John 2:5

Blessing follows obedience, not the other way around.

I wish I had a dollar for every time, in thirty years of teaching, I’ve heard a student say something like this: “I’m applying for the nursing program, so I really need to get an A in this course.”

I’m all in favor of students earning As. What strikes me, though, is how people act as if their desire to enter some demanding area of study should dictate the grade I assign. They don’t seem to get it: You earn entry into that program–nursing, med school, whatever–because you did the hard work and had the ability necessary to gain those lofty grades.

Anybody can see the sense in that, but how often do we foolishly think that we should obey God only after He comes through with the blessings? It makes us sound like kidnappers on a cop show. “You leave the blessings where I say and then I’ll tell you where the obedience is!”

God doesn’t work that way. Or does He? As redeemed believers, we have already gained the greatest blessing we’ll ever see. How petty do we appear when we ask, “What have you done for me lately?” and wait for God to come through with the equivalent of a bowl of soup?

Obedience must come first. Otherwise it really isn’t obedience.

  • In what area of your life do you find it hardest to put obedience first?
  • What is an example of a time when God showered disproportionate blessings on you in response to your obedience?
  • Pray that God will help you put obedience first in your heart and allow the blessing to follow as He sees fit.

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