Today, the word obey has a negative connotation. We view obedience as a forced, unwilling decision to do something we don’t want to do because we’re afraid of punishment.
But that’s not the kind of obedience that’s in God’s Word. Obedience in the Bible means this: love + trust + action.
It starts with love, as Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (NIV) Obedience comes from knowing that God loves you and you love him in return.
A lot of people think obedience is about fearing God, but God wants us to see obedience to him as a relationship of love. And out of love comes trust. If you trust what God is saying to you, and you believe that he loves you, then that will lead to action.
You need to have all three because action without love is just rote religion. And love without action is just mere talk.
—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional
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