All posts in “OBEDIENCE”

karen mckinny 2

OBEDIENCE -KAREN MCKINNY

OBEDIENCE

KAREN MCKINNY

In the book of 1 Samuel God calls Samuel when he’s only 12 years old. Because he has never experienced the voice of the Lord, Samuel doesn’t recognize His call when he first hears it. It takes Eli, the priest to interpret the call for what it is, a call from God. “Go back and lie down,” he tells Samuel, “and when He calls say Speak Lord, your servant hears.” And Samuel does. So when the time comes, Samuel is able to respond in the appropriate way, “Speak Lord, your servant hears,” with no wishy-washy attitude, no reluctance to acknowledge the call, no doubts as to the authenticity of the speaker, just an open readiness to hear whatever God wants to communicate to him.

QUESTION 1. God speaks to us in many ways. Have you ever felt like you heard God speak to you? If you have, how did He speak to you? (audibly or through thought, Scripture, another person, a nudging on your heart, etc.)
QUESTION 2. What have you been hearing God call you to do lately?
CHALLENGE: I think God is constantly calling us, each one of us. The challenge to us is to give up our business, laziness, doubts, fears and self-centered focus. Samuel’s response to God’s call was the beginning of a great relationship. So when you hear the voice of God, respond with a loud Speak Lord, your servant hears, and maybe, just maybe you will discover that God has something amazing planned for you today!
joy hartl 1

OBEDIENCE -JOY HARTL

OBEDIENCE

JOY HARTL

Esther 4:14

“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?”

After graduating college I went on a year-long mission trip around the world and had the grandest of adventures and met the most beautiful people. I returned home thinking I was going to begin the next big adventure, but God’s adventure in store for me had a different definition. After the exotic and “glamorous” year abroad, everything back home felt so dull. I was so upset about being home that I missed almost every opportunity God had for me in the seemingly small moments.

Have you experienced this? Maybe you went on a mission trip and had the time of your life only to return back to the States and miss the reason God had you there, because you were preoccupied with wanting to be back doing the big missionary work. I was home for a year and I knew God wanted me to spend that time loving my friends and family, but I didn’t because I thought I should be doing something bigger. But here’s the thing: God has placed you in a specific place at a specific time so you can proclaim his glory. And yes, this means even in the moments that we deem “small.”

God will use you overseas, God will use you state-side, God will use you in your home; we only need to be ready and willing. He has extended the invitation wherever you are; will you accept it? Don’t neglect serving God here and now because you think you should be doing something bigger. Just like Esther, we must always be ready “for such a time as this.”

QUESTION 1. What do you think God has for you to do right now and right where you are?
QUESTION 2. What are some ways you can proclaim God’s glory in your day? After all, that is why we are here.
CHALLENGE: Be a part of what God is doing today. He has placed you in this specific time and place for a reason; don’t miss it.
jessica root 2

OBEDIENCE -JESSICA ROOT

OBEDIENCE

JESSICA ROOT

Ezekiel 2:1-2

He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.” As he spoke, the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

 Your alarm buzzes, you open your bleary eyes, and immediately your heart sinks. Your day is full and you have a presentation to do in class; you hope you won’t throw up in front of everyone. All you want to do is stay in bed. How are you going to make it to the end of the day? Well, on your own strength, it might be pretty hard. But with God’s strength powering you through, the worries and struggles can’t touch you. There isn’t a single thing coming at you today that God doesn’t know about or that he won’t be able to help you with.

Sometimes the smallest things in life require the most strength, like loving your parents, or a friend who has wronged you, or believing that God really loves you. The good news is that God has more than enough strength to share with you for matters big or small; all you have to do is ask. In fact, God has things for you to do that he knows you don’t have enough strength for. He tells us in Isaiah 41:10 to not fear and not to look anxiously around you, “For I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Trust Him, that He can get you through the day. Don’t worry about strength for tomorrow or next week; God will provide more than enough for today

QUESTION 1. How often do you actually ask God to help you get through a tough or stressful day?
QUESTION 2. If you do, do you truly give your day over to Him? Or do you still try to cling on to control over it and rely on yourself?
CHALLENGE: Ask God to give you strength every morning when you wake up and then trust that he will provide
Harlan Redmond 1

OBEDIENCE -HARLAN REDMOND

OBEDIENCE

HARLAN REDMOND

Matthew 19:23-24

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

 We have all had those moments in our lives when God blatantly plops someone in our path whom he wants us to love. Maybe you just finished ordering your double quarter pounder with extra cheese and are about to stuff your face with the mouth watering goodness when you notice a homeless man standing by your car as you wait at a stoplight. His sign says he needs food. You know you’re supposed to give it to him; everything in your being is screaming at you to give him your burger, but you can’t do it. You take a bite and keep driving while your guilt takes a bite out of you.

How many times do we have opportunities right in front of us to be more like Christ and we don’t take them? We are so attached to our money or possessions that we can’t even fathom giving them up for Jesus. But when Jesus called his disciples he told them to drop everything and follow him. And you know what they did? They left everything and followed Him. No questions, no telling Jesus, “Not now, just a little later,” or, “Let me finish this first.” It was immediate. Our prayer should always be that our eyes will be open to whom God has for us to love at any given minute and that we would give up everything and follow Him.

QUESTION 1. What are you holding on to: money, possessions, a relationship, etc.?
QUESTION 2. Are you scared of what God will ask you to give up when you are whole heartedly following him?
CHALLENGE: Rid yourself of those things that are holding you back so that He can have your whole heart.
kathryn neumann 1

OBEDIENCE -KATHRYN NEUMANN

OBEDIENCE

KATHRYN NEUMANN

Have you ever been called to sacrifice something in your life? For example, if you play a sport or musical instrument you would have to sacrifice your time with friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and family to practice and perform. The reason you sacrifice so much is that, at the end of the day, you will gain the prize. While the prize is different in each of these cases, it’s what you strive to attain.

For Christians, our relationship with Jesus is our prize. What is your relationship with Jesus like? What would Jesus say it’s like? Is there anything or anyone that you place in front of your relationship and time with Jesus? For Kat, it was the guy she was dating. She was madly in love with him and dreamed about marrying, having children, and growing old with him, that is until she felt that huge tug on her heart. Kat couldn’t stop the nagging question that kept piercing her mind. Would she be willing to break up with this new love of her life if God would ask? Wrestling with this question for some time, she knew what she wanted most and cried out to God saying, “I probably wouldn’t date for a very long time and my heart would break, but you, God, are more important.”

Sometimes God takes your treasure and gives it back to you, even brighter, even more beautiful than before, as he did with Kat. Other times He takes it, sets it aside, and gives you something even better, beyond your imagination.

QUESTION 1. Are there areas or people in your life that you are placing before God? (Explain)
QUESTION 2. Are you willing to sacrifice what you have for your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to place God first in your life, even when you feel that everything is coming down around you. When you feel like everything you love is being ripped away from you, trust that God is good, that he loves you, and that he loves to bless you. Whatever your greatest treasure is—a person, a thing, a dream so beautiful you can’t imagine giving it up—sacrifice it to God, and see what God can do!
charity ramsey 2

OBEDIENCE -CHARITY RAMSEY

OBEDIENCE

CHARITY RAMSEY

Exodus 19:5

“Now then, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is mine.”

I have a friend who went into a gas station to get some snacks during a long road trip. While he was in there he got this crazy urge to do a handstand. Why would I ever do that, he thought, that’s crazy? So he continued shopping, but the urge got stronger. Thinking this had to be from God, he did a handstand right then and there. Immediately the store clerk broke down sobbing. He thought he may have offended her so he apologized and asked what was wrong. “Before my shift,” she replied, “I told God that the only way I wouldn’t kill myself when I got home tonight was if someone did something absolutely crazy while in the store.”

God used my friend to save that girl’s life that day, all because he had an open heart to hear God’s voice. He was willing to step out in faith and do something seemingly nuts. That girl is now a good friend of his and has a beautiful relationship with Jesus.

What is it that God is calling you to do? Have you numbed your heart and mind so much with the things of the world that you can’t even hear God anymore? I’m not saying that you’ll necessarily hear an audible voice from God, but when you are in tune with the Holy Spirit there will be times when you’ll feel an insanely evident tug on your heart. Don’t quench that tug of the Holy Spirit; be willing and ready to always obey God’s voice.

QUESTION 1. Have you ever heard or felt a tugging from God? What did you do?
QUESTION 2. What in your life could be holding you back from hearing the voice of God? Maybe what you watch, listen to, or look at on the internet?
CHALLENGE: Find out what it is that could be holding you back from hearing God’s voice, then eradicate it from your life. Always be ready to listen and act on what God is telling you to do, even if it seems crazy.
Brandon Vasquez 2

OBEDIENCE -BRANDON VASQUEZ

OBEDIENCE

BRANDON VASQUEZ

Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
 and to walk humbly with your God.

Have you ever found it difficult to communicate with someone? Maybe you don’t speak the same language as they do, or maybe you are just so different that you find it hard to connect with them. Regardless of your circumstances, God calls us to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly before our God. But the big question is, how do we accomplish this when we find it difficult to connect with someone? Well the best way to begin is simply through our actions. Think about it, if you go out on the street to tell homeless and hungry people about Jesus and our loving God, yet you never offer them any food or help them find services that will help them with shelter, what do you think they are going to think about your loving God? Probably not much, right? If we want to tell someone about God’s love, then we need to act out that love and not just talk about it. Talk is cheap without our actions to back it up. Don’t give up on telling people about the good news of Jesus’ love, death and resurrection, but let’s also act out his love to all we come into contact with.

QUESTION 1. To which people do you find it difficult to communicate the love of Christ? Come up with a list of people to whom you could share the good news of Christ through action and word.
QUESTION 2. How can you show the love of Christ to those with whom you find it hard to communicate the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Make a list of names and actions that you could do for those people to show God’s love.
CHALLENGE: We challenge you to not only talk a big game about Jesus Christ, but act out Jesus Christ and his good news towards others.
Alyssa Liardon

OBEDIENCE -ALYSSA LIARDON

OBEDIENCE

ALYSSA LIARDON

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

There are many things in life that can bring us into a freer, closer and more intimate relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ. However, some of those very same things can also slowly tear us away. Many of these things aren’t inherently bad at all; in fact, some can actually be great. Examples might be participating in sports like gymnastics, football, soccer or basketball; it could be anything really. It could be your family, friends, job or school, pretty much anything you really enjoy and spend a lot of time with or doing. Think about it this way, and in light of the above verse: Are you living for God? Are you offering your whole self to Him and finding ways for your relationship with Him to grow, or do you have something else that you are placing above Him?

Don’t get it twisted; we aren’t saying anything more than for you “in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God”! Now, maybe that is best done through sports, family, friends, your job, or all the above, but we challenge you to look at your activities and ask this very important question: Are your activities and life choices bringing you closer to God or pulling you farther away? God loves and wants all of you. Maybe you can best give yourself to Him through your job, sports, family, etc., but at the end of the day, it’s not so much about your activities as it is about your life!

QUESTION 1. How do you find yourself spending your time? Make a general daily schedule of how you spend your time.
QUESTION 2. Are any of these activities causing you to miss church, youth group, or time you could be worshiping God? If so, make a plan to surrender these activities to God.
CHALLENGE: Surrender your life completely to God, worship him with your life and let him be the love of your life.
Cliff Woodward

OBEDIENCE -CLIFF WOODWARD

OBEDIENCE

CLIFF WOODWARD

Deuteronomy 5:33
Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

We all have had those moments when we know that God is nudging us to do something or to go somewhere, though for whatever reason we decide that our way is better and God doesn’t know what he’s doing. Maybe He is telling you to give up your summer of beach trips, jet skis and late night hang outs with your friends to go overseas on a mission trip. You know you’re supposed to go, but if you do, not only will you miss out on your lazy, hazy summer but your boyfriend or girlfriend would break up with you. So you stay, and miss out on the adventure of a lifetime. We need to stop listening to our own selfish desires and start listening to God who most definitely has our best interest in mind.

When you make the decision to be obedient to God in every area of your life, you’ll find that God starts to trust you with more and you’ll be more effective in advancing his kingdom. It won’t always be the easy or obvious choice. It will probably be out of your comfort zone, and maybe a little scary, but when you follow God’s calling it will definitely be the wisest choice. There is no place safer or more full of life and adventure than in God’s perfect will. Be obedient and watch how God will use you.

QUESTION 1. What is it that you know God is asking you to do?
QUESTION 2. Are you afraid to be obedient because you’re worried what God might ask of you? Pray and give these worries over to God. He’ll take them from you.
CHALLENGE: Give your obedience to God, then jump in with all that you have. Don’t give up and don’t give in; God has you.
michelle rompell 1

OBEDIENCE -MICHELLE ROMPEL

OBEDIENCE

MICHELLE ROMPEL

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?” I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Do you remember those days on the playground when you would split off into teams to play kickball? There would be two team captains and one by one they would assemble their teams. For the athletic and popular kids, there are not usually any hard feelings associated with this memory. However, for those who were generally picked last, this memory may stir up some unpleasant, suppressed childhood memories. Okay, maybe not, but I do remember the feeling of desperation that seemed to scream “Pick me! Pick me!” loud enough that you could hear my feelings! Nobody wants to be picked last because no one wants to feel unvalued or unwanted.

When I read Chapter 6 of Isaiah, I am reminded of that feeling of desperation to be picked. Isaiah had just seen the glory and beauty of God and he knew how small and worthless he was in comparison to God. However, God was looking for someone to join his team and wanted to use someone for a great purpose. Isaiah heard the Lord’s question and volunteered himself to join God’s team.

Isaiah was in the presence of the Lord which is why he was able to respond to God when there was work to be done. Had he not been close enough to hear the Lord ask for someone to join his work, he would have missed out on the opportunity to respond to the Almighty God.

Isaiah was on God’s team because he was willing to volunteer when God called for someone to respond. With humility and desperation, Isaiah wanted to join in on what God was doing in the world. Do you desire to be used by God with the same desperation?!

QUESTION 1. How are you spending time listening to God in your everyday life?
QUESTION 2. How would you respond to God calling you to do his work in the world around you?
CHALLENGE: Spend some time asking God where he wants you to serve this week. Join His team and play your heart out.
megan macha 1

OBEDIENCE -MEGAN MACHA

OBEDIENCE

MEGAN MACHA

Luke 1:38

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.

Imagine what it must have been like for an angel to appear to Mary and tell her that she was about to conceive a child even though it was impossible. Not only that, but her baby was going to be the one to save the world! That is a big deal! Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it is uncomfortable too. Having your feet swell, your pants shrink, and your cravings change is not by any means comfortable…but Mary was willing to say yes, no matter the cost. Her identity was that of a servant, and that identity was not limited by circumstance.

What I love about Mary’s posture toward God is that it does not change when things around her do. There have been so many times in my life when I found it really difficult to worship or serve God because of my circumstances. I have let situations in my life determine my willingness to walk in obedience. When things are as I want them, I give God praise. When things are uncomfortable, I act as though God is no longer worthy of praise. However, God doesn’t change when my circumstances do, and Mary lived out that truth.

When she was willing to be uncomfortable as an act of obedience to God, he used her in mighty ways. Far too often we are limited by our comfort, when living outside of our comfort zone allows God to take us farther than we are capable of going on our own. Discomfort changes us because it requires us to keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, and life is so much better that way! Don’t be limited by your comfort; be willing to allow God to take you further than you’ve ever been!

QUESTION 1. How have your circumstances changed the way you interact with God lately?
QUESTION 2. What comfort zones have limited you in following Jesus?
CHALLENGE: Step out of your circumstances and your comfort zone to give God glory this week.
adam lynch lg obedience

OBEDIENCE -ADAM LYNCH

OBEDIENCE

ADAM LYNCH

Can you recall a time in your life when you knew what the right thing to do was, a time when you knew what God was calling you to do, but you still chose to do what was wrong simply because it made you feel good at the time?

Jesus tells us that he came to give you life and to give it to you to the full (John 10:10). This doesn’t mean we are going to be rich and successful by the world’s standards. What He’s actually saying is that if you follow His plan, His way of doing things, you will find true freedom.

QUESTION 1. Think of a time where you chose to follow your own path rather than the path God was calling you to. How did it turn out? Did you find freedom and peace in your relationship with Him?
QUESTION 2. Think about a time where you chose to follow what God called you to do. How did it turn out? Did you find freedom and peace in your relationship with Christ?
CHALLENGE: Choose today whom you are going to serve. Matthew 6 tells us that no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Choose this day to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind (Matthew 2:37) and enter into a new world of freedom and joy that can only come from God himself!