June 3, 2014

The Bridge of Obedience

 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:9-10 (NIV)

In the most famous sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus identified eight steps for restoration with the eight Beatitudes. We’ve examined the first six already. Here are the final two steps. They will determine your destiny moment.

Restoration Step 7: I obey God by seeking restoration in my relationships. I seek to make amends for harm I’ve done except when to do so would cause further harm.

Restoration Step 8: I yield my life to God’s purpose. I take steps of obedience no matter what the consequences knowing that obeying Christ brings ultimate blessing.

Both of these steps take us to the bridge of obedience that separates true Christ followers from pretenders. They will determine your destiny. Peacemakers are called sons of God.  Like Christ, they seek reconciliation in restoring relationships even at great personal costs. They understand that the bridge of obedience involves loss, a loss of pride and fear, sometimes even financial costs. But, they also understand that the bridge of obedience leads to ultimate gain, the gain of knowing Christ and making Christ known, to experiencing the destiny for which they were made and sharing the incredible adventure of Christ’s life. Obeying Christ brings ultimate blessing. Like these eight steps to restoration, following Christ begins with the first step of obedience in baptism. Baptism is like driving a stake in the ground and going public with your faith. Matthew says that Christ Himself was baptized to “carry out all that God requires.” (Matthew 3:15 NLT) God affirmed the baptism of His own Son in a special way. “After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (Vs. 16, 17) What step of obedience in your life would bring your Heavenly Father great joy? Take it today and experience restoration!