What did your mother tell you to do? May 10, 2015

Acts 10:44-48 Psalm 98 John 15:9-17 1 John 5:1-6

My Dad probably asked me and my siblings that question numerous times. My Dad left out about every Sunday and didn’t come back from work till late Thursday or even on Friday. Dad worked on a railroad, making sure the trains got to their destinations by making sure the track was in good shape. He would travel from Ft. Wayne, Indiana to Oil City, PA. So, while Dad was hard at work through the week, Mom was hard at work with us kids. We had chores to do. We had 4-H projects to complete. But we also had enough time to get into trouble.

There were times that Mom would get a bit frustrated with us. When those times arrived, me and my siblings would hear something like this: “Just wait till your Dad gets home!” This usually happened when we refused to do our chores or weren’t getting along. Mom could have also said, “Just wait till your Dad gets home,” when we had caused a ruckus at home. Then Dad would come home.

As dad’s can be, my Dad let us know that he had talked with mom about the week. Oh, he loved us. But we kids were expected to do what Mom told us to do. There were times that we did not do what Mom told us to do. When Dad came home, he would ask, as only he could say it, “What did your mother tell you to do?”

The obvious way to answer was to say what Mom told us to do. Then there would be the follow up question: “Then why didn’t you do what your Mom told you to do?” I think that was worse than getting my hide tanned. There was no really good answer to why we didn’t do what Mom told us to do!

How do you think it would work if we did what God told us to do, the first time God told us to do something? Isn’t that the question we find from reading this part of 1 John? God has told us what is good for us to do. Yet, we keep on doing the opposite of what He tells us! What did God tell us to do?

A. We are told to love God and to obey his commandments
+++1. We become God’s children when we believe that Jesus is the Christ
+++2. Part of believing who Jesus is, is for us to love God
++++++– “The capacity for God, the love and worship of the Holy One, is what sets humans apart.” {Kenneth J. Collins, A Faithful Witness: John Wesley’s Homiletical Theology, (Wesley Heritage Press, Wilmore, Kentucky; 1993), p. 23}
+++3. Part of loving God is loving God’s child
+++4. Part of loving God’s child is loving the children of God
+++5. How do we know we are to love the children of God?
++++++a. 3:23 – “And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”
++++++b. 4:21 – “The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
++++++c. Do we live by the grace of God, or do we live by the law of God? John Wesley said: “the law continually makes way for and points us to the gospel; the gospel continually leads us to a more exact fulfilling of the law.” {Collins, p. 47}
++++++d. I told the Confirmation Class this past week: Going to weekly worship is just as important, if not more important, than going to any sports practice through the week. For sports practices gets you ready for a game, and if you miss a practice, then you can still play in the upcoming game. Worship at church is practice for life between Sundays’. For when we love the Christian brothers and sisters, then we can learn to love our neighbors. Sure we do miss worship now and again. But we might not be as prepared to love our neighbors.
+++6. It sounds like we can love God and obey his commandments! For when we love God, it naturally follows that we love our Christian brothers and sisters. But if we don’t love our Christian brothers and sisters, then it is not possible to love Jesus, God’s child. If we don’t love Jesus, then we cannot love God. If we don’t love Jesus, then it is not possible to believe in Jesus. If we do not believe in Jesus, then we do not have God. Once God is not in our life, then we do not have life. So, it sounds like believing in Jesus is important!

B. What comes of our belief that Jesus is the Son of God?
+++1. We conquer the world!
+++2. How do we conquer the world?
+++3. By our faith in Jesus, we are born of God!
++++++– “One does not enter into a family by one’s own initiative or by mutual agreement or by contract but by being born into it and by growing in it. Son one is born into the church by repentance, faith, baptism, and Eucharist (Holy Communion).” {Thomas C. Oden, Life in the Spirit, (HarperSanFrancisco; 1992), p. 288}
+++4. Why do we conquer the world? So don’t have to listen to the world tell us that when another Christian upsets us, we can just go to another church. Our faith tells us to stay in the church were Christians upset us! For then we learn to and actually do love our Christian brothers and sisters!
+++5. God has a commandment that is not burdensome. By obeying God’s commandment of believing that Jesus is the Son of God, we have victory over the world! When we have victory over the world, we get to see what God has in store for the children of God.

What did your mother tell you to do? Whatever it was, it was most likely for your good! Brenda Harmon posted on Facebook on Wednesday, May 6th: “Last night Mom was fussing at me for pulling and wrestling with those big rocks, telling me I was going to hurt my back. This morning I have to say she was right. Hurts to move.” It sounds like it is good to do what your mother told you to do.

It is even better when we do what God has told us to do! For when we love God, we obey his commandments. There is victory for us when have faith in God and love the children of God.

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