January 17 Mark of true faith

But Samuel replied:‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
1Samauel 15:22

The Jews thought so much about the sign that they forgot what it meant! Abraham knew that he belonged to God before he was circumcised, because he believed what God had said. Eventually he was circumcised because God commanded it and, because he believed what God said, he obeyed

Obedience is a simple concept; so why do we find it so difficult? The answer must be that we do not believe that God’s instruction is the most perfect way for us to live in His love and fulfil our purpose on earth. It is easier to wear crosses, carry Bibles, give money and go to multiple church services… than it is for us to obey.

Our fleshly nature hates the idea of freely and gladly placing ourselves under the obligation to obey, as a servant or good employee does. But if we refuse to do what God says, how can we say that we belong to Him or His family? That is why the church grows in times of persecution – when nothing is gained by pretending – if you are not real then you will fall away. So, if we really do believe in Jesus we need to practise obeying what He says (John 14:23-24). That is the true mark of faith.

Prayer:
Holy Father. Thank You for this reminder that You do not want outward sacrifices but the inner sacrifice of a submissive spirit, a quiet heart that is eager to do whatever You say. Forgive me if I have been proud about my achievements for You rather than being willing to accept what Jesus has done for me. Help me to be submissive to Your voice and willing to obey Your commands, so that it will be evident that I am a true son of Abraham and a child of God. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Bible Readings
James 2:18-24,John 14:23-24,Romans 4:11-12

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