Garland Of Grace – 11.20.16

how-to-mow-your-lawn-1

The Obedience Factor within Love; Lessons from a Lawnmower

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. – John 14:15

What evidence in your life shows that you really love God? The bible says that you show your love for God by doing what He says.   I would like to illustrate this biblical truth about our relationship with the heavenly Father by correlating it to the relationship between a child and his earthly father. One of my seminary professors, Dr. Timothy Beougher, very eloquently presented the following illustration. For the purposes of this devotional thought, I will use my own father.

One of my jobs growing up was mowing the yard.  My Father preferred the yard to be cut usually around a Friday, so it would look good for the weekend.  It was understood that I was to take care of mowing the yard, weather permitting.  He usually would remind me that it needed to be done by that Friday afternoon. But let’s imagine for a moment that one Friday my father pulled in the driveway after coming home from work, and I had still yet to mow the yard. Imagine him walking into the house and asking me why I had yet to mow the yard.  And instead of answering his question about the yard, imagine that I responded by saying, “Dad, I am so glad to see you!  I have been thinking about you all day! Dad, I just want to let you know how much I love you and care for you.  In fact Dad, you are the best Dad anyone could ever have!  If all the Dad’s in the world were lined up, I would have picked you to be my dad out of all of them!”  Now how do you think my Father is going to respond?  He would still want to know why I haven’t mowed the yard, because mowing the yard was something he told me to do.  Now imagine my father responding back to me with a little more sternness in is voice, telling me firmly, “Mow the Yard!”  And imagine if I responded back to him by saying, “Dad, just hearing you say those words give me a burning in my bosom!  ‘Mow the yard’ is such a beautiful phrase. It sure has a powerful message!  I just love hearing those words.”  Now imagine my father again repeating himself by saying, “Mow the Yard! I have told you to mow the yard, now go and do it!”  And imagine if I responded back by saying, “Dad, I believe that is one of my favorite things I have ever heard you say!  You know, I think it would be really neat to take what your statement, ‘mow the yard’ and have it decoratively embroidered on a pillow or have it ornately hung on the wall in the living room.  Then every time I walk by I will think about what you said to me.

Now that is a ridiculous story is it not?  But yet, that is what a lot of Christians do is response to their heavenly Father. They talk about how much they love God. They express how much they appreciate His word, but they still do not obey Him. They talk about what their Father had said to them in His word, but they never act on what He said. As Christians, we are so apt to hang up God’s words to us in the hallways and living rooms of our homes.  Maybe it is a painting with a bible verse reference under the picture.  Maybe it is a refrigerator magnet. Whatever it may be, we express appreciation for our heavenly Father’s words with those things in our homes, but yet if we do not obey those words, then it is nothing but a farce.  The Christian ought to make it a priority in their life to do what God has told them. I am not insinuating that you get to heaven by what you do.  We get to heaven by what Jesus did.  But at the same time, if you love God, you will keep His commandments!  The problem in my fictitious story above was the fact that I was hearing the word but not doing the word (James 1:22). You can hear God’s word all day, but it is not until His word is obeyed that you have shown love to God.  Take time out today and ponder upon your obedience to the Master.

– Pastor Eric

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