Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Get It Right - Martin Wiles

Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” John 14:23 NLT

“We’ve never had a teacher tell us to do our homework wrong.”

Middle Schoolers are an interesting breed, particularly the sixth graders who are experiencing their first year in Middle School. To have a teacher tell them to do their homework incorrectly confuses them—and I do it every year.

One particular year, we began by studying typos—grammatical or formatting mistakes that we tend to overlook when proofreading. After one day of studying typos, I gave them a homework assignment to write five sentences with typos.

Their eyes got wide, and confused looks decorated their faces. That’s when one of the little tikes made the comment about never having had a teacher tell them to do their homework incorrectly. But I had a reason. The students would switch papers and try to locate the typos in their classmates’ work. I wanted them to get it right, so I asked them to do it wrong.

Not so with God. He doesn’t want us to experiment with the wrong to get it right. He wants us to obey from the start. Jesus says He and the Father will dwell with those who do what He says. Obedience is the key to getting it right in life—or, for my students, getting it wrong.

God has moral standards whether or not we choose to accept them. Some chose to live by relativistic standards. Right and wrong are measured by circumstances—or by what they’d like to be right or wrong. God doesn’t measure right and wrong by those, or any other ways. He measures right and wrong by what He, the ultimate authority, establishes as correct and incorrect behavior, attitudes, and words.

Once established, He then measures our behavior by His standards. Although He gives us the free will to obey or disobey, He doesn’t do so at the expense of discipline or punishment. Total disobedience brings punishment, and periodic waywardness leads to discipline.

Obedience, on the other hand, ushers in a life such as we’ve never experienced before. Through the presence of His Spirit, God gives us the power to obey. When we do, we’ll wonder why we ever wanted not to. Joy, along with a strong presence of God in our lives, accompanies a life of obedience to commands that God designs for our ultimate spiritual, mental, and physical health.

Don’t see how close you can come to getting it wrong. Let God help you get it right so you can experience the best life possible.

Prayer: Father, guide us along the right paths so that we can get it right presently and in eternity.

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