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The Key to Joyful Obedience

A boy can learn a lot from a dog: obedience, loyalty, and the importance of turning around three times before lying down. —Robert Benchley

Being loved and empowered by God leads us into obedience to whatever He asks of us. We don’t just begrudgingly submit to His commands like He is some far-off tyrant. We don’t have to obey to earn His favor or acceptance or be fearful or tentative when our efforts fall short. That’s not the way He designed it to work. It’s actually joyful!

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 1:6)

In our human terms, we don’t normally equate love with obedience. But that’s just how God set it up. Since He loves us so much, we are hardwired to return that love by joyfully obeying Him. We know where true joy is—not in quick-fix earthly stuff, but in a steady relationship with Christ. If we have experienced His unconditional love, we will love Him back, and if we love Him, we will naturally follow His lead.

Father, I yearn to walk in obedience, but it gets tough when I look at You as some sort of killjoy. I resist when I feel like I have to perform to earn Your love. Shower me with an experience of Your unconditional true love. May that love empower me to serve in heartfelt joy! Amen.

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