Matthew 18: 1-5 (KVJ) At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
This month, I want to remind you of a childhood song. Perhaps you sang it in Sunday School. Maybe you serve in a children’s ministry and still sing it frequently. I am of course talking about the little song “Obedience”. I loved this song as a kid, but as I grew older, the song dropped from memory. The truths in the song didn’t seem to apply to adult life. These are “little” truths, but I’m adult now, and I have to think about “big” truths. And so, I tucked the little song and the “little” truths away in the recesses of my memory. Then about a month ago, I was flipping through our hymnal at church, and I came across this little song. Did you know it has two verses? That made me so happy: a sweet memory from childhood and another verse to add to my knowledge! Here is the song:
1. Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe. Doing exactly what the Lord commands, doing it happily. Action is the key, do it immediately. Joy you will receive. Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.
2. We want to live pure, we want to live clean, we want to do our best; sweetly submitting to authority, leaving to God the rest. Walking in the light, keeping our attitudes right, on the narrow way; for if we believe the Word we receive, we always will obey.
On the chorus, you spell out O – B – E – D – I – E – N – C – E and then sing again, Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.
In Matthew 18, the disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus called a child to him and said the greatest in the kingdom of heaven are those who humble themselves as little children. One of the characteristics that all parents want to teach their children is obedience. I have a friend who has taught her children that the best obedience is that which is done with a happy heart. Happy heart obedience shows the world the children’s love and respect for their parents.
Obedience isn’t just for children. It is just as important, and perhaps even more so, that as adults, we obey God and honor the authorities He has set in our lives. How will the world know that we are Christians if we do not obey the commands of God? Like the song says, obedience is the very best way to show that we believe.
I want to challenge you to think about the “little” truths that we should obey, the ones we learned on our mothers’ laps or in our primary Sunday School classes. Let us be like the little children and happily obey the commands of the Bible. Here are a few examples:
- Read, study, and memorize the Bible. (2 Timothy 2:15)
- Honor those in authority over me. (Hebrews 13:17)
- Be kind to those around me. (Proverbs 18:24)
- Keep my life clean as an example to others. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- Confess secret sins. (Psalm 51: 6)
- Trust God, even when I don’t understand. (Psalm 34:22)
- Forgive those who have wronged me. (Matthew 18:21-22)
In closing, I want to reiterate the last line of that song. “If we believe the Word we receive, we always will obey.” Obedience is not always easy. Sometimes, obeying God’s Word is the hardest thing to do. Many people struggle to trust that He will take care of us, no matter how circumstances turn out. But if we believe it, we must obey it. The God of the Bible, who took care of Joseph, Daniel, and Paul, will reward our obedience and take care of us too.