the necessity, impossibility, andgrace of obedience
"If you live in Me, and My words stay part of you, you may ask what you will — it will be done for you." —John 15:7
We will bear fruit abundantly, that is, we will lead people to Christ, if we live in Jesus (Jn 15:5). We live in Jesus by obeying His commandments (see Jn 15:10, 14). Thus, evangelization is a simple matter of obedience to the Lord.
Although obedience is simple, it's the most difficult thing to do. Adam and Eve can testify to that. Look at Jesus' "dreadful" obedience on Calvary. He obeyed even to death on a cross (Phil 2:8). He learned obedience from what He suffered (Heb 5:8).
Although obedience is difficult, even impossible, "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37). His grace is always sufficient (2 Cor 12:9). We face no temptation for which God does not give us the strength to overcome (1 Cor 10:13). We can always obey. We can't always get our way, accomplish our goals, overcome problems, be accepted, know what we're doing, feel good, etc. Many things are beyond our control, but we can always obey and therefore always bear the fruit of evangelization.
Obeying the Lord is both our problem because it's impossibly difficult and our power because we can always obey by God's grace. We are privileged to lead lives "of obedience to Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 1:2) and thereby lead others to give their lives to Him.
Prayer: Father, may I obey You by submitting to authority.
Promise: "The church saw them off and they made their way through Phoenicia and Samaria, telling everyone about the conversion of the Gentiles as they went. Their story caused great joy." —Acts 15:3
Praise: St. George's great faith and trust in God was the catalyst for the baptisms of many.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School, or our tape, Obeying God, on audio AV 62-3 or video V-62.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 23, 2007
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