I was thinking about something powerful recently.  God is a God of grace.  He is a forgiver.  But when Noah and his family were saved from the last great world-wide flood, it was their obedience and NOT God’s grace that saved them.

 

Noah was another who trusted God. When he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Noah’s belief in God was in direct contrast to the sin and disbelief of the rest of the world—which refused to obey—and because of his faith, he became one of those whom God has accepted.  Hebrews 11:7 TLB

 

We, as believers, are fond of telling people about grace, and WE SHOULD BE.  But it is often obedience that shields us from pain.  I remember when my son was little.

He was told to keep his hands away from the hot water handle on the sink.  He was fascinated by that faucet and the hot water.  One day, he slipped into the bathroom and turned in on.  He chose to be disobedient.   A short moment later, his cry from the bathroom made me come running.

His lack of obedience got my little buddy hurt, but I decided he probably got the reason why I told him not to touch.  I showed him GRACE and didn’t punish him further.  Obedience would have helped him avoid the pain.

That is why one of the most powerful verses in scripture tells us:

 

Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.  I Samuel 15:22 NASB

 

So let me ask you this.  Do you depend on grace while living in willful disobedience?  Because grace covers us for our failures and mistakes.  But willful disobedience is a sin.  Rebellion.  The Bible has powerful words about rebellion in the very next verse:

 

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft I Samuel 15:23 KJV

 

Grace is when you get something you do not deserve.  It is unmerited favor.  Mercy is when you do not get a sentence or punishment that you deserve.  It is compassion.

 

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.  John 3:17  TLB

 

Make no mistake.  Jesus is running around the planet, waving long finger telling people they are scum bags.  He is preaching about grace and forgiveness.  But people still have to be obedient to enjoy the benefits of that grace.  The God the Father has only sent one person to hell, Jesus, everyone else sent themselves.

You may enjoy grace, I do, but sometimes ONLY obedience, like Noah, saves us!  Please listen to this song…

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