I will obey God because I love God.
1 John 2:5-6 NIV
But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.
God, thank you for first loving us before we could ever respond in love to you. Thank you for giving us your Word. Thank you for giving us Jesus to save us from our sin and make a way to be in a right relationship with you.
Thank you, God, for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the way you guide us and fill us with your presence.
We want to show you our love in return, and we know that comes in the form of obeying your Word.
Please give us both the desire and necessary conviction to obey you and live according to the Scriptures.
In the Strong Name of Jesus, Amen.
When our kiddos were barely old enough to walk and talk, we introduced to them a little morning cheer. Holding up both our hands to give them high-fives, we shouted, “Joyfully OBEY, hey!” I know it sounds corny, but it worked, especially for our less than compliant children. But there was a purpose behind our little chant.
We wanted to remind our children that obedience was an important goal they could obtain while putting a positive spin on the expectation before a disciplinary moment was required. We also wanted to emphasize that obedience should show up with its partner . . . JOY.
We didn’t want to have kiddos who simply “knew” how to behave.
We wanted our little human beings to grow up into big human beings with the capability of getting their heart in the right place too because one day they would have to answer to God for both their motives and their actions.
While this little habit of chanting “Joyfully Obey Hey” may seem like it was just a parenting tactic, it was also a daily reminder to us as parents to stay in the game — to invest the time necessary to train them up as an expression of both our love for them and for God as we steward these little souls.
As I look back on this critical season of life in which we were shaping their character, I can’t help but think how the Lord was shaping mine. The same end goal I had for them . . .
to obey joyfully
to be mindful about the state of their heart
to be hopeful in their potential
to do it from an overflow of love
. . . is actually the same end goal God has for us.
God gave us His word to obey. He gave us Jesus as an example to follow. He gave us His love before we ever even knew we needed it.
So what will it take for us to become like little children before God and respond from the purest place of love with a desire to obey His Word joyfully?
What is standing in the way of you choosing to obey God from the overflow of your love for Him?
To continue this journey of living brave and inviting the next generation to join you in the journey, get a copy of Brave Together: A Conversation Starter for Cultivating Biblical Mentoring Relationships.
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