. But before they could occupy the territory, they had to defeat the established kingdoms. Joshua believed and trusted God to do as He said He’d do and led the Hebrews into battle after battle, conquering the nations as God directed them.

None of the battles were won by the strength of Joshua’s army but by the strength of God’s hand. One of the most well-known battles is the battle of Jericho. God instructed Joshua to have the men, including with the priests, march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. On the seventh lap, the priests were told to blast their trumpets and the men were told to shout. They followed the instructions, and the walls of the city collapsed.

Battle after battle, God miraculously delivered the kingdoms of Canaan into the hands of the Hebrews as long as the followed His instructions.

We, like the Hebrews, have to follow God’s instructions if we want to enter His kingdom. And as He did for the Hebrews long ago, God will deliver us from the powers, principalities, and kingdoms of the air. Jesus came to assure and secure our victory.

You can read the story of the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6:20

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter K?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks