Gaining Vision: Whom shall we obey? May 3, 2015

Micah 6:6-8 Matthew 28:18-20

I don’t want you to obey me. It would be much better for everyone concerned if together we discovered whom we shall obey. There are many reasons not to obey me. First, I am human, and I am going to make mistakes along the way. Second, I am a man, and men don’t always get things right!

But I do know whom we shall obey. I may get some things wrong, but this I know for sure. Ever since I first went to the East Ohio Conference’s Youth Annual Conference at Cedar Point Amusement Park and heard about what the Lord requires, I have been trying to obey the Lord. With all of the roller coasters and the excitement of being at an amusement park, it is this passage that has stuck with me these past 25 years.

A. What does the Lord require of me? (Micah 6:6-8)
+++1. God had brought Israel out of the land of Egypt (6:4)
+++2. God had guided them through their enemies to get to the promised land (6:5)
+++3. Now, Israel is asked an important question: “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?”
+++4. Is giving God great sacrifices, including our children, going to please God?
+++5. God requires good from us:
++++++a. Do justice (mispat) – work for fairness & equality for all (not just bemoan the injustice that we see in our world)
++++++b. Love kindness (hesed) – love, loyalty, faithfulness (let our lives demonstrate that we love the Lord)
++++++c. Walk humbly with God (sn’) – carefully, circumspectly with God (humble ourselves so that our exuberance for God does not keep people from God)
+++6. Since God has delivered us from a life of slavery to sin, then we work so other people can be delivered from slavery to sin. Since we have been loved by God, then love so that other people can know God. Since God has done so much for us, we respect God with every part of our lives. In the 25 years since I first heard Micah 6:6-8, I am still learning to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. I am finding out that it is great way to live! I also fail in living these requirements. Maybe that is why God sent Jesus. For when we follow Jesus, we not only have an example to follow, but we also have one who helps us.

B. What did Jesus tell the disciples to do? (Matthew 28:16-20)
+++1. Jesus meets his disciples after his resurrection
+++2. They worshipped Jesus
+++3. But some (all) of them doubted (waivered)
++++++a. Not everyone here today has everything in life all together
++++++b. I worship God, but I falter, I waiver, I doubt, by not following the requirements in Micah 6:6-8
+++4. Jesus told the disciples that he has permission to lead them
+++5. Jesus gives instructions for the disciples to make more disciples
++++++a. Go (just as Jesus was sent to us, Jesus sends us to other people)
++++++b. Baptizing – give them the opportunity to accept God & to say they believe God
++++++c. Teach them to obey (have you ever read the commands of Jesus?)
+++6. We are not alone in this endeavor, Jesus is with us!
+++7. Shall we obey Jesus? Do we really have to make disciples, or can someone else make disciples? What if we placed the name of this church as the recipient of Jesus’ words? Would that be a funny way to read the passage? Or would it help us understand the passage better? It is good to know that Jesus will be with us, even as we waiver, as we doubt, as we falter in making disciples.

God is clear in letting us know how we can live in this world. Since God has done much for us by freeing us from slavery to sin, then we are obliged to hear and obey God. God had someone speak to us about what God can do for us. That is justice being lived out. God loved us when we were unlovable. That is loving kindness. God humbled himself by sending His Son to walk with us.

What will be our response to God’s actions in our lives? As Jesus is with us, we can make disciples. We will have doubts along the way. But we can make disciples.

Maybe we are thinking that we have not lived as disciples of Jesus. Maybe we don’t remember the commands of Jesus. As we are seeking to gain a vision from God for this church, maybe it is time for us to humbly ask God to help us to live as disciples of Jesus. For when we disciples obey Jesus, then more people will become disciples of Jesus.

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