Show Your Faith By Obedience

“Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG)

Jesus calls us to a level of intimacy that can only be sustained by his constant presence in our lives. He says, “Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (Matthew 11:29-30 MSG). 

Jesus is real, and so our response to him must be real. In other words, we can’t just say we have faith; we must show our faith by doing what God tells us to do. Deitrich Bonhoeffer, an influential theologian who was martyred under the Nazi regime, says, “For faith is only real when there is obedience, never without it, and faith only becomes faith in the act of obedience.”

But taking a step in and of itself doesn’t mean we obey Jesus. He is very specific in what he tells us to do. He doesn’t say “Follow some general biblical principles” or “Submit yourself to a certain doctrine.” Jesus doesn’t present a plan for positive thinking or suggest seven simple steps to becoming his disciple. Jesus says, “Follow me,” and we do just that. Bonhoeffer also says, “Discipleship without Jesus Christ is a way of our own choos­ing. Even if our choice leads us to martyrdom, it is devoid of promise and Jesus will certainly reject it.”

Bonhoeffer notes we can never follow an idea in personal obedience. “Christianity without the liv­ing Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship; Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”

“It remains an abstract idea,” says Bonhoeffer, “a myth which has a place for the Fatherhood of God, but omits Christ as the living Son. And a Christianity of that kind is nothing more or less than the end of discipleship. In such a religion there is trust in God, but no following of Christ.”

Talk About It

  • What does a faith that is real look like?
  • What step of faith is Jesus telling you to take but on which you have hesitated to act? Focus on obedience to his command and not on what may or may not happen once you’ve taken the step.

 

Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer: “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story”.

This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

 

 


Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.


SIGN UP FOR PASTOR RICK’S FREE DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

SIGN UP FOR DAILY HOPE DEVOTIONAL

Special Offer

40dol-gift-bottom-left

40 Days of Love Study Kit

Most people want to be closer to God and experience more fulfilling relationships. Jesus gave us the keys to accomplish this when he taught us that of all God's commands only two are most important: Love God with all your heart and love your neighbors as yoursef. This sounds so easy, but we struggle in this area. That's why Pastor Rick developed the 40 Days of Love Study Kit. This unigue tool will equip you to fulfill the two greatest commandments. And, as you learn to live a love powered life you will grow closer to God and others. You'll become more like Jesus!

REQUEST YOUR COPY

On the Radio

40dol-currentseries-bottom-right

40 Days of Love, Complete Audio Series

Everyone has a life principle, whether it’s comfort, fun, safety, or affirmation. Join Pastor Rick for this series that walks through the ways to make love the most important goal of your life and be obedient to Christ: “Let love be your greatest aim” (1 Corinthians 14:1).

Purchase this seriesListen to this series