Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #80 --- Obedience

Quotations on Obedience (Set No. 2)

Obedience is the first foundation stone of character.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 20, 1937.

If we desire the universal good, we must be obedient to the universal God.

—James DeForest Murch, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 11, 1937.

The cost of obeying God is always less than the cost of disobeying Him.

—James DeForest Murch, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 18, 1942.

It is one thing to ask God to help us accomplish our own will, but quite a different thing to accommodate ourselves to His will.

—James DeForest Murch, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Aug. 8, 1942.

Given assent to a truth without putting it into practice is sitting in judgment upon oneself.

—Dewey O. Miller, Wesleyan Young People's Journal, Syracuse, N.Y., April 1942.

He who obeys the laws of God is not likely to be summoned into police court–except as a character witness.

—Dewey O. Miller, The Wesleyan Youth, Marion, Ind., August 1961.

Spiritual truth is not known until it is obeyed.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, May 1943.

Living one's faith is the best method of defending it.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, May 1943.

Obedience can be a duty or a delight. It depends on intelligent understanding of results and personal love to God, who issues commandments. Remember that He does not issue them with the heartless indifference of a tyrant. They express the concern of a heavenly Father who always has the interests of His children at heart. Affection for our Lord and for our neighbor will help us to see that obedience to His commands is a wonderful expression to that love.

—W.R. White, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Aug. 19, 1964.

All the duties and every service God lays on us are for our good. ... The service God requires of us to obtain a blessing fits us to receive and enjoy the blessings and to be helped by it. All service to God must be firm and in faith. It must be then from the heart since faith is of the heart. To obey God is to honor Him; we can honor Him in no other way. The highest good of man is found in the deepest humility, the most faithful obedience to God. God gave us faculties and rules to train and develop them that we may be perfectly fitted for the enjoyment of the home he has prepared for those who love and serve Him.

—N.O. Ray, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, June 13, 1910.

Every good and wholesome law we should obey strictly and do it with a good and honest heart. Blessed are they who obey with a direct commandment, but more blessed are they who obey without a direct commandment. Do you think people will obey the truth because it is true, unless they love it? No, they will not. Truth is obeyed when it is loved.

—Francis T. Tate, Berlin Challenger, West Berlin, Jan. 4, 1964.

There cannot be any right obedience to God apart from love to Him; yet I apprehend that not a few professed Christians imagine that they are given quite acceptable obedience to God, without any construing love behind it, the motive of this obedience being fear, or perhaps mere selfishness. They go through the performance and keeping certain commandments of God, thinking that such obedience will secure for them so much of God's favor as to induce Him to take them to Heaven at last. They remind one of that class of persons who, Christ says, will say unto Him in the judgment day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name and by thy name cast out devils and by thy name do many mighty works?" (Matthew 7:22.) Christ's answer will be, "I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:23.) Why such a judgment? Because there was no love prompting the works. The true motive power of obedience was wholly lacking.

—C.H. Wetherbe, The Baptist Chronicle, Alexandria, La., Feb. 17, 1898.

Appreciate the morale of discipline, and comprehend the nature of command and, in a measure at least, understand the philosophy of unqualified obedience.

—C.P. Williamson, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 18, 1894.

God gives a fulness of glory to those who give Him a fulness of obedience. God can give only a part of His glory to those who give Him impartial obedience.

—Orson F. Whitney, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, Sept. 15, 1924.

Obedience is the rod of power which smites the rock of divine resource, the fountain of all gifts and blessings. And the obedient are the most blessed.

—Orson F. Whitney, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Oct. 6, 1921.

The perfection of life is the perfection of obedience.

—William P. King, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., July 21, 1929.

Obedience puts us in fellowship with the heart-life of Christ. His experience becomes ours; and thus though danger threaten and sorrows encompass, our souls are at peace, our joy is full. Look at the reciprocal influence of these heavenly blessings.

Obedience nourishes love; love brings joy; and joy again ministers strength. "The joy of the Lord is your strength"–strength to combat sin, to resist temptation, to obey from the heart. ...

Love awakens and maintains the desire for close conformity to the divine will, and so contributes to our living, walking and praying in the spirit.

—A.B. Vaughan, Jr., Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 18, 1894.

[Some men] want to do just as [they] please without having [their] actions called into question by anyone. This false view of liberty is the fundamental axiom of all sin. Go to the root of all sin and evil in the life and you will find that it springs from a non-recognition of the will other than self. This is the genesis of every crime. A non-recognition of the rights and interests of others. I have a right to do as I please, whatever the effect of my actions upon others may be. This is the seed thought of anarchy, which once introduced into society would make all government an impossibility. It is this principle which endangers our country. We are in constant danger from those who with lusty voices cry, "Down with the law, and let every man be a law unto himself. Away with all restraint, let us have our God-given right of liberty." Can you imagine what kind of country this would be were this principle to obtain? Why, it would be unfit for habitation. In order to well being and happiness of a citizenship the country must have laws, and these must be enforced, and enforced impartially.

It is this chaffing at restraints which keeps so many away from God. The Christian life throws wholesome restraint around the Christ follower. It has its clearly defined "shall" and "shall nots." It is this which man does not relish. They want liberty, that is, the right to follow their own inclinations, however perverse they may be and however far they may lead from God. Yet Christianity's restraints do not make slaves of the Christians. Indeed, it ushers them into the freest life. "And ye shall know the son, and the son shall make you free." (See John 8:32-36.) Thus spake Christ. They who are Christ's desire to know and do that which is right. They fight off all inclinations toward wrong; therefore they are raised above the law. The law has no terror for them. Who is the free man, the man who does as he pleases and pleases to do that which is criminal, or that one who does as he pleases but who pleases to do right? At once you reply the latter. He can look the officers of the law in the face with never a tremor. Yes, men want to get away from God in order to have license. I show you the better way. Be near to God and become God's freeman.

—Leon Sonfield, Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Oct. 4, 1897.

The Christ love inspires one to "go all the way" for others. Christ paid a great debt that was not his own when He was crucified on Calvary. Love liquidates all debts. In truth, we "owe no man anything but love" (Romans 13:8), for it pays our neighbor every obligation. Hating one's creditors makes debts increase and become terrific burdens. Loving one's creditors makes the debt so easy to pay that it seems to melt away. ...

Living up to our social and moral obligations is another of the Christ principles and there is no conflict between that and the principle of brotherhood. Jesus bids us, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21.)

So long as we live in a world where moral and social laws are necessary, we owe it to our fellowmen and to God to obey the laws of the land.

—Ralph O'Day, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., Nov. 28, 1936.

In obedience, faith is saved from sentimentality. To be true learners in religion, as in everything else, we must put into deeds what has come into our hearts. Faith must be vitalized by continued obedience. ... Obedience, besides inducting men into higher service, brings them into the more intimate knowledge and fellowship of God.

—J.A. Lord, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 20, 1918.

It is our duty to obey God. Our Savior says, "If you love me you will keep my commandments." (John 14:15.) Obedience is a kind of spiritual thermometer by which our love is tested. It is shown when love has reached a proper degree. Obedience to God towers above all other obligations. We should always obey God rather than man. Nothing should get between us and our highest convictions of duty to God.

—J.W. Lowber, Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, Aug. 17, 1896.

Obedience to Christ requires the complex submission of one's whole personality to Him. It is active giving and not passive living. Obedience is dynamic, vital, and aggressive; not static, dead, and negative. Obedience is surrender in the sense of complete devotement of one's life to Christ and His purposes. It involves the exercise of one's will on the highest possible plane. It requires decision, firmness, and complete sacrifice. Obedience, for the Christian, is not an unpleasant duty, but a holy privilege.

—J.E. Lambdin, The Baptist Training Union Magazine, Nashville, Tenn., January 1941.

Repentance and faith manifest themselves in obedience; obedience is made perfect in self-surrender; self-surrender is the enthronement of Christ in the heart as Lord of all.

—William Warren Landrum, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 12, 1899.

Prayer and obedience will bring the omnipotence of God to the assistance of His children against the attacks of evil, whatever may be the laws of nature, so called, or the determination of man. ... When we submit ourselves to God and His keeping and become prayerful and obedient to Him, then let come what may, nothing shall harm us. ... "All things work together for good to them that love the Lord." (Romans 8:28.) We can pray and call to our assistance the heavenly host, the power of God, the maker and builder of this world and maker of the universe, and if needed for our good, who are not rebels and outlaws, but His children, will not protection and assistance come?

—John D. Hunter, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, July 13, 1896.

Nothing is done right until it is done as God desires to have it done.

God's will should be our guide in everything and as we get acquainted with God's word, we find that He has expressed His will to us in terms that can be understood.

His will should guide our thoughts. We should think only as He wills for us to think. Our thoughts then would be God's thoughts, for God would have us think only His thoughts.

His will should guide our words. We should speak only the words that God would have us to speak. We will be judged and justified by our words.

His will should guide our acts. We should act only as God would have us act. Jesus revealed the Father's will and desire, and as Christians we should follow the footsteps of Jesus. He lived to show us to live.

Our preconceived plans often throw us out of harmony with God. Many times our plans, opinions or ideas are not in harmony with God's and we fail to obey Him and to do His will. God's will is defeated in us and trouble is the natural result. As Christians, we should do God's will regardless of what people say or think. We should not put our will above God's.

God's will is always for our good. We should always remember that God loves us with an unending love and that He plans many things for our benefit. We lose many of the blessings He has prepared for us when we get away from doing His will.

God's will should be our joy. We should find great delight in doing His will. There is entrusted into our keeping the power to do things that the angels in heaven would have gladly for Him. The gospel of His Son has been given to us and we must tell the story to all the world. Every Christian should be willing to say, "Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." (Matthew 6:10.)

—W.E. Ferrell, Clarendon News, Clarendon, Texas, July 27, 1933.

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