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Blessings And Obedience

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" Matthew 7:11

I remember as a child being given the promise of blessings from my parents as long as I would obey them.  But there were also promises of discipline if I chose not obey.  I think most children tend to lean towards obeying because of potential blessing rather than the threat of discipline.  I personally believe it is essential for a child to obey solely on the basis of having a heart of obedience, and not because they have a gift awaiting them.  But I also know how good it felt, as a father, to bless our daughters because they had been obedient and had done their best to obey.  We see this same principle being given by God to His people in the Book of Deuteronomy (See Ch. 28).  

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:” Deut. 28:1-2 (NKJV)

I remember my wife Carol and I wanting to bless our grandson Titus, by picking him up after school and doing something special with him. We were all set to surprise him by picking him up after school, but on that particular day he wasn’t on his best behavior.  It was a Friday and his week was over.  In his class the teacher had implemented a system of three colors and a pin to help the parents to identify how the child was doing in obeying the teachers commands.  The system was set up like this:  

· Green is for when the child has been obedient and has demonstrated very good listening skills.

· Yellow is for when the child has been somewhat obedient, and has demonstrated acceptable listening skills. 

· Red is for when the child has not been obedient, and has not demonstrated good listening skills.  And when the child’s nameplate has been taken off and placed on the chalkboard, and is accompanied by a red mark, then the child has expressed willful disobedience and has not obeyed the teacher. 

Each day of school, the children would go through this system of being graded on their ability to listen and obey. At the end of the week, if they did not acquire any red marks, they were given the gift of opening a treasure box, where they would pull out a small toy as a reward for their good behavior. 

Another great aspect of the system was the parent was made aware of their child’s obedience or willfulness. This tool would give the parents the necessary information for the need of potential correction in their child’s life — thereby avoiding any habitual patterns. 

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. Proverbs 29:17 (NKJV)

When Titus arrived at our vehicle, I could immediately see his countenance was down, and so we asked him how his day had gone. He said, “good,” but his voice didn’t have his usually fun-natured tone to it.  We asked him, “What kind of toy did you receive from the treasure chest, since you’ve had green colors all week long?”  He said, “I didn’t get to go to the treasure chest because I got a red color next to my name today.”  

We were bummed for him, and we talked about the reasons why this happened—asking him if he understood why.  The system seemed to be working, and he fully understood the consequences of his actions.  We still showered our grandson with love, because our love for others should always be unconditional, but I couldn’t help but think about the blessings that he lost.  

Here's the thing—our Heavenly Father also desires that we have a heart to be obedient, and He has promised to bless us for our obedience as well (Matt. 5:6).  I know He loves us unconditionally as well, but on this particular day I couldn’t help but to think about how many blessings we forgo. 

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these things today. 

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about God’s ability and desire to give us good things according to Matthew 7:11?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you have a heart of obedience?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to listen to God and make it your heart's desire to obey His commands and to seek to please Him in everything you do.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:  Father, thank You for Your love and mercy. Thank You for teaching me Your ways.  Help me to remember the things I have learned Lord, and to implement them into my life.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen...


May the Lord bless your day abundantly, Scott




Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000